Spiced lamb burgers with tzatziki and slaw

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The best thing ever happened recently. I know I’ve talked on here about losing my need for all things American in the kitchen and embracing what I can find here in France, and learning to make things that I still craved from scratch. But sometimes, I still get really excited when I can easily find a little slice of home. Hence the best thing ever: Marks and Spencer Food opened right next to my work! OK, so I know that M&S is British and not American, but I still find versions of my childhood comfort foods (good pre-packaged cheesecake and other sweets) as well as other, more adult and grown up flavors like curry sauces and chutneys and OMG: ground lamb! I’ve set foot in the store two or three times so far, and seeing this lamb mince was definitely the most exciting moment by far (even more so than the discovery of cheesecake!). I snatched it up without hesitating, and grabbed a package of Indian naan bread as well, set on the idea of making lamb burgers over the weekend. Continue reading

Grilled ribeye and leftovers: fennel, bell pepper and orange salad with grilled ribeye and sesame seeds

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I’m so ready for Spring! It was here, all warm and full of sunshine, and then it went away. Luckily for me, I managed to squeeze in the year’s first BBQ sometime in between rays of sunshine and rainclouds. I made something that clearly doesn’t merit a recipe, because it involved only cutting my bell pepper and zucchini in half, drizzling the veggies and my ribeye with olive oil, adding a generous helping of sea salt and a little bit of piment d’Espelette, and throwing it all on the grill. Easy, peasy, delicious. I was mmm-ing all through the meal, honestly one of the best I’ve had in a while. It hit the spot, and made me crave Spring (and even Summer) that much more. And guess what else makes you wish that winter was finally over? A fabulous, light, crunchy, salty-sweet salad made with leftover grilled ribeye steak!

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Quick tuna melts with fennel

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So, the strangest thing happened the other day. I was overcome with a sudden and uncontrollable urge to eat a tuna melt. I don’t think I ever ordered/made/ate tuna melts when I lived in America, and it’s certainly not one of the things that I miss about the US. I was grabbing a sandwich at the local chain “Paul,” when the guy in front of me asked them to heat his ham and cheese sandwich up. Since they serve quiche and pizza and stuff, they have a little Salamander-like broiler that is perfect for toasting sandwiches – something I never would have thought of asking! Inspired by the guy in front of me, I ordered the same thing. When it was my turn to pay, the cashier chatted me up about broiling sandwiches. She told me that she does the same thing, but that the only sandwich they don’t heat up is the tuna salad, although sometimes clients asked them to. She thought it sounded disgusting. I didn’t. The next day we just happened to have a nice baguette lying around, and some fresh, crisp fennel, and of course a can of tuna in the cupboard. I warned Jérôme that I was about to make him an American classic that, let’s face it, doesn’t sound very appetizing, and got to work. Continue reading

Traveling through food…

Travel is my number one passion. Either that, or food. Or maybe both. Or perhaps traveling and getting to experience what’s new and different in any given place. That’s what I love.

Food is often the star of my vacation. The first thing I do when I book a trip is not search for the best museums or historical monuments, but delve into the culinary culture of my destination. Germany? What does it have to offer other than the typical wurst and schnitzel. The Czech Republic? Goulash, yeah, but what else? Mexico? Guacamole of course, but not just that.

As I prepare for a trip this week to Macedonia, a raw country laden with history, and later to Slovenia, I’m dreaming first of all the photos I’ll be able to take, second of getting paid to go there, and third of what kinds of Meditteranean-meets-Eastern-Europe fair I’ll be able to find there. I hear they have baklava, and lots of meaty, hearty dishes. Sounds good to me. Continue reading