Wednesday, March 25, 2009


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In addition to all of the things listed in my last post, I have discovered that I will really miss the kids at the crèche. – most of our group will move on to “Ecole Maternale” in the fall – thus it is unlikely that I will see them again…
I also must acknowledge the blog followers. I specifically want to note that Olga wrote one of the most clever notes of record when she asked: “What are Gigondas?” Thanks to Karen, MB and Jane (who wrote the exactly needed words for me to be able to put six months away from France in perspective.)

I also failed to mention having dinner at Benoit’s and Marie’s restaurant “La Lyriste.” We have eaten so well at their restaurant so many times. We took our truffles to Benoit’s and Marie’s restaurant and Ben invited me to help him prepare dinner. We made: aioli for crudité, scrambled eggs with truffles (served in papillote), and asparagus soup with truffles and scallops, and, the piece de resistance, crème brûlé with truffles.

Aoli as normal but using baked/steamed potatoes to thicken the mayonnaise
Scrambled eggs with truffle slices (add the sliced truffles at the end of cooking the eggs) Benoit had taken the frozen truffles and put several of them into the raw egg container to infuse more flavor.)
Asparagus soup – very much like Emeril’s version: take the BOTTOM of the stocks and cook them first – 10 minutes and then discard them. Add the good asparagus and cook until soft. (At this point, Benoit takes the asparagus and places it in ice – to preserve the color…) After a few minutes, he took the asparagus, sliced it into small pieces and put it back in the asparagus stock. We cooked it until soft and then used the motor-boat blender for the first step of the velouté. Then, pressed through a sieve back into the pot, add cream and truffles and cook on low heat. Prepare and then sear the scallops (3 minutes at most) and remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls. Add scallops. Finish with reserved asparagus (not cooked) tips.
Crème brûlé as per normal recipe but with truffles. AWESOME!

Cooking with Benoit reminds me of cooking with Dan. He would be a winner on “Iron Chef” because he can think of amazing ways of putting ingredients together. (I am still thinking of alternatives to potatoes – as in “meat and potatoes.”) At the same time, it reminds me of ALL of the wonderful meals we have had with friends, few of which were great recipes, all of which were great because of the camaraderie, the ambiance, YOU.

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