Recently I read Elizabeth Bard's memoir Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes with special interest: Ms. Bard, an American like myself, also married a Frenchman. But unlike me, she decides to leave her homeland behind and forge a new life with her husband in Paris. (We have the inverse situation, my husband decided to leave Paris, where he was born and raised, and make his home in California here with me.)
I only have a small glimpse of what life could be like living in Paris since whenever we visit the city we spend up to a month at my in-laws' tiny cramped apartment there. Obviously this is not even close to actually living day-in day-out in Paris!
Nevertheless, I found myself having many uh-huh, nodding-my-head-in-vigorous-agreement moments throughout the reading of this book. Oh boy, could I ever relate to the author's first awkward meeting of her future husband's French family and friends. Like her, when I met my French boyfriend’s family and friends for the first time, the rapid-fire French spoken by those around me left me feeling overwhelmed too. And shell-shocked. I knew very little, if any French. I found myself smiling and gesturing a lot.
Although I've taken a few French courses since then, to this day I still cannot easily converse in French with my husband's family, but we make do with our Franglish. And gesturing helps, a lot.
I have been in a huge rut when it comes to cooking so I've really enjoyed trying out some of her recipes. So far I've made 4 or 5 dishes. My husband's favorites were the braised beef with thyme and the Trout with Cherry Tomatoes. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the braised beef dish but I did manage snap a picture of the Trout with the haricot verts.
It was quick and easy to make AND very healthy which is a plus since we are on a special needs diet. It was delicious and I'm usually not a huge fan of seafood. The trout was sublimely tender, flaky and devoid of any strong fish smell. I also plan to make the sardine recipe later this week which I am sure my husband will love.
Trout with Cherry Tomatoes Baked in Foil Recipe: From Lunch in Paris
2 whole trout, 8 oz each, gutted and rinsed
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground mixed peppercorns
1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
A drizzle of best-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
Lemon wedges to serve
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Rinse the fish and lay each one on a separate piece of aluminum foil (you'll need to seeal the edges later, so leave a good 4 inches of foil on each end of the fish). Sprinkle a bit of sea salt and a grind of mixed peppercorns into the cavity.
Scatter the tomatoes around the fish. Season with more salt and pepper, a good drizzle of olive oil, and the dill.
Cover each fish with a second length of foil and carefully fold the edges together to seal them into a neat little pouch. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Your papillotes should puff with steam.
Carefully pierce each papillote with a knife to release the steam. Serve each with a lemon wedge. Wild rice or quinoa is a nice side.
Yield: Serves 2
As a member of the From Left to Write virtual book club, I received a complimentary book of A Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes. This post was inspired from the memoir. All views expressed are my own.