12 April 2009

Greased Up and Ready to Go

Ahh, Easter Sunday.

While normal people in France get together with their families or attend mass or something ridiculous like that, we thought we'd get outside and do our thing in the park. But such adventures require fuel, or as trendy Parisians call it on weekend: Le Brunch.

The concept is relatively new here and is having growing pains, so – as usual and like so many other things - we take matters into our own hands and do it at home.

After a quick trip to the local outdoor market (where half the lazy-ass vendors took Easter off, hmph!) we brought back a load of farm fresh eggs, medium and "gros", the latter weighing in at a minimum of 80g each. Mmm... ¡Huevos grandes!

Alannah did her best dominatrix impression and beat the eggs into submission, making a frittata with some fantastic mushrooms we'd purchased at the Paris small-producer food fair last weekend, green onions, and great big gobs of white creamy stuff. Not cheese, not sour cream... but yogurt. (Or are you freaky and spell it yoghurt?)

Well, in French parlance, it's fromage blanc - or "white cheese" - but to me, it's just slightly thicker yogurt. In fact, it's exactly like the yogurt any part Middle Eastern boy grows up with - or the "natural" yogurt you get at healthy food stores - and nothing like cheese. Until you cook it in eggs, apparently, where it hardens up and takes a nice ricotta-like consistency. A fan-fuckin'-tastic surprise. Dieters should keep this in mind.

Any health benefits of substituting a yogurt-like substance for cheese was magically wiped away by what we like to call steakon. If you go to a French butcher or grocery store and ask for bacon, you'll get something similar to that heathen Canadian bacon. If you want real bacon flavor, you can use lardon, or best yet, ask for some poitrine fumée, which is smoked belly meat, and about the closest thing you can get to American-style bacon. You can get it in thin slices, but we often just like to get a thick slab and grill it like a steak in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

Regularly eating a dish like this will likely kill you. But the occasional slab of steakon will - at worst - just have you sweating bacon fat. Think of it as natural lube.


  1. Nom Nom..
    we have a french butcher here, I'll ask for Poitrine Fumeé next time I'm at his shop.

  2. I highly recommend it... It's also fantastic cut into chunks and nearly melted into a pot of slow-cooked beans.