Sunday, December 21, 2008

Paris -- An Impromptu Dinner

Where but in Paris can you have an impromptu dinner like this?

Having been out for dinner four nights in a row, I decided at the last minute to stay home and keep my dog company tonight. Today being Saturday, I had gone to the wonderful open-air market on the avenue de Président Wilson (16th arrondissement) in the morning and followed up with a trip to the rue de Lévis (17th) in the afternoon; as a result I had plenty of wonderful food from which to fashion a meal.

I started with an aperitif of Béquinoix, which I found last summer in Perigord during a visit to our good friends' magnificent country home near Sarlat-le-Caneda. Béquinoix is a wine-based aperitif made in Perigord with walnuts (France's best, bien sûr). It has a nice fresh taste and does what an aperitif is supposed to: makes you want to eat dinner.

Dinner consisted of
jambon aux herbes and porc rôti aux poivres verts that I got at the Alsatian traiteur on rue de Lévis, accompanied by a mixed salad of arugula, mesclun and mache with walnuts and hazelnut vinaigrette, picholine olives with laurel and coriander seeds and black olives with red peppercorns that I bought from my favorite North African olives-and-dried-fruit merchant, a perfectly runny slice of vacherin de mont d'or from Androuet (see my post "The Best Cheese in the World") and slices of a flûte pavot (poppy seed encrusted thin baguette) from Paul.

For dessert, small slices of
mini-Paris-Brest and individual tarte citron from Le Petite Rose, my favorite patissier (see "Paris -- Best Lemon Tart"), and assorted macarons from the renowned Lenôtre. There's more of everything in the fridge and I even saved the whole rotisserie-roasted stuffed quail for my wife, who arrives tomorrow.

Despite the presence in the French markets of produce from all over the world, I tried to use only French products for this meal. As you can see, this was no hardship.

Bobby Jay

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