17 May 2009

Warning: Explicit Content

We haven't posted much for a while simply because we haven't been cooking much. This is a bit odd for us, but we have been on vacation, first to Luxembourg where we geeked out on beers and (YES!) street food, then with friends visiting from overseas. A big shout out to Brisbane, Australia and Cal-I-for-ni-yay!

While we'd love to indulge our friends as much as we do for ourselves, it often leads to doing it someplace very uncomfortable, like the back of a Volkswagen. (Which is about how large our Paris flat is.)

Our friend Tanya brought us a bunch of tortillas from California - both white corn and yellow corn. God bless her. Without this little gift from the former Mexican territory, we'd be stuck with eating our own tortillas from scratch. Which aren't half bad, but they aren't half good, either.

As a thank you, I picked up some fresh cod at the local fishmonger while Alannah and Tanya were off doing what two girls do together in Paris (i.e. shopping at Louis Vuitton n' shit), cleaned it up, chopped it... and ruined it by dipping it in beer/masa batter and turning it into fish tacos.

Fancified ones, of course, sitting atop a bed of Spanish rice, fried corn tortillas, shredded white cabbage, and a caraway seed cream sauce.


The girls went off to Nice for a few days, and I concentrated on work and/or boozing it up with Aussie Tony. Again, a hiatus from the kitchen. We decided, instead, to take a full tour of the watering holes and traditional French restaurants of our neighborhood. When it was time for Tony to head back Down Under, the gals were back, a bit bronzed from the sun (non-existent in rainy Pa-ree this week), but moreover inspired by the southern cuisine they'd just gorged on. So they handed me a bunch of food.

This Is Why We're Amateurs
Apparently, I was out of practice. Way out of practice.

Alannah got me some gorgeous zucchini, knowing how much I like the flowers on them. I'd eaten fiore di zucca before, but it wasn't until we'd traveled to Italy last year that I'd actually developed an intense love for them. Knowing me all so well, this was the perfect gift.

I immediately set out to make fried zucchini flowers for an entrée to impress the ladies. Never mind that I've never bothered to read a recipe.

Instead, we (or rather I) ended up with a fried finger.

The above doesn't look quite as it did the next day, the largest bump blistered to three times the size, nearly transparent, and handled with utter delicacy... A classic second degree burn from hot frying oil.

Needless to say, I've since been taking care of the finger, keeping it away from hot oil, hot water, hot chili - anything that might aggravate the burn... And fueling many of our fantastic local restaurants through la crise economique. Maybe frying a finger isn't so bad after all.


  1. It's hard but not impossible to find corn tortillas here but even when you do find them in the grocery store they aren't "authentic". They are yellow corn tortillas and they are small packages of about 12 and cost about $3-$4 a pop.

    However, last week I stumbled on a most beautiful discovery. This little Indian market near my place had big packages of 42 authentic mexican white corn tortillas in their freezer section. I had no idea...that was the last place I expected to find them. Keep an eye out in places like that in the frozen section!

  2. Noooothing like that here. We get flour tortillas, but only the vomitous Old El Paso brand. Occasionally you'll find some salsas... that taste like ketchup. :(

    According to all the Mexican sources here, the best you can do is find the primary ingredients and make things from scratch. Which I don't mind, except that tacos & burritos are supposed to be easy comfort/drunken foods, not a Herculean task!