We'll Always Have Paris
Parisian Steak and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches
Fresh Mushroom and Parsley Salad
Raspberry Rose Pots de Creme
Giada is in Paris with Todd. Oh, she’s home now and she’s going to recreate a Parisian menu.
We flashback to various Parisian scenes as she looks for a gelato stand. Back in the kitchen, Giada mashes ¾ cup fresh raspberries. She reminds us that pots de crème is pudding in France. She heats ½ cup milk with ¾ cup cream. She adds 1/2 teaspoon of rosewater and heats that to infuse the liquid with the flavor of the rosewater. (She’s lost me here. The IDEA of rosewater is lovely, it’s just its perfumey taste that I can’t stand.)
Giada separates 4 room temperature eggs and beats them with ¼ cup sugar and a pinch of salt. She stirs in the milk slowly and then the raspberries. I would have sieved them for sure. That’s it. Very easy.
She ladles the mixture into ramekins about three-quarters full. They go into a baking or roasting pan, which she fills with boiling water halfway up the ramekins and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. They will get chilled when they come out of the oven.
Giada talks about the Poilâne bakery, which she frequented when she went to cooking school. She ordered a huge bread online from Poilâne for her meal today. She neglects to mention that while the bread itself is (only!) 8.35 Euros, the shipping to the states is almost 29 Euros, which brings the total cost to nearly THIRTY SEVEN EUROS!!!* I’ve never seen the enormous boule here, but I have seen sliced Poilâne bread in gourmet shops for under ten dollars.
Incidentally, the Poilâne story is a compelling one. In 1970, Lionel Poilâne took over the family’s bread bakery and modernized (somewhat) the product that his father had been producing since 1932. In 2002, Lionel and his wife died in a helicopter crash. His 18 year old daughter, Apollonia, took over the running of the company, while attending Harvard as an undergraduate. She continues to oversee the company today.
Giada starts a mushroom salad that she often had at her favorite restaurant in Paris, Le Cherche Midi, when she went to cooking school. It was an Italian restaurant. You were in PARIS, girl, what were you doing eating Italian food? I get that she was homesick and every so often transplants need a taste of home, but constantly?!! Anyway she loved this salad.
Giada slices big button mushrooms, very thinly - “as thin as you can”. BTW, she tells us to check out the bread chandelier at Poilâne, if we ever visit.
The mushrooms go into a big bowl. She chops parsley and throws it on top. For the dressing, she rolls a lemon on the counter top and squeezes it into a little bowl. She adds salt, pepper and an equal amount of olive oil to the lemon juice. She pours that over the mushrooms and tosses it quickly. I’m a little underwhelmed. She adds some shavings of Parmesan. That’s better. That’s a perfectly nice salad, but as a meal? This is so simple that it borders on spartan.
She cools the ramekins in the water completely and then chills them in the fridge for 2 hours.
Oh good, the salad isn’t all she’s serving. I forgot she talked about some facocta croissant sandwich. This is dinner?
We see Todd and Giada in the Luxembourg Gardens. I think we’ve seen this shot before on a previous show.
In the kitchen, Giada unwraps 2 four inch steaks. She seasons both sides. She adds a little bit of butter to a skillet. When it’s hot she adds the steaks and leaves them alone for 5 minutes on each side. That’s definitely too long. Oh, she says a FEW minutes on the second side. Remember they continue to cook after they leave the pan. She plates them to rest.
She slices fresh croissants in half. She slices a nice runny brie and puts 2 slices of the cheese on each croissant. She remarks that she’s leaving the rind on. (Would you ever take it off?) She slices roasted red peppers (I hate them) and puts them on top and then arugula goes on. She slices the steaks into thin pieces and puts a whole (little) steak on top of the each sandwich. More arugula goes on top and that’s it. Am I allowed to say that I think it needs some dressing…or something?
She pours the wine at a lovely table set outside and Todd comes out. If that is really her house, they would never need to go to Paris.
Todd brings her the same flowers he brought to her in Paris. Goodness! Giada is gorgeous, lives in a palace, knows all there is to know about cooking, has a devoted husband AND beautiful baby. If she weren't so lovely and nice, I might feel a tad jealous.
The napkins are held in place with specially ordered ribbons emblazoned with the words “je t’aime”. (Well, c’mon, if the bread is flown in from France, it’s not too much to get ribbon from Washington.)
They have the salad and then clear the plates and she brings out the croissant sandwiches. They flash back to the Jardin Du Luxembourg and their picnic.
Giada brings out dessert garnished with pop rocks. They had a similar dessert in Paris. She puts some on her tongue and then tastes the pots de crème. Giada says it’s fun reliving their vacation. Todd wants to know which one they’re going to do next. Santorini, she says, but for now she’s still in Paris.
One of the great things about Paris is that the little things you eat here and there can be positively wonderful. And it’s not just about the big-gut-and-wallet-busting meal. But this was an odd combination of dishes, even though, I guess they said “Paris” to Giada. To me, they said…J’ai encore faim!
*Poilâne does offer a more economical arrangement, where you can order 5 loaves of bread, to split with friends, for a reduced shipping charge.