We Pisces know that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb but surely in Paris there could be a better way to welcome spring than with hail and near-snow?
A dinner party. Some French friends, some American, and food that brings hope of sunny days.
What I miss is the glory of flipping through food magazines and newspaper sections for inspiration. What do I do instead? Click on Epicurious links which I don't enjoy as much, but which led me to some fantastic recipes.
We started with what's pictured here: Goat Cheese Crostini with Blood Orange Black Pepper Marmalade - the tart sweet spiciness of the marmalade was the perfect way to wake us up to the potential of spring, albeit with wintry citrus. The recipe was written by Amelia Saltsman, whose recipes I am always moved by when she's interviewed on the Good Food Market Report (she wrote a cookbook about this market).
Also inspired by Good Food, was Russ Parson's suggestion for making a Spring Potato Chowder - new potatoes (12 euros a kilo!), green garlic (the best I could do was green onions), and topped with a bit of vinegar, olive oil and pecorino - one guest said, "I know this might not be a compliment to you, but it tastes like bacon!"
To work on my goal of roasting whole fish, I succeeded in ordering a 4kilo bar de ligne (line-caught sea bass) for a recipe for Roasted Fish with Coriander and Vinegar Sauce. Liam and I worked together to stuff it with roasted almonds, lemon slices and coriander and then laid it out on a bed of bay leaves and set to roast for the good part of an hour. Topped with the vinegar sauce, it was pretty remarkable - tangy without being too, well, vinegar-y, and with all this great roasted crunch from the stuffing.
Bienvenue Printemps! I shouted with the dessert, welcoming spring with strawberries. whipped cream and boulangerie-made meringues - an idea that I got from the New York Times - so, perhaps, I'm still doing my 'flipping through the pages' anyway...