36 hours in Paris: three croissants, two Steak Frites, a Croque-Madame, four macarons, multiple Café au laits, a Crème Brulee, countless glasses of champagne and a few very fond memories made!
I recently returned from a whirlwind trip in Europe – Italy for 4.5 days and Paris for less than 2 – and of course most of my favorite moments revolved around the delectable food and drinks I enjoyed. I’ll focus on Paris this time around because let’s be honest, it is, by far, my favorite city EVER. Luckily during previous trips, I had done all of the “must- see” tourist items so instead of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Champs Elysees – this time I could just wonder the beautiful markets, eat until my heart’s content and spend time with my lovely (and lucky) friend Kudazayi, who now lives there.
We wasted no time and hit the ground running – as she had four perfectly plump, soft and gorgeous, gourmet-flavored macaroons for me upon arrival at the airport. Normally a loyalist to well-known, Laduree, my local, expert friend brought me Pierre Herme, which is said to be even better. With my first bite of the “rose” flavor, any doubts I may have had were erased. Each bite was fluffy yet flavorful, soft yet crunchy at the same time – absolutely magnifique! If you’ve ever tried to make macaroons at home, you know this is no small feat – in fact, the only ones I’ve ever had success with were the ones made during our own Macaron Workshop hands-on class here at The Chopping Block (I highly, recommend it).
It’s hard to remember exactly what came next on the eating itinerary as my whirlwind tour was also champagne fueled. Normally I’m a Prosecco fan but “when in Rome” (or in France, for this particular case), I indulged in the “still expensive but not quite as expensive as it normally is in other countries” – sparkling wine of France – the almighty, Champagne. I had always wondered the differences between the two and had studied up a bit before my trip (thanks to this awesome blog). Turns out, I’m a fan of pretty much anything they put in front of me in France!
Steak frites, the French-er, fancier version of ‘steak and potatoes’ is also a historically French dish and is just as simple as it sounds – steak (usually the ribeye part) and fries and usually a petite salad – all brought together by a pan sauce (often a hollandaise or béarnaise). I felt particularly proud of myself this trip as I now know how to make my own hollandaise and béarnaise sauces (thanks to our Culinary Boot Camp) and left inspired to recreate this simple yet decadent dish at home. I’ve been further motivated by a recent read Mastering the Art of French Eating where the author dives deep into the history of French food, dedicating a chapter each to some of its most famous delicacies; including, of course Steak Frites.
In hopes this post has encouraged some of my fellow Francophiles, I highly suggest attending our Julia Child French cooking class. It will give you a little taste of the “city of light” until the next time you can get over there and enjoy it in person. Au Revoir!