I do have a lot more posts about Paris to share with you, but before I do, I need to tell you about this broccoli. And no, contrary to what you may believe, I am not on the FX Cuisine payroll to tell you how incredible the recipes from that site are.
I think Alex is aware of the fact that he’s pretty spoiled.
He’s a 23-year old guy with no culinary experience beyond frying a pork chop, frying a steak, frying an egg, frying a burger… and boiling water for pasta and rice (although he did a pretty good job on his own while I was frolicking about Paris with my aunt for a week). I’m no gourmet chef, but I like to think I’ve learned enough over the past three years to make food that’s at least decent, if not mind-blowing (full credit for the mind-blowing meatballs happily awarded to FX Cuisine). At least the meals vary from day to day and are definitely not fried meat and plain boiled rice: I love cooking, and I love creating meals that are different and exciting.
Food should be fun. But you all know that, otherwise you wouldn’t still be here.
As one of my friends said to him recently when I had a few of them over for dinner: “You eat like this every day?”
However, I do, on a regular basis, receive two complaints: the first has moved from complaint to plain habit… when I bring dinner out to the table, I also bring the large container of salt I use for cooking. My food is seasoned, but I’m very sensitive to salt, and I don’t like a lot of it in my food. I add more cayenne and Tabasco to my food as I please, and I look the other way as Alex salts as much as he likes.
The other is something we’ll never resolve: “C’est bon… mais les légumes ne sont pas assez cuits.” It’s good… but the vegetables aren’t cooked enough.
If you’ve ever received a side of haricots verts with your poulet rôti in Paris (for those of you who have yet to visit my city, please consider canned green beans as an appropriate substitute for this illustration), you understand what is expected of vegetables here. They are cooked beyond recognition, until a bright green bean becomes something pallid and soft, hardly necessary to chew: they dissolve.
I hover over my pots of green beans, waiting for that perfect moment when they turn bright green, and then I quickly drain them and run them under cold water. My beans have snap to them… something that I guess is not appreciated over here.
I’m aware of it, and I honestly try to cook them to everyone else’s liking: I know that not everyone can snack on green beans raw out of the container. In Paziols this summer, I tried in vain to cook the green beans to an appropriate doneness, but while I thought they were overcooked, the French among us still found them unpleasantly crunchy.
I have the same problem with broccoli, but I thought that this recipe would change that. Broccoli cooked in red wine and topped with melted comté cheese (I had to substitute the pecorino with what I had) should have pleased both of us, but in the end, I finished off most of the broccoli, which had retained quite a bit of crunch… pas assez cuit.
And no matter how many times you ask me, I swear I didn’t do it on purpose so that I would be left with an entire bowl of broccoli to finish on my own.
I do love my vegetables.