This evening will be our ninth dinner in Paris. Our first evening, we were so blasted from the trip [old folks don't do so well losing a night's sleep] that we simply stumbled over to the Café Le Metro and ordered a hamburger [for Susie] and a cheeseburger [for me.] The table of Americans next to us sent their cheeseburgers back because one could see a hint of red in their innards. The patron of the café, who took our order, did not believe us when we said we wanted our burgers bleu -- which is French for very rare. He double checked to make sure we knew what we were ordering.
The next day was market day, and I bought enough food for three dinners -- Coquilles St. Jacques the first night, quail the second night, and my signature cuisses de canards the third night. For the duck, I mandolin two sweet onions, then spread oriental five spices on the skin side of the cuisses, sear them until the skin sides are browned, reserve and push the onions around in the pan to cover them with duck fat, replace the cuisses skin side up and put the frying pan [which has a removable handle] in a very slow oven -- 275 degrees Fahrenheit [135 Centigrade] for two hours. While they were cooking, I halved a large number of cherry tomatoes, chopped a lot of garlic, and chopped a good deal of fresh Basil, all of which, when sautéed, results in a delicious side dish.
The next night we went to our favorite restaurant, Rotisserie du Beaujolais, where Susie had a wild pigeon [Palombe] and I had magret de canard which was, to be brutally honest, not nearly as good as mine.
Since then, I have cooked skate and paupiettes Provencale. Skate is a scary looking fish with a skin that could serve quite nicely as a bulletproof vest, but broiled in the oven with capers and butter, it turns out to be meaty and delicious. The Paupiettes are actually rather cheaty, I feel, because they come ready made from the butcher shop, but they are so good that Susie forgives me the lapse into prepared food.
After the concert at the Cluny, we tried an Italian restaurant just across a side street from the museum. My lasagna Bolognese was delicious, but Susie's gambas were overdone, so I am not sure we shall return. This evening, I am making Dorade Royale fillets, with courgettes [zucchini, but it sounds much better in French] and steamed spinach. A very simple supper.
Tomorrow night, I shall stuff a coquelet with a mixture of chopped sweet onion, prunes, and hazelnuts.
All in all, a pretty good start to our Paris stay.