How to Clean a Squid

November 30, 2013

How to clean a squid

I cleaned two buckets of squid at the restaurant, got squirted in the eye with its black ink, and to remember it all, drew a little step-by-step to show the process. I hope you find it useful!

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Marché des Producteurs de Pays

Paris has a funny knack of exceeding your expectations over and over again. Each time I think I’m content with my local outdoor food market (last week’s highlight was discovering a farm stand that sells pear juice), the city surprises with something even better. And so, I fall head over heels in love with Paris once again, and I wonder if I could live anywhere else in the world.

This time, the market I discovered was the Marché des Producteurs de Pays, an intermittent producers’ market that was held this past weekend on Boulevard de Reuilly where farmers and producers from different parts of the country congregated to showcase their produce and products.

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I like the idea of a carrot cake more than carrot cake itself. With the warmth of cinnamon, the healthfulness of walnuts and carrots, and the hue of rust-coloured leaves, it quite easily fits the bill for a comforting autumnal treat. It’s perfectly good baked in a loaf pan and sliced as needed, and becomes a bit more indulgent with cream cheese frosting dolloped on.

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View the slideshow

There are so many markets in Paris, all of which are all very, very good and leave you in awe and filled with inspiration. And then there is Joël Thiébault.

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The moment of truth - chef tasting the final result. Mine's the one in his left.

I wrote a diligent report of my weeks at Le Cordon Bleu until Week 6, and then I stopped. I really wanted to continue, but committing to something or getting into a rhythm doesn’t come very easily to me – and so I trailed off. I began the weekly chronicling  as a way to capture memories to look back at a few months or years down the line, and to reminisce about the glorious time I had at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. I scribbled notes on the métro, I clicked photos whenever an opportunity presented itself and even thought of a book title based on something the chefs say all the time. I have it all on chits of paper and in my head, and now on my blog, lest I forget it all.

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Tiles of Lisbon

September 25, 2013

When in Lisbon, you can’t help but marvel at the gorgeous tiles on the buildings wherever you go. I would stop every time I saw a pattern I liked, and snap a picture of it.

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Jam Making

September 24, 2013

I made jam. A gorgeous, deep ruby red raspberry jam. The kind of ruby red you get only when you make it at home.

I am not a big jam eater, so I never really venture into this territory. I do have a few books on canning and jam making, in the hope that one day I might just start enjoying them, or maybe be the kind of person who gifts jam in pretty Weck jars. As for when I do buy some jam, it’s usually because I give in to the gorgeous package design and type – after which it sits in the refrigerator for weeks.

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Eating in Lisbon, Portugal

September 21, 2013

Pasteis de Belem

As soon as I completed the Intermediate Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu, Arjun and I left Paris for Lisbon. We wanted to spend a week on holiday, something that was overdue considering the city around us had shut down for the summer for the past 6 weeks. I’d wanted to visit Lisbon for a long time. My interest in Lisbon began when I ate my first Pastel de Nata, a Portuguese pastry, at Comme à Lisbonne in Paris, a matchbox sized pastry shop that only makes this one Portuguese treat. Invariably, every time I go there, there’s a fresh batch coming out of the oven and they are served warm with a little bit of powdered cinnamon sprinkled on top. The Pastel (Plural: Pasteis) de Nata is a sweet treat made with golden, flaky puff pastry case that holds a rich, egg yolky (but not overtly so) custard that’s still quite wobbly. Once the pastry is baked, the top forms a glossy skin, blistered in spots. When I first had it, I went back home and looked up several recipes and tried to replicate it, but the more I delved into my research, the more I realised that a good pastel de nata recipe is hard to come by, and is, in fact, a notoriously guarded secret. Instead, I went back to Comme à Lisbonne and happily bought one pastry served on a paper napkin and savoured every little bite while ambling through the Marais.

So, on to Lisbon. Lisbon is such a pretty city. The moorish architecture, the gorgeous hand painted wall tiles, the brick red roofs and the majestic mosaic lined plazas will make you go shutter crazy. Lisbon is the city of seven hills, and this means that there are lots of steep streets to climb [read more…]

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Corn Pancakes

August 26, 2013

Corn Pancake Recipe

Last week, I was overjoyed at the sight of fresh corn on the cob at the markets in Paris. I promptly stocked up on both white and yellow corn and ate them in the way anyone from Bombay would – roasted over open flames, an improvisation over burning hot charcoals, and rubbed copiously with half a lemon dipped in a mix of salt and red chilli powder. When I got a bit weary of that, I switched to boiling the corn in the pressure cooker and slathering it with salted butter from Beillevaire. I was pretty content with these methods, until this morning when I read David Lebovitz’s blog, and made corn pancakes for lunch.

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