Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So French

I collected frilly cabbages, tender carrots and new potatoes at my various stops over the last weekend, intending to do a big green St. Patrick’s display at the Sunday market.  I bought a few more cabbages (the most exquisite, of course) from Chino Farm Sunday morning, but for some reason I never finished the display. 


The reason, perhaps, is that I spent the entire weekend enamored of a gift my friend Liza presented me at the Corona del Mar market on Saturday.  It’s a framed W Magazine cover, a back-in-the-day edition, when they had the newspaper format… A French poodle named Vladimir with a perfectly starched napkin around his neck, at a bistro table at Benoit’s Paris, depuis 1912, enjoying a plate of boeuf and apparently also a glass of Beaujolais.  The title of the feature is So French….simply framed and definitely now one of my most treasured pieces.  It goes perfectly with my other gilt and black framed French photos and maps from the NYC and Paris fleas~


I have been in a big {French} cooking mode lately, probably because I’ll be in Paris next week, and spring and summer farm to tables are being planned.  We will be staying in a friend’s flat in Paris and not a hotel, so my hope is that we will be eating out some, cooking at home a bit, and well….just enjoying all the food offerings of Paris.  I’ll be visiting my favorite markets, photographing all, and blogging along the way.

In the last week I have been cooking a series of meals from Patricia Wells’ Paris Cookbook as well as a few from Balthazar, one of my most favorite NYC restaurants.  We have had lemon risotto, chicken various ways, porc Milanese and scratch pineapple upside-down cake, all Dad’s favorites.   And the potatoes I love that I call Easter Egg Potatoes, aka Pommes de Chateau, these are fantastic for spring….. peel about two pounds of fingerling or small new potatoes and do not wash them in water~


Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan and add the potatoes over medium heat; shake the pan to roll the potatoes every two or three minutes; when the potatoes are browned on all sides, sprinkle them with sea salt and reduce the heat to low; cover and let cook about 15 minutes or until fork tender.


You will be rewarded with tiny potatoes which are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.  Toss with a little flat leaf parsley at the last minute.


And so Vladimir the poodle sat in my kitchen this weekend, overseeing and hopefully approving~


I attempted a few photos with the cabbages and Vladimir~


For dinner tonight we had what started out as sole munière, and ended up with mushroom slices and asparagus tips and the potatoes….not sure what the name is for this, maybe a bonne femme, but it was delicious~


Thanks to Liza for the inspiration…..Vladimir the poodle will be held in high regard~


This trip to Paris is like visiting an old friend….so many familiar places, so many good memories, though Paris remains dynamic as any major city.  It will be, above all, So French.


  1. A wonderful example of how you make the everyday fresh produce and meats into a most delicious meal! So French...fabulous!!

    Art by Karena

  2. I am always so motivated to be a more adventurous cook when I visit.
    Yummmmm... enjoy Paris!

  3. Your gift is parfait (I love the way Vladimir's eyes shine), the potatoes are parfait and your meal looks delicious. The readers of Reve will benefit from all of your talent and knowledge of and love for France. Bisous