16 April 2009

Creamy... But Where's the Meat?

We took a couple of days off to appreciate some professionals in action, celebrating Alannah's first Franciversary with a rare Michelin-starred bistro lunch. Needless to say, we were too damn filled to the hilt by Alain Ducasse (or whomever his stunt cook is) to make dinner... Then we shifted gears and went to the best damn crêperie in Paris for dinner last night.

After hitting up an event at a wine bar near the Latin Quarter, I was hoping to have tonight off, too, being that a new, California-authentic sushi bar (which is to say about 500x more Japanese than a standard Parisian sushi joint) just opened in our neighborhood. I was exhausted, starving, and in dire need of something raw and fleshy. Unfortunately, the little prickteases apparently close at 7PM, which is about 2.5 hours shy of peak dinner time in Paris.

This left us to improvise at home. Alannah offered to do most of the cooking while I did some prep... She cobbled together some spaghetti, a gorgeous garlic Emmenthal cream sauce, and the last of our delectable market mushrooms into an amazingly rich but none too overbearing dish.

Not to be outdone, I hit up some of our other artisan food fair ingredients and whipped together an acacia honey and walnut oil vinaigrette, to top a salad of mâche, walnuts, and crumbles of soft, ripe brebis cheese from a family farm that deals exclusively in sheep's milk.

Note to self: When crumbling ripe brebis in the future, wear gloves or use a fork. My fingertips still smell like those of a man who got some "extra mileage" at the Spearmint Rhino.

Oddly enough, this is the first vegetarian meal I can recall having in months. It was probably last in November – when Alannah was eating out Italy and leaving me to fend for myself – when I'd have monastic meals of rice, tofu, and a simple miso soup. For me, making a mess in the kitchen just isn't fun if there isn't someone else to feed.

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