And now one of my favorite topics- food! Last night, I watched Patricia cook dinner and tried to learn a thing or two about French cooking. I don’t have any pictures, though, because I feel awkward taking pictures at dinner for some reason. And we eat outside in the dark most of the time. The menu last night was composed of canard, duck, gratin de pommes de terre, patotes au gratin, and mousse au chocolat.
In case you happen to find duck breasts at your grocery store back home, here’s how Patricia prepares it. Flip the breasts over so that the skin side is facing up. Cut a criss-cross pattern through the skin but try not to cut the meat itself. Cutting the skin helps release some of the fat while it’s cooking and makes the meat cook better. Heat up a pan on the stove and put the duck in. You don’t have to worry too much about putting any oil in the pan first because the duck is soon going to release so much oil it won’t matter. Cook the duck for a few minutes on each side. When too much grease collects in the bottom of the pan, pour some of it down the drain. You’ll probably do this about three times. Don’t overcook the meat, it should be medium by French standards or medium/rare by American, so it’s still pretty red inside. During the last minute of cooking pour some red wine over the duck so it can absorb the flavor. And you’re done! Serve with vinaigre de framboise, raspberry vinegar, and moutarde, mustard.
The side dish was potatoes au gratin, which is pretty straight forward. Sliced potatoes put in a casserole dish, covered in cream, and topped with cheese. Not my favorite dish, but it was ok.
The chocolate mousse, on the other hand, I could have eaten the whole bowl! If you have anything against raw eggs, this recipe is not for you. To make chocolate mousse, take a bar of dark chocolate and some butter. Patricia didn’t specify an amount. Just some butter. The chocolate has to be dark, that was made quite clear. Melt that together in the microwave. Once that’s done, get out three eggs. Mix the yolks into the chocolate and put the whites into a separate bowl with a dash of salt. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold the whites into the chocolate mixture making sure not to flatten the nice fluffy peaks too much. Cover and put the mousse into the refrigerator for three hours before serving.
This is the richest dessert I’ve eaten in a long time. It’s so light and but not overly sweet. You should make this ASAP. The best part about this dessert was that there were left-overs today!
These are my favorite cheeses in the cheese drawer.
It took some guts to try the cheese in the middle. It smells like kayaking equipment. A cheese that smells that bad has to be delicious, right? Yes, yes it is. I forget the name, but there’s a monk on the wrapper. The Tartare in the back is a soft, spreadable cheese flavored with garlic and herbs. Jenna and I have gone through several packages of this stuff. We can’t figure out what type of cheese exactly is in the tube on the right, but it’s very, very creamy and kind of tastes like camembert. The cheese on the right is a new one, but it’s chèvre cheese and you can’t go wrong with chèvre.
Welcome to my kitchen!