food diplomacy through the story of a meal

The Simply Wonderful Miss Lunch

A treat for anybody who is a foodie and visiting Paris is a cooking experience with Miss Lunch.  She is a multi-talented artist, chef, entrepreneur, and bright light.  I had participated in a Lunch in the Loft event in 2010 and vowed that at my next trip, I would do a cooking class.

We had kept in contact and shared updates with one another.  During this winter trip to Paris, we coordinated a meet-up at the Marche d’Aligre  to shop for our lunch.  The cold December morning at the market did nothing to damper the activity.  We picked up fruit, vegs, rabbit and rabbit livers, rose-water, cardamom pods, and finally staples at the market.

Gilles chatted us up while picking the beets, onions, endive, and mushrooms for our meal.  If you are in Paris, check out stand 101-102 for a great resource while shopping, and has a lovely smile!

After busing in to Miss Lunch’s friend’s apartment off Étienne Marcel, we unpacked all our goodies to get ready for our lunch.

Le Menu

Rabbit liver tartes with onion marmalade

Endive salad topped with Pulpe de Tanche (olive pulp with herbs) and marinated beets

Rabbit (saddle and legs) braised with shallots, mushrooms over roasted potatoes and a sauce charcuterie

Cardamom and rose-water creme and passion fruit coulis

The olive oil and pulpe de tanache caem from Oliver Baussan’s Premiere Pression Provence.  This amazing and organic line of olive products are a must for any foodie.  You can visit their website, but it is best to visit one of the stores in Paris.  I brought home a jar of their black truffle pesto to try.

After being the sous chef for our lunch, I meditated on prepping the shallots, beets, mushrooms, endives, and potatoes.  We put the onions on to cook low and slow in olive oil like a confit.  Once soft, we added balsamic vinegar, water, thyme, and salt & pepper and reduced down to a thick syrup.  These will be placed on the bottom of the cooked tart shell.  To top the onion confit, we sauteed the rabbit livers in PPP olive oil, shallots and then deglazed with Armagnac.  Once cooked, they were placed on top of the onions and the one-bit tartes were utterly divine.

We then cooked the rabbit, which came from the butcher on the outside of the Marche d’Aligre.  The rabbit was cut into pieces–saddle and legs.  We lightly dredged them in flour and then got some color on them in butter and olive oil  before transferring to a platter.  Meanwhile, the mushroom caps were peeled and then sliced and added to a stock pot with thyme, water, white while, and the browned rabbit.  It was cooked on the stove-top until tender (40-50 minutes).  We served the rabbit over the cooked potatoes flesh which was mixed gently with butter.

Finally a charcuterie sauce was prepared with diced cornichons, diced ham, and cooked down in PPP olive oil and shallots.  The sauce was deglazed with 1/2 cup of wine and if you wanted to add a small pat of butter to finish.   Reduce the sauce so the flavors come together and then spoon over rabbit and potatoes.

This warm stew was perfect for the rain that started as we were cooking and light enough as to not feel weighted down for a late lunch in the 1st.

Our lunch concluded with a cream (not caramel) that was infused with cardamom and rose-water and then surrounded by passion fruit coulis.

The afternoon ended with four well fed people who all share the joy and love of the City of Light and a beautiful afternoon enjoying a meal together.

It was a moveable feast.

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