Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Auberge Nicolas Flamel

I am dying to write about our dinner at Auberge Nicolas Flamel, the most sublime place we dined in Paris, but I am taking my time to consider the memories in delicate layers, like savoring the pages of a first love letter.

Gimme the Mona Lisa Burger, SVP

We Are Still Americans.

Horrors! By the time we'd slogged through billions of dollars and centuries worth of art treasures at the Louvre, we located a chic cafe inside the museum with a multi page menu filled with mouth watering offerings that would boggle the mind of anyone with taste buds.

But it was day six or seven of the trip, and by God, we craved a big ass hamburger, fries and a giant Coca Cola. For a mere 18 Euros, plus another 5 Euros for the Coke (about $30 U.S.) we were served a half pound, succulent beef burger slathered with a flawless Bearnaise sauce, crisp hand-cut fries and a large Coke with at least three gratuitious ice cubes in the glass.

It felt so lovely to be seated in the elegant cafe, surrounded by international travelers, dignified servers and an interior decor in shades of ivory, gold and mossy pastel green that would have suited any member of the French nobility.

It was hard to believe that just moments earlier I'd been nearly forced to elbow the temple of some pinched faced bastard from Wisconsin who kept jostling me as I tried to photograph the Mona Lisa. He and his haggy old Korean 'bride' (whom I referred to as Yoko) ended up at a nearby table in the cafe, but I sat with my back to them as they gnawed at their meager salads in bitter silence.

Regardless of their nattering presence, that burger was one helluva great lunch.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Help a Girl Out

What's Your Favorite French Food?

As some of you know, I'm going to Paris next week for a couple of weeks.
I've never been, and I don't want to miss even one culinary treat.
Will you please share in the comments your most memorable French food, snack, meal or dessert?
Even if you had it in America or another country, if it's French I want to know about it.
Merci beaucoup!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Guacamole Heaven

Controversial Guacamole Recipe You'll Love

Do not argue with me or say eeuuwww, this is the best guacamole recipe on Earth, and that's all there is to it. Just give it a try and you'll see.

2 large, ripe Hass avocados, mashed into chunky consistency (reserve the pits)
2 firm, medium sized Roma or vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/4" dice
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4" dice
1 large jalapeno, seeded and scraped to remove pith, minced into small specks
2 heaping Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 heaping Tbs. good quality mayonnaise (I said no arguing)
Sea salt to taste
Using rubber gloves or Baggies over your hands, squeeze all ingredients together in a roomy bowl until well mixed.
Place pits in the bottom of a clean bowl and spoon guacamole over them. The pits keep the guacamole from turning brown. You can add a little lime juice on top to retard browning if you must.
Garnish with a little bit of chopped tomatoes, onions and a little cilantro.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Now, listen to me and stop that smirking. The mayo adds a creaminess that elevates this dish to another dimension. You cannot taste it per se, you just notice something extra that makes the avocados taste even more avocadoey.
The jalapeno is minced extra fine and seeded and depithed to distribute the heat without blistering your little pink tongue. Just add more if you are some kind of heat freak, really, it's okay.