Eating Ethnic in Paris

First time visitors come to Paris in search of escargot, coq au vin, bœuf bourguignon, and confit de canard.  They come in search of the classic dishes they have read so much about and to sit in old-world cafes on the left bank.  This type of food is classic for a reason – it’s delicious when prepared right!

Yet there is so much more to the Paris food scene.  Paris is a vibrant city with international and contemporary restaurants.  I have decided to do a series of posts showcasing some of my favorite restaurants right now.  The first post is about eating ethnic in Paris.  So when you are done with the classics, have had your fill of the traditional Paris scene, check out one of these places for something new and exciting!

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Capellini with Garlicky Kale, Parmesan and Panko

IMG_6367This pasta is my latest obsession.  Healthy and decadent, it melds together spicy, salty, pungent, crunchy and tender in each heavenly bite.  Besides the amazing taste, I’m thrilled to have learned a new technique.  The capellini is cooked in the same water as the kale, adding more flavor and saving water.  I can’t wait to try this method with other dishes.  I hope you like this as much as I do!

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Parmesan Croutons

IMG_5920These croutons are my latest obsession.  They transform soups and salads from just good to amazing.  I’ve been adding them to all kinds of veggie soups and they provide a nice crunch and sharpness that creates a great contrast with the soft mild soup.  They make a huge difference!  Make some and add them to your next soup.  That is if you can resist eating them directly out of the oven!

They are a good way to use up the ends of baguettes that are no longer so fresh.  There is really no need for a recipe here.  Combine slightly stale bread cut into cubes with olive oil and fresh finely-grated parmesan.  You want the olive oil and parmesan to resemble a paste that coats the bread as you stir.  Toss in a hot oven (400ish) and bake, stirring once until golden.  Check often to make sure they don’t burn.

End of Summer: A Simple, Fresh Meal

IMG_5247This is the kind of meal that personifies summer.  It’s light, fresh and simple.  It relies upon the best ingredients available because there are so few of them.  It’s easy but heart satisfying.  While I look forward to the root vegetables, hearty greens and warming foods that symbolize fall, I must first say goodbye to summer.  This was one of those goodbye meals.

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A Little Taste of Heaven: Verjus Restaurant

IMG_5266My mom and I wanted to go to one special restaurant before she left to go home to Chicago.  After a bit of deliberation and researching, we chose Verjus.  We made a reservation a couple of weeks in advance and managed to score a table for two at 7.30pm.  It turned out to be one of the best meals I have ever eaten.  Not just in Paris.  Ever.

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Coastal Days and Saying Goodbye to Summer

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This was my last week of freedom before school starts marking the end of summer.  Two months is the most I have had off since I was 16-years-old.  I have always had corporate jobs where you were lucky if you got two weeks!  I thought in the beginning that it was so much time off and I didn’t know how I was going to fill it.  Now, I realize that it isn’t that much and that I could easily fill a years worth of time off if I could.  Sadly, that is not in my budget.  I am incredibly grateful for this time.  It has been amazing.

As a send-off to summer, I have spent the past week with my mom on the coast.  We have mostly been in Brittany with a brief jaunt into Normandy to see Mont St Michel.  The coast is beautiful and I have been posting way too many beach photos on facebook.  I have gorged myself on seafood and crepes and relaxed into this last week of summer.  I feel incredibly lucky as I get ready to embrace this next part of my journey.  Merci!

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