Tag Archives: Seafood

Frenchie and la Belle France

11 Dec

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La belle France !

I’ve been back for a month now and I’m finally sitting down to post some pictures and a new recipe directly inspired by this recent trip.

A journey in France under a soothing and warm fall sun.

Where red and green intertwine and the light coming from the sky is pale and white.

A color combination to remember in the kitchen when preparing a special seafood dish to impart this experience.

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The greatest of adventures in Paris is to discover new things, new places and new sceneries.

My latest kick? Walk through as many cours intérieures as possible.

Ever wanted to see those lovely small inside courtyards behind those big Parisian locked doors?

And despite the digicodes – those entry control systems with numeric pads outside every main doors in Paris – one might be sneaky enough to press the entry/exit button during the day when most systems are not turned on yet.

Between rue de Charonne and rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine.

Or as you stroll rue Pigalle and around rue des Martyrs.

I discovered gems.

Even behind 17 rue Bleue where the Cantine de la maison de la culture arménienne – a small restaurant at the Armenian Cultural Center – hides at the back of the courtyard.

And if you surprisingly run into la gardienne, just say Bonjour Madame !

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So many treasures to uncover.

And in these enclosed courtyards, protected from the outside world and noises, it’s the discreet and muffled sound of Parisian life that is distinctly heard through the few open windows.

A certain mood floating around as I stand in the center, looking up and around.

Demure. Calm. Unassuming. Yet full of life.

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The pastoral French countryside.

A bucolic side trip where the same colorful reds and greens kept revealing themselves in a scenic patchwork.

A wealth of trees and grass.

Farmers’ markets filled with distorted red orangish gourds and bright squash varieties.

The whispers of the market – a light hubbub of friends and neighbors babbling under a pale and transparent morning light.

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This new recipe was not only inspired by the color scheme following me throughout the trip but also by L’Agrume, a restaurant in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.

A bowl full of white pale clams.

Sprinkled with green onions.

A touch of red chorizo.

And a simple after taste of lemon.

It made for a perfect dish to enjoy throughout November.

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Clams, Chorizo and Green Onions with Creamy Lemon Broth

serves 4

3.5 cups (80 cl) of water

1 cube of vegetable bouillon (I use vegan vegetable bouillon cubes with sea salt)

the zest and juice of one organic lemon

2 Tbsp of chopped thyme

1 Tbsp of fennel seeds

2 green onions thinly sliced (green and white parts) + 2 more for sprinkling

sea salt and pepper

2 lbs (1 kg) of littleneck clams

1 Tbsp (15 g) of butter

2 heaping Tbsp of crème fraîche

about 3 oz (75 g) of chorizo – thinly sliced

slices of bread

In a big heavy pot, combine the water, bouillon cube, lemon zest and juice, thyme, fennel seeds, green onions, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Place the clams directly in the boiling water, reduce the heat, and cook until the clams open.

In the meantime, remove the casing around the chorizo and slice it thinly.

When the clams open, remove them from the pot and place them in a separate bowl covered with foil or a towel to keep warm.

Drop the butter and crème fraîche in the clam broth and stir until melted and well-combined.

Add the chorizo slices to the pot, stir and remove them as soon as they start to release a brightly red tint.

Serve the clams in bowls, top with the warm chorizo slices and scoop out the creamy lemon broth with a spoon. Drizzle all over the bowl and clams.

Sprinkle the last green onion slices on top with an extra dash of freshly ground pepper and some more thyme if needed.

Do not forget the slices of bread to soak up the broth.

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Frenchie and a Taste for Seafood

23 Apr

Living by the ocean has changed my life forever.

And since I am not a sunny summer nor beach person, this can only mean one thing… oui ! Fruits de mer !

“Fruits of the sea”. Seafood. “Sea fruits”.

Call it however you prefer, but living on the East Coast has allowed me – and all my visitors throughout the years – to fruitfully enjoy a cheap and wide variety of deliciously tasty shellfish.

I’m no stranger to seafood or fish.

Yearly summer vacations on the coasts of Brittany and Corsica as a kid developed my strong liking for anything and everything coming directly from the ocean.

Rolled up pants. Scratched feet climbing on rocks. Sharp-eyed kids searching for small crabs, winkles and other sea creatures and treasures.

Full red beach bucket on the way home, proud of the daily catch.

A heaping plate of langoustines with crusty bread and a home-made mayo for dinner.

Or crispy lemon cod fritters (fritelle di baccàla) and grilled trouts with garlic and vinegar (trùita a l’àgliu e a l’acètu).

I can still smell the parsley slowly grilling with the trouts and garlic.

As I am preparing a trip to Spain for next month, reading more about the many wonderful things I am about to see and visit, looking at food pictures of the flavors of the Costa Blanca and Catalonia, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to post my recipe that combines both my love for tapas and seafood.

Blanca from FriendsEat already got out of me  in the interview she conducted back in November that one of my favorite restaurant is the tapas bar downstairs from my house.

C’est vrai, j’adore les tapas.

And there is no better way to plan a trip to Spain than with grilled calamari and a glass of Cava rosé.

Have you ever tried stuffing squid bodies with fresh bay leaves?

It makes a world of difference as they will soak up the strong flavors of the leaves.

Combined with lemon and mustard, it’s one dish that looks and tastes like a sunny-day-spent-on-the-coast all at once.

So here’s to Spain, abounding tapas and upcoming vacations!

Lemon Mustard Grilled Calamari Stuffed with Bay Leaves

for 10 squid bodies

even if you don’t have an outside grill, a tiny electric Foreman grill like I have will do the trick

10 squid bodies

2 lemons – juiced

2 teaspoons of mustard powder

1 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt + more to taste

a shake of ground pepper

1 teaspoon of cane sugar

1 teaspoon of mustard – the hotter the mustard, the hotter the squids. Use a mild mustard or reduce to 1/2 teaspoon if you are sensitive

1 teaspoon of olive oil

13 fresh bay leaves

Start by boiling water in a big pot with 3 fresh bay leaves.

Stuff each squid body with a fresh bay leaf. Depending on the size of the bodies, you might want to stuff 2 leaves if they are big.

Remove the boiling water from the heat and plunge the squids in the water for 45 seconds. This will allow them not to shrink during the grilling process and it will make them tender in the end.

Pour the water and squids in a colander after 45 seconds and let them cool. Some bay leaves may have gotten loose in the water. Stuff them back in the squids if needed.

While the squids cool down, whisk the following ingredients in a medium bowl: lemon juice, mustard powder, Herbes de Provence, sea salt, pepper, sugar, mustard and olive oil.

When ready, fold the squids in the marinade, make sure they are well coated, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Heat up the grill and grill the marinated squids 15 to 30 seconds per side until they get a golden charred color.

Sprinkle with sea salt before serving. And do not forget to remove the leaves before eating the squid!

Frenchie and the Corsican Coastal Seafood

7 Sep

A Frenchie and the Yankee getaway on the northwestern Corsican coast where the seafood is fresh ‘n tasty and the deep blue sea would make anyone want to dive head first in the warm waters.

Île Rouse, Calvi, Sant’Antonino – summery sunny names of cities and villages visited along the way. The new post is at Under the Tuscan Gun. You can check it out here!

Under the Tuscan Gun is the fresh, healthy, traditional Tuscan website created by actress Debi Mazar and her Italian husband, Gabriele Corcos, to share their passion for Tuscan food.

And stay tuned for Season 2 of Extra Virgin coming soon on the Cooking Channel where they invite viewers into their home and kitchen.

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