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Susie graciously permits me to do the cooking while we are there, and this time, I ventured out into culinary regions I had not before explored. I cooked rabbit, I cooked quail I cooked coquilles St. Jacques, which I bought in the shell, complete with that orange thing that attaches to the white meat. I cooked Dorade Royale, a lovely fish, and pork cutlets and paupiettes provencale, and a fish neither Susie nor I could identify. I did a Jacques Pepin endives recipe, carmelized some courgettes [zucchini], and of course opened a great many bottles of wine. All of the food was purchased at the open air market half a block from our home, which sets up on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in the Place Maubert.
For those of you who like rabbit, here is the recipe, as best I remember it. This is for two people. Adjust accordingly for more. Start with half a rabbit, cut up into manageable pieces [I always ask the man at the game booth to remove the head – I get a little queasy when Thumper turns his big blue eyes on me]. Salt and pepper the pieces. Now take some hazelnuts – maybe a bit less than 4 ounces – and chop them finely in one of those gadgets that you pound on, with blades that chop anything up into very little pieces. Mix into the chopped nuts about three or four tablespoons of Five Spices [get this at an oriental food store] and a tablespoon of curry powder. Add some salt and pepper. Beat one egg, and dip the rabbit pieces in the egg before coating them with the hazelnut and spices mixture. Then pan fry at high heat with plenty of butter. That is all there is to it. The rabbit should be really browned on the outside, but not overdone inside. I always drink red wine, but a full bodied white will do nicely with rabbit. Some carmelized leeks or courgettes, and maybe some little potatoes boiled, make for a very simple but lovely meal.