11/29/2005

Goat cheese in all its glory

What an excellent way to get through a long working day (and the beginning of the work week for moi) than going out to lunch with my colleague.

Yes, we start work on Tuesdays. Perhaps this sounds like a fabulous way to start off the week, no dreaded, ugly Monday mornings. Yes and No. While Mondays feel like a real steal, Tuesdays have simply become Monday's problems topped with an extra helping of Tuesday morning's. Translation: double the workloads come Tuesday 9 am.

We run an insurance agency (well, two!) and the calls and drop-bys are nonstop on Tuesdays. A full 8 hour day leaves us all (there are three of us) feeling more than just hagarded and out of sorts.

One way we've found to brighten up the morning is taking ourselves out to lunch. Having a nice meal in a cozy bistro meal in downtown Niort releives the morning's pressure. Usually, we brown bag it, bringing leftovers from last night's meal or scrounging up something from leftovers of yore.

Occassionally, my 40-something-year-old colleague brings a frozen cheeseburger, store bought of course. While for most of you Americans this might not sound very eventful but you must understand that it is not considered adult food in France! The best part, I must add, is that she eats it like a Frenchwoman would, on a plate with a knife and fork, cutting it like it were a steak! Actually, she removes the top of the bun and eats it like a roll...

Sorry for the tangent, now back to lunch out. Last week we chose a little pizzaria. My colleague savored a pizza with mozzarella, chicken and tomatoes. I went for the veggie lovers delight: capers, peppers and artichokes. Lots of cheese (bien sure!)

Fabulous, absolutely! Indigestion all afternoon? Definitely!!

This week, we decided for my personal favorite, Graine de Moutarde, a small, one-lady run restaurant where soups are high on the menu (almost non-existant in France today!) and seasonal ingredients reign.

Today the first course choices were: chick pea soup or batter-dipped, fried goat cheese salad. main course: Garbure: a vegetable stew with a leg of confit de canard (slow cooked duck).

I snapped a shot of the salad under a laughing colleague's eyes, unbeknownst to the chef herself. Taking pictures of food in France is rare, even at the restaurant so I keep my clandestine practices, well, clandestine. Adds to the fun of it all.

Salad consisted of: fired goat cheese, crisp head lettuce, slices of green pepper, lardons & homemade croutons. Served with wholegrain, sesame & poppyseed bread. Wow. (I'll have to post an Anne's translation recipe later...)

I sampled the duck but couldn't snap a photo... I couldn't finish it off (a real sin in French ettiquette). It was deliciously, fall-off-the-bone tender. It gave me a real desire to cook some duck at home.

Well, not tonight you know. It's Tuesday night. Tuesday night is pasta night. I mean after a lunch like that and a double-duty day at work, who could care even a pinch about cooking up something original? :-)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veggie Pizza? those two words contradict each other.

Real people each real pizza. A thick crust covered with tomato sauce, mozzarella (not goat)cheese and a wide variety of meat toppings and 1 vegable (mushrooms preferred) - Now that's a pizza.

BTW - Do you make your own cheese?

TTFN

10:41:00 PM  

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