Ahhhh Paulette’s stuffed tomatoes. Nothing to do with the boiled crap they serve with steak (and a nasty attitude) in Paris restaurants. I am talking about delicious, juicy, caramelized balls of pure French heaven!!!
I simply sear my scallops to a golden brown (about one minute on each side on medium to high heat) and then dump my persillade on top. I also like to add a bit of lemon juice to give it an extra kick. To die for!! Note that scallops are like calamari: they have to be cooked quickly so they don’t feel like rubber in your mouth. Some people slice them in half before cooking them. I don’t because they end up being thoroughly cooked before they have enough time to brown on the outside.
The guests thought the idea of using the stables was quite fun. Remember that episode of Downton Abbey where they had to improvise an indoor picnic because Mrs. Patmore’s oven was broken? The fact that we all had to stay quite close to each other in these quarters helped the evening be a great success. People had to introduce themselves to other guests they didn’t know and wouldn’t have thought of talking to if we had been outside, free to roam around… This was also the perfect setting for me to take portraits. The light wasn’t great, but practice is always good in photography.
Most markets (even here or in Italy), are now the target of con artists. These are people who just buy their products in bulk at the supermarket or in large food factories etc. and try to sell them back to you for two, three or even four times the price. The worst ones in France are those who sell olives, “Herbes de Provence” which actually come from Bulgaria, and cheese. To avoid being taken advantage of, my advice is this:
Shoot hungry. I know it will sound strange, but food photography is like fashion photography. You have to like/want/DESIRE your subject in order to take great sensual shots! They talk about “food porn” don’t they? Shoot at an angle (about 45°). It’s nice to have at least a few tri-dimentional shots in a series Tilt…
As you all already know, my greatest pleasure in life is to share everything I love about France with my guests and my friends.
My dear friend Mimi (Chef Mimi Blog) came back to visit me last week and brought along one of her dearest friends, Gabriella.
All we did for a week was eat and drink and laugh. Oh we laughed so hard… When people ask me what I do for work, I just tell them I don’t actually work… They always look at me and smile (you know, the “oh poor thing” smile. The suckers think I’l kidding. The joke’s on them ;0)
It seems a little late to celebrate a season that will be over in a matter of days, but I found some photos of my first picnic of the year and thought I would share them with you.
The most perfect day in Saint-Emilio between vintage cars, lunch at le tertre and a stroll through the vineyard…
The only thing I really missed was a HUGE fig tree we had there. I spent most of my childhood playing around that tree. And, once a year, Paulette, my grandmother’s cook, would use its figs to make the most wonderful jam.
I visited my aunt Nicole the weekend before last. We went to the market together and got everything we needed for the most amazing omelette with chanterelles and herbs. For our main course, Nicole bought a few pigeons from a 90 year old gentleman. We found out how old he was during our conversation with him (it lasted for EVER). We also bought the sweetest prunes and mirabelles for a pie. Aunt Nicole is a fabulous cook!
My dear dear friends, so much has happened around here over the past month or so. I feel really bad because I wanted to share it all with you as it was happening and never got around to it (obviously). You know me: analysis paralysis… But never mind all that. I am back with a…
Pierre (my cheesemonger) and I were talking about truffles the other day. I was telling him that I wish I had access to fresh truffles year round. Indeed, truffles are harvested in December, January and February. After that, you can only get them in jars. They taste very good, but it is nothing like the fresh stuff. Pierre told me that he keeps a few for himself every year and freezes them.