Friday, January 09, 2009

31st December Dinner in Paris

For the last day of 2008 I had 8 people at dinner at the Passage, among whom some very serious gourmets, so I decided to try something new.

In honor of my friend Pasquale, the first entrée was a sautée des coques. I have learned to do this quickly during my summer in Bretagne, where we spent long afternoons collecting coques on the beach and cooking them for the dinner. The best and quickest way to prepare a delicious sautée, is the following:

In a pan, put some olive oil, chopped garlic and ginger. Fry for two minutes, than add some fresh chopped tomatos and a little bit of curry. Then the coques, that you have previously washed many times in salted water to eliminate the sand. You raise the fire, add some white wine, let it absorb and then cook the whole stuff for ten minutes at low temperature. It must be a kind of soup, the liquid is a mixture of the sea water contained in the coques and the one left by the tomatoes. Delicious. You serve it in small cups with fresh pepper and olive oil. Do not overcook the tomatoes: the broth shouldn't resemble to a tomato sauce, it must be much more transparent and light.

Then, I decided for a second entrée, a brand new invention: A carpaccio of coquilles St. Jacques slightly cooked in a fry pan just for 10 seconds with butter and lemon and served on a hot trevisana salad, cooked in a pan with oil, garlic, soja sauce, sugar and balsamic vinegar. I've added some sesame seeds on the coquilles in the end and decorated with a leaf of peppermint. Very good.

The I went on with a more traditional veal tajine with apricots, but you have plenty of tajine recepies on Tuttipiatti so I stop here.

The dessert was a selection of Berthillon's colorful sorbet cubes brought by Davide and Anna (Davide suggests to buy Berthillon's sorbets only on the Ile-St-Louis' original shop, and it is not just a snobbery: he's right, they are much better). They were beautifully served on two long trays and children enjoyed them a lot.

Davide and Anna brought a nice Chianti 2004 Castello di Ama and Pasquale an intresting bottle of syrah, but I have to ask him the details.

Happy 2009.