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Le Bar à Huîtres


orangewasabi
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We had some terrific grilled Dublin Bay prawns on the English menu or Langoustines on the French menu at Le Bar à Huîtres last week.

They were simply grilled with spices and accompanied by white rice.

The white rice was cooked with spices also though, and it was really really really good.

Is there a traditional rice spice that goes with this preparation? Anyone know what made the rice taste so good?

I'm never going to get that quality of langostines at home but I might be able to recreate the rice.

k!

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We had some terrific grilled Dublin Bay prawns on the English menu or Langoustines on the French menu at Le Bar à Huîtres last week.

They were simply grilled with spices and accompanied by white rice.

The white rice was cooked with spices also though, and it was really really really good.

Is there a traditional rice spice that goes with this preparation?  Anyone know what made the rice taste so good?

I'm never going to get that quality of langostines at home but I might be able to recreate the rice.

What color was that rice? Yellow? Did the smell and taste remind you of anything particular? It might have been Spigol, a commercial mix of saffron, paprika and a few other spices used for rice dishes and paella.

Which Bar à Huîtres did you go to? The one in Montparnasse or the one in St-Germain?

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the rice was white ( which is why the flavour was a surprise) so not saffron or paprika or anything that gave colouring

the seasoning was green - as in, there were some green bits in there that looked a bit like Bay leaves. if it was just Bay leaves though, it was some mighty magic Bay strain.

it was at the St Germain location

k!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, I'm back with news straight from the horse's mouth. The horse being in this case a waiter from Le Bar à Huîtres Saint-Germain.

He very kindly told me it was just plain white rice cooked with bay leaf and thyme. He added that if you want it to be even tastier, you should add a bit of saffron.

Voilà! Now if you want my advice as a chef, I always cook rice with a bay leaf (absorption method, i.e. put rice in saucepan, add water up to twice the height of the rice layer, or a bit less if your lid is tight-fitting. Sometimes I add butter, sometimes not. Sometimes I use half a stock cube but the bay really makes it superflous since it gives the rice a touch of umami taste that it doesn't have naturally. Bay is there basically for the umami. The only extra ingredient in the Bar à Huîtres recipe seems to be the thyme, which will add a herby, aromatic taste.

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Hello, I'm back with news straight from the horse's mouth. The horse being in this case a waiter from Le Bar à Huîtres Saint-Germain.

He very kindly told me it was just plain white rice cooked with bay leaf and thyme. He added that if you want it to be even tastier, you should add a bit of saffron.

Voilà! Now if you want my advice as a chef, I always cook rice with a bay leaf (absorption method, i.e. put rice in saucepan, add water up to twice the height of the rice layer, or a bit less if your lid is tight-fitting. Sometimes I add butter, sometimes not. Sometimes I use half a stock cube but the bay really makes it superflous since it gives the rice a touch of umami taste that it doesn't have naturally. Bay is there basically for the umami. The only extra ingredient in the Bar à Huîtres recipe seems to be the thyme, which will add a herby, aromatic taste.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Really, I do so appreciate it you finding out -- and your advice. Did you have good oysters while you were there?

I am going to have to find the best Bay leaves my city has on offer. I'm sure that's part of the magic.

k!

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THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

Really, I do so appreciate it you finding out -- and your advice. 

Yes, thank you, I have never heard of putting bay leaves in rice and will definitely give it a try soon.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

Really, I do so appreciate it you finding out -- and your advice.   Did you have good oysters while you were there?

I am going to have to find the best Bay leaves my city has on offer.  I'm sure that's part of the magic.

I live relatively close to that restaurant and as I was passing by last night, after having had couscous at a completely different place, I saw a waiter who was about to lift a large seafood platter from the oyster counter. I decided to ask him before he took the platter inside the restaurant. As is usually the case in restaurants, he was very nice and helpful about it. I didn't eat at the place.

Bay leaf in rice is magic. I'm glad you have the trick now. Let us know about the results!

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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Yes, thank you, I have never heard of putting bay leaves in rice and will definitely give it a try soon.

It does work wonders. I sort of found it out myself, though I got the idea from a recipe by Claude Peyrot. Basically it was rice cooked with lardons, onions, bay leaf, sultanas and pine nuts. He used that to stuff a Guinea fowl. I found that it gave the best results with Thai jasmine rice, but I also identified the element that really made the difference: it was the bay leaf. Streamlining the recipe to that single element, I realized it was a great idea.

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Yes, thank you, I have never heard of putting bay leaves in rice and will definitely give it a try soon.

It does work wonders. I sort of found it out myself, though I got the idea from a recipe by Claude Peyrot. Basically it was rice cooked with lardons, onions, bay leaf, sultanas and pine nuts. He used that to stuff a Guinea fowl. I found that it gave the best results with Thai jasmine rice, but I also identified the element that really made the difference: it was the bay leaf. Streamlining the recipe to that single element, I realized it was a great idea.

Adding my thanks for this simple but great sounding truc!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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He very kindly told me it was just plain white rice cooked with bay leaf and thyme. He added that if you want it to be even tastier, you should add a bit of saffron.

Interesting. We've been using a recipe for "perfect rice" which came from a source now long-forgotten but in which Epicurious suggests using bay and thyme but our daughter insists was originally written to include parsley as well, thus making a bouquet garni.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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