Posts tagged ‘Paris’

January 18, 2012

L’attirail en Paris

Remember my first visit to Paris?

No? Or you just “tuned in”? Check out my 1st Paris experience HERE.

Since I hope to visit Paris again this year, I was in touch with an old acquaintance to find out where I had eaten my first confit de canard. AND I got the address! If you go to Paris, and you would like to eat simple French food, or you’re on a budget, or you don’t feel like a fancy restaurant but do apreciate good food and you don’t mind a dark, cozy “underground” atmosphere, you’ll love this place as much as I did. It’s not next to all the big tourist-sites, but it’s worth the metroride. Unfortunately when I was there there was no live music, nor can I find an agenda online, but they have regular performances (with free entrance!) , including Gipsy music, as you know my favourite music.

If you manage to pass by, let me know what you think of the walls! Oh yeah and a final tip; Drink a glass of red house wine. No beer.

L'attirail Paris

L'attirail Paris

L’ATTIRAIL is open every day from 10 ’til 2 and is situated in the 3rd Arrondissement (Metrostop Arts et Métiers, close to the crossing Rue Au Maire and Rue Volta.). The address is; 9 Rue au Maire , 75003 Paris.

July 15, 2011

Ratatouille + recipe

I hate rats.. (Food is fuel. You get picky about what you put in the tank, your engine is gonna die. Now shut up and eat your garbage.) Gross! But still…Remy the Rat is my hero! He’d be my friend!

Fall instead of summer? Babysitting? Little causin over? Like food? Or animations? Here’s my new favourite one;
Remy is a young rat in the French countryside who arrives in Paris, only to find out that his cooking idol is dead. When he makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant’s new garbage boy, the culinary and personal adventures begin despite Remy’s family’s skepticism and the rat-hating world of humans.

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I wish I could taste the flavours and smell the smells of this movie..

Well I can! (And so can you..ha!) Let’s get to work ’cause here’s Remy’s original ratatouille recipe!


Remy’s Ratatouille

For the Piperade (bottom layer):

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 3 tomatoes (about 12 ounces total weight), peeled, seeded and finely diced, juices reserved 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt

For the Vegetables:

  • 1 medium zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 1/16-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 Japanese eggplant (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 yellow (summer) squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Assorted fresh herbs (such as thyme and chervil)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • To make the piperade, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place pepper halves on the baking sheet, cut side down. Roast until the skins loosen, about 15 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees.
  • Peel the peppers and discard the skins. Finely chop the peppers; set aside.
  • In medium skillet over low heat, combine oil, garlic and onion and saute until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until very soft and little liquid remains, about 10 minutes. Do not brown.
  • Add the peppers and simmer to soften them. Discard the herbs, then season to taste with salt. Reserve a tablespoon of the mixture, then spread the remainder over the bottom of an 8-inch oven-proof skillet.
  • To prepare the vegetables, you will arrange the sliced zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes over the piperade in the skillet.
  • Begin by arranging 8 alternating slices of vegetables down the center, overlapping them so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. This will be the center of the spiral. Around the center strip, overlap the vegetables in a close spiral that lets slices mound slightly toward center. All vegetables may not be needed. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix the garlic, oil and thyme, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle this over vegetables.
  • Cover the skillet with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until the vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.)
  • If there is excess liquid in pan, place it over medium heat on stove until reduced. (At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve cold or reheat in 350-degree oven until warm.)
  • To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together the reserved piperade, oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • To serve, heat the broiler and place skillet under it until lightly browned. Slice in quarters and lift very carefully onto plate with an offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees as you set the food down, gently fanning the food into fan shape.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette around plate. Serves 4.


 Bon Appétit!

p.s.: if you’re brave enough to try the recipe, please post us a pic!



(thx Pixar & Disney for the material I used here without asking you for permission)

June 28, 2011

The Eiffel tower versus confit de canard & Eau-de-vie…

I do find a pretty building pretty, but I don’t find the building much more impressive live than on a pic.

I can appreciate art or architecture, but I don’t want to spend a vacation or citytrip studying it. Call me ignorant, dumb or crazy, but I don’t FEEL beautiful paintings. Don’t get tears in my eyes or feel shivers when I experience art that can make others ecstatic. I do/can feel incredibly happy when I taste new flavours, when I eat honest food or when I drink a good glass of alcohol….

I would like to travel the world.
(Well, who wouldn’t? )
But I would like to travel the world to taste local food.
That the locals eat.
To taste REAL flavours,
to find food that hasn’t been produced in a factory,
or for tourists.

The Eiffel tower didn’t mean more to me when I saw it live for the first time. I liked Paris, but I didn’t love it as I heard other people do. I got curious to find out if those croissants and baguettes are really much better than the ones I know. Curious if the wine tastes better than the French wine sold abroad…

Since my first visit to Paris was short and I had some obligations, I went there without expectations and without wishes of what I HAD to see. I just really wanted to have some baguettes with cheese, a good glass of wine and a croissant. Thanks to this I saw much more than I thought I would and I can say I liked Paris and I would love to go back. At the end I did see some pretty buildings and beautiful architecture (even made pics!), but my culinary experiences are a much better memory to me.

The brie was the best I ever had, the baguettes were good bread and I drank some lovely red Bordeaux, haven’t tried white. And yes, a drinkable bottle of French wine is definitely cheaper and better than outside France. I still think of the heavenly confit de canard I had. The side-dishes were totally plain and could be literally called side-dishes, but the duck Oh my…! Greasy, but not too.. flavorous… hmmm… That piece of duck MADE my first trip to Paris. Together with the Eau-de-vie-de-poire-Wiliams I had. THAT just tasted magical and YES, was absolutely worth the € 10,-!  

Also I was told I should try a crème brûlée and I did. The bistro I ate at was pretty cheap and not very luxurious and I found the crème brûlée dissapointing. I will give it another try and would like to taste a homemade one, but so far I find crème caramel, flan, crema Catalana or the Italian pannacota or  Croatian rozata much more impressive, even though they are slightly different.

What is YOUR Paris-experience? Do you like Paris? What is it that attracts you-or not? And did you have a culinary experience en Paris?