Monthly Archives: January 2008

Mustard or not mustard?

I just had a ham and cheese sandwich, and i put mustard in it. I love mustard. My favorite one is by far Maille. You can find it easily at safeway or trader’s joe.

I’ve tried to make my own mustard a few months ago. Guess what? It didn’t turn out to be good at all. The effort is not worth the result!

I just went back to my gold old Maille (which by the way is very popular in France)!

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Tip to cook pasta

A friend of mine, married to a lovely Italian woman, mentioned this to me one day: when you cook pasta, use water you just used to boil broccoli.

Seems funny and simple? Well, that’s what cooking is all about! Try it, you’ll love it!

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Skirt steak and American Idol

I have to admit that I’m a big American Idol fan. I just love the show, and Simon Cowell. My favorite part is obviously to eat a nice steak with a fresh salad and a nice glass of red wine.

As far as steak goes, i was surprised to find that the New York steak is one of the most popular in the US. This is mainly because it’s perceived as a piece of meat with low fat. Well, let me tell you this: fat in meat is the best! Here’s why:

1/ If you have fat around the steak, or on one side of the steak, you can use that side to cook it. That way, your meat will be tender and not burned. This is the way to cook fish like trout, mackerel etc…

2/ The fat in the meat (like a ribeye steak) will melt when you cook it. And that bring a whole new taste to your meat. And it’s damn good!

One of my favorite piece of meat is the skirt steak (bavette in french!). It’s one of the cheapest and yet one of the most delicious. An Argentinean friend showed me how to cook it perfectly. When you buy it at the butcher, ask for the piece that is not prepared yet, which means the piece with a huge amount of fat around it. Take the fat out of one side, and leave it on the other (you may want to make it a bit thiner but do not get rid of it!). Lot of salt, some pepper. On a very slow heat, cook it, skin side down, until the meat is ready. The skin will be hard like hell, and very dark. But the meat will be very juicy. Do not forget to let the meat rest for 5 minutes after you cooked it. It will bring the juices out and through the meat.

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Chouquet’s on Fillmore

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Chouquet’s, on Fillmore in San Francisco, is a really nice French restaurant. Not pretentious at all, it yet serves some delicious dishes, like a braised lamb with truffle puree, or some fantastic foie gras and chocolate desserts.

The atmosphere is very casual, the staff very friendly (they’re all French!), and the price is decent.

I absolutely recommend this place…

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Nobu, Vegas

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What a nice meal we had there. We went to Nobu in London when we used to live there, and we decided to try the Nobu in Vegas based on the advices of some friends. The least we can say, is WOUAH! This was absolutely delicious.

The miso black cod (one of their signature dish) is outstanding, and those were the best rolls i ever had. For some reason, they taste different. It’s putting sushi ran (which is quite nice and has one michelin star) to shame.

We had quite a big meal. Two cold appetizers, two warm dishes, and 4 orders of rolls. Some sake, cocktails etc… The total bill was very reasonable, around $60 per person which was very surprising.

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Dungeness crab

So this may seem very simple, but i don’t think there are that many shellfish that can beat simple boiled dungeness crab when it’s crab season. Buy hthe crab alive, put in in salted and very peppery boiling water, and 15 minutes later, it’s all good.

I know, some of you are going to say that this is not very humane etc… animals… pain… blablabla. If it bothers you, you can go and buy your crab cooked already. But don’t be blind. It’s the same than if you do it yourself at home, except you just don’t see what really happens.

Finally, prepare a house made mayonnaise. Please do not buy the cheap super light one from the supermarket. Get the yolk of an egg, so very good dijon mustard (same quantity as the yolk) and mix together. Then add some canola oil, little by little. Finally some white pepper, salt and a tiny bit of lemon juice. The consistency is the key! It has to be thick!

Enjoy!

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Trout salad

Since my last post was about trout, i thought of adding another recipe with trout. This time, we’re going to use smoked trout, instead of fresh trout. Very easy to find in supermarkets in the US, i highly recommend the smoked trout from Whole Foods.

Buy some frisee salad and keep the yellow part. Do whatever you want with the green part. Cut the trout in medium pieces, and throw it in a salad bowl. Add the yellow part of the frisee, some shallots, some tarragon, and some chervil. Salt, pepper, blablablabla…

For the dressing, use the yolk of a hard boiled egg, the zest of one lemon, and mix them together with some mustard. Add some oil, mixing as you pour it to the mix.

There you go – all done. It’s actually delicious and so simple!

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Trout with capers and green beans

This is another classic French dish, but it works very well in the US, since you can get very easily some very good quality trout. I bought some at whole foods, and it worked out beautifully. It is very simple to make, and will impress your guests for sure while delight them when they eat it :).

In some salted boiling water, throw the green beans, some pepper, and thyme. After 4-5 minutes, once the beans are cooked but still crunchy, remove from the heat and keep warm.

Ask your fishmongers to prepare the trout “butterfly” style. In other words, the fish becomes flat, one side with the skin and the other with the meat. Put some butter in a very hot pan, and once melt, put the fish, skin side down. Let it cook on that side until the very top is still pink but the inside seems cooked. Remove from the fish from the pan, throw more butter in it. Add some capers, lemon juice. Let it cooked for a minute, then add the beans and let it cooked for another minute.

To finish, put the fish on a plate, skin side down, and lay over it some beans, capers and the juice from the pan.

Enjoy!