NancysTravels

Follow my travels, cooking, running and adventures

Cooking Class In Paris

Much of this Paris sojourn is centered around food. On all of my walks around the city I’m consumed by the sights, sounds and smells of the food around me. As well as eating, I wanted to learn more about preparation while I’m here. Taking a cooking class in Paris is the absolute best way to accomplish this.

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I’ve never known how to deconstruct and debone a chicken, but always wanted to learn. A very fine, English-speaking, cooking school here in Paris wanted to teach me just that. La Cuisine Paris offers many different types of classes and tours. Their poultry technical class was just what I was looking for.

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Presented with my very own raw chicken, I proceeded – with much assistance from Chef Julie – to disassemble it into it’s parts. The bones were used to make a chicken stock that would later become our French Onion Soup. (Gumby and Pokey approved)

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The chicken breasts, wrestled from the bone, would be filled with a savory mushroom/basil/pinenut stuffing, seared and then baked to perfection.

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Dessert was not forgotten – this is Paris after all – we learned the secrets of making a decadent salted caramel sauce. Spoiler alert: expect jars for Christmas!

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Fromage Fort

I revisited one of my favorite food items today…fromage fort. I have concocted this in the past, but have let it sort of fall by the wayside in recent years.

I was walking through the local market this afternoon looking for some lunch when I stumbled upon a vendor with a huge vat of this amazing stuff. I didn’t get a picture of it…as usual I was so excited about the food I forgot to document it.

But I bought a (relatively) small amount to bring home and enjoy with some baguette.

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Being the cheese freak that I am, this is just heaven on a baguette.

Every fromage fort is different. This one had quite a bite to it.

Here is the basic recipe I’ve used when I’ve made it in the past. Truly any kind of cheese can be used and it’s a great way to use up those last bits of whatever kind you may have left in the fridge. A varied selection works best.

        Fromage Fort

1/2 lb. (3 or 4 kinds) leftover cheese
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup white wine, or as much is needed
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbls. chopped fresh herbs (optional)

With a paring knife, remove rinds from the cheese.  In a food processor, combine the cheese and garlic.  Pulse the mixture until it is coarse.  Add the wine, salt and pepper and work until the mixture is smooth.  Work in the fresh herbs, if using.  Refrigerate until serving.  Serve on toast or crackers.

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Paris Par Cuisine – Part 1

A big part of my visit to Paris is about the food. I’m sort of a foodie freak anyway, and a lot of the traditional French foods are tops on my list. In no particular order here are some of them:

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Un croissant. Flaky, buttery, slightly crispy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth on the inside. Is there anything more French than a croissant?

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 Soupe à l’oignon gratinée. Warm, savory and topped with croutons and melted cheese. If they try to serve it to you any other way, be disappointed. Goes perfectly with une verre de vin rouge.

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Un crepe avec jambon et fromage. Ham and and melted cheese folded inside a thin pancake. The perfect takeaway lunch.

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Foie gras. Ok, if you think about it, you probably don’t want to eat it. Foie gras is the liver of a fattened duck (or goose). It tastes incredibly silky and smooth. This particular rendition paired it with homemade tagliatelle and black truffles in a cream sauce. The heartburn was worth it.

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Les fromages. Last, but CERTAINLY not least. Fromage in any form is my downfall but the French elevate cheese to new levels. No pasteurization and the stinkier the better. I’m in heaven!

Ok, none of these could be considered health food, but…..

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