Highlights of my experience at the market this morning:
After leaving the bakery, I walked down the quai to the market. I passed the booksellers who open their stands by the side of the river and spied two bright red 1997 Michelin guides blaring out from the stacks of books that one book seller had piled in the lock box, he was just setting up. I wondered if that would still be useful. Guess not. Restaurants change, bloom and fade, their life span is on average not so long, it seems. If someone had a good meal 5 years ago at a restaurant, there’s no guarantee that it’s still going to be good now. Association with any number of Michelin stars could possibly be a curse, in my opinion. It’s certainly a challenge that forces a test on the fortitude of everything a chef has created, for a restaurant. I get this impression from what I've been reading about people being dissapointed lately.
Rain rain go away!!
I reached the market and decided to close my umbrella, although it was still drizzling. It’s a thing of mine. I have seen couples with enormous wide load child transport vehicles that they conveniently use to load their purchases on, completely blocking all pedestrian movement at this market. Stampedes are certainly possible on the Quai St. Antoine, things must keep circulating, or everything, including the commerce, stops. We’ve always said – When WE have a baby… Second worse are umbrella promenaders. The people who stroll through the crowded market poking every other person’s eye out with an their umbrella. What’s up with that? Donc, close umbrella, unless it’s pouring.
The first place I went was my fish monger, looking for poulpe. We eat fish around once a week, sometimes two. I had some really lovely poulpe (octopus) a couple of weeks ago, which I cooked according to Joel Robuchon’s cooking show’s recipe, a la greque
and served with aperetif. Simmered with a packet of coriander seeds. I wanted to try it again. Unfortunately, they only had calamari. So I bought 6 small ones. That should make a nice appetizer or supper, stuffed some time this week. I can throw them in the freezer until I’m ready to use them.
I asked him what I might cook whole. I’m in the mood to stuff a fish. He suggested two fish we have eaten in the past two weeks, and I wanted something different. I was torn between the lake trout from the alps and the line fished sea bass. The trout are easy whole cookers. I finally decided on the sea bass. It’s rare to find it line fished at a price lower than 25 Euros a kilo. I didn’t want it filleted, but he removed the scales and gutted it for me. I want to see about stuffing it. I can fillet it at home, if I do decide not to cook it whole, after all.
The chevre lady who brings the pickings from her garden had toupinambour. I took a picture, because it reminded me of the time I was so happy to buy it that one time. Never ever again. But I do still think they’re pretty.
I asked her if she had any chickory. This is something that only comes really fresh from people’s gardens. Only recently I have been thinking hard about the winter salads, after reading the salad class. Not long ago, we had a bunch of chickory, and I wilted it with garlic to serve with sautéed pork slices. It was SOOOO good. I felt like I was in the middle ages. She said that now at this time I might find some, but it would already be old She said it’s a winter salad and can only be found fresh in winter. There’s always next year…
A chef had left his kitchen to pick up apples.
The cheese lady where I get my bleu d’auvergne sometimes has Diots de Savoie. I’m thinking of making a vegetable soup. Diots are a very subtly seasoned and mild sausage that harmonize exquisitely with mild soups. She didn’t have any left. Oh well, I can get them elsewhere, or substitute them for my butchers godiva. I did get 6 eggs, a St. Marcellin, and my slice of bleu.
Soup. Rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, navets (English name for this vegetable escapes me at the moment), celery root, and my weekly bouquet. Tarragon, Dill, Coriander, Chives, Chèvrefeuille, Parsley. I thought it was beautiful and wished I’d photographed him gathering the bunch together and wrapping it like flowers.
Lastly, M. Coche has expanded his gamme of butters, now filling their decorative moulds with butter made in style Maitre ’d, which is butter with parsley, shallots, garlic, and salt. He says it goes well with beef. I’m thinking of the fish. He offered me a draget (sugar coated almond) to celebrate the baptism of his son, who helps him on weekends at the market. He looks to be about 13 years old, a bright, beautiful child.
Small seasoned aperetif cheeses (with walnuts, and chives).
Crudités du Marché with evoo, gros sel, and a slice of lemon.
Pain au Champs.
Cheese plate. We added a liitle Brebis - Berger de Dombes, and some Beaufort.
Wine – 1999 Chateau de Crémat – Bellet (from the region of Nice Alpes Maritime, a wine made with semillon grapes)
Edited by bleudauvergne, 17 April 2004 - 06:29 AM.