Pork loin schnitzel with creamy mushroom sauce

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So, I went to Vienna a couple of weeks ago! I’ve been meaning to post a few photos, because it’s been forever since I’ve added anything to the travel section of this blog, but I just can’t seem to focus enough to actually get it done. Maybe I should just throw a few photos up at random? Anyway, one of my favorite parts of the trip was all the amazing food we ate. The escalope viennoise, or wienerschnitzel gets its name from Vienna (Wien in German), and we ate plenty of it, along with spicy pork ribs, spaetzle-like pasta, lots of stewed meats and sausages (and maybe some amazing Indian food… Oops!). I let Jé do the grocery shopping for the week, and he came home with over 1 kilo of pork tenderloin. He does love his pork! Uninspired on Saturday and alone in the kitchen, I spontaneously decided to make schnitzel as a gustative souvenir of our recent trip. I had previously made schnitzel with chicken and flour, and this time used pork loin and a combo of panko bread crumbs and flour… It was so crispy and delicious, even heated up in the broiler later that night!! Continue reading

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Poulet Vallée d’Auge (roast chicken with apples)

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Normandy is a region known for several things: cows and amazing farm-fresh butter and cream, beautiful cliff-lined coasts, the D-day beaches, Camembert, Livarot, Neufchâtel and Pont l’Evêque cheese, and of course, all things apple: Calvados (an apple Brandy made in the sub-region of the same name), hard cider and Pommeau (an apple liqueur), to name a few. Imagine a recipe that combines several of these gems into one succulent dish and you’ve got the Poulet Vallée d’Auge, which just means chicken from Vallée d’Auge, a small sub-region in Lower Normandy. It’s just as rich as you might expect, but the tart and sweet apples cut right through all of that richness, bringing balance and amazing sweet and savory notes.

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UPDATED! Green bean casserole, done right

I made this dish again this year, and luckily was able to take some better photos. Enjoy!
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While I grew up eating my Mom’s green bean casserole (and loved it!), made with canned this and canned that, I knew deep down that it could be better. I also secretly feared presenting something so processed to my French beau. I also couldn’t find fried onions or cream of mushroom soup anywhere. So, I made from-scratch green bean casserole, and it was divine. This was nearly one year ago, and in honor of the looming Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d post about it today.

I got into cooking rather recently. Before moving to France six years ago (6!), aside from grilled cheese, pasta and various ready-made just-add-this-or-that dishes, I didn’t do much of anything in the kitchen, aside from eating, of course. When I moved here, I discovered so many things: rabbit, real home-made sauces and vinaigrettes, fresh market vegetables cooked just so, bread, lamb, and so on and so forth. I spent the first few years quietly observing, and finally was able to put what I’d absorbed into action once I was “out on my own,” meaning done being a nanny and actually living a normal life and cooking myself, and not for the kids. The real turning point was meeting my boyfriend. Continue reading