Tag Archives: market

This week’s menu

It was 22C this afternoon! T-shirts and sunglasses were strongly present in today’s street fashion look. The catch of the day, collected at the Bastille market, certainly confirmed that summer is only a few steps away:the Bastille market products in MarchMenu suggestions for this week anyone?


Market surprise

Doing groceries at the food market is exciting: you never know what you come home with! The weekly market supply for food products depends on the season, on the weather, on transport issues, on regulations, on trends, on political issues, etc. –you name it! And that is why it is so interesting (if you like unpredictability).

For example today, my husband asked for the price of mussels. The seller was in a hurry to return home and responded: “They were caught yesterday. I have tried to sell them for 6€ and nobody wants them, so if you like, take them home for free”. My husband offered him money anyway but the seller smiled and said no worries.

So, today’s (late) lunch is going to be mussels with parsley, celery, onions, white wine (Muscadet) and crème fraiche. And guacamole, grilled bell peppers, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes for the rest of the week. La vie est belle!Bastille market on Sunday

PS If you like this, why not to join Pearlspotting on Facebook?

Slow-roasted cherry tomatoes

The great thing about food markets is that you never know what you end up buying! Yesterday the Bastille market seemed full of cherry tomatoes, and we purchased one big box of them. The question what to do with them was answered when I stumbled upon a Low and Slow Semi Dried Tomatoes recipe, and thanks to Sip Chomp Chew blog, I now have hundreds of delicious cherry tomatoes in the fridge!

So, here you go, my recipe (with some modifications compared to the Sip Chomp Chew’s recipe):

1. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place them onto baking sheet.roasted cherry tomatoes

2. Sprinkle with olive oil (I used olive oil from Crete: the best olive oil in the world!)

3. Sprinkle with Herbes de Provence. If the mix does not include oregano, add. Add also black pepper. I did not use salt.Herbes de Provence on cherry tomatoes

4. Roast in oven for a loooong time. My first set of cherry tomatoes stayed 4 hours in oven (130C), but I did increase the temperature to 150C for my second set. This made the cooking time considerably shorter (3 hours) and the cherry tomatoes did not burn. Try and see!

roasted cherry tomatoes

5. We ate the cherry tomatoes like that, and added some to a salad. The more obvious ways to use them are in pizza, ratatouille, salad, pasta, etc., but I would like to experiment using them in amuse-bouche, moussaka, Mediterranean fish dishes, chicken….

Whatever you do, but be careful. These little creatures are so yummy that you may just want to eat them directly from the baking sheet!



French Christmas meal: stuffed goose from Les Provinces

Traditional Finnish Christmas meal includes an oven-cooked ham but my parents happily followed French traditions while in Paris. Good for me, as I do not eat pork! Les Provinces

One week before Christmas we visited the boucherie-restaurant Les Provinces near Marché d’Aligre to see what our options for the Christmas meal are. The most typical French Christmas meat (poultry) is capon, a castrated rooster, but the butcher suggested we buy goose. After discussing the choice between the capon and the goose with everyone, we agreed that we prefer goose. Price-wise there was no difference and we had a feeling that the goose will be more original –the goose meat is more reddish brown (similar to duck or duckling) whereas the capon remains white as chicken (but is more fatty). So, “Prepare us a nice big goose with stuffing” we told the butcher and left a 10€ prepayment!Les Provinces

In the afternoon of the Christmas Eve we returned to fetch our stuffed goose and in the late morning of the Christmas Day we opened the package to find a beautiful, fat goose from Anjou with some organs aside for those who appreciate them.stuffed goose from Anjou

We followed the roasting instructions: higher temperature in the beginning that gives the goose golden color and crispy texture, and lower temperature during the rest of the time with the aluminium foil. We added a glass of water in the casserole and kept moistening the goose with this water (some fat drained from the goose and mixed with the water). 2 1/2 hours later our goose left the oven and was ready to be cut. Such a beautiful piece of goose it was! roasted goose

Everyone loved the goose and it will surely find its way to our Christmas table again in future! We enjoyed it with sweetened potato casserole, a Finnish dish, but you could also serve roasted carrots and potatoes or other vegetable with it. The red wine we had was Mas des Montagnes, “Terroirs d’Altitude” AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages, and it was really excellent!!

The stuffing our goose had included veal, poultry liver, onion, alcohol, herbs and spices, and no pork, but remember that nothing prevents you from creating your own stuffing…

Boucherie-restaurant Les Provinces: Easy Saturday dinner from the Aligre Market

Wine: Maison Lorgeril from Languedoc-Roussillon and http://www.lorgeril.com/2-35542-Terroir-d-Altitude.php

PS As a bonus, here you go with a photo of the organs we prepared some days after Christmas. We recognized liver and gizzard but were not sure about the rest. Do you have an idea? goose organs

Christmas food shopping at the Bastille Market

Today’s mission was to buy tons of fruits and vegetables for Christmas. The Bastille market was even more attractive than usually and some stalls had installed Christmas decorations. There were more specialty foods like stuffed lobster tails as well as different types of poultry. They looked so delicious and mouth watering that I had to get some photos to share with you –enjoy!

Scallops: scallops

Blue Breton lobster and sea urchins: Blue Breton lobster and sea urchin

Famous “Bresse chicken”: Bresse chicken

Snails with parsley and garlic: snails

Frog legs, of course!frog legs

Chapon (capon/rooster) and goose, traditional French Christmas poultry:capon

We skipped all of these appetizing foods and focused just on fruits and vegetables. Upon arrival at home, I placed everything on the dining table and this is what it looked like: fruits and vegetables from the Bastille Market

Tomorrow we continue the groceries and the list includes: foie gras, oysters, blinis, fish eggs, ingredients for chocolate cake and Mont d’or cheese. Not forgetting wine from Le Baron Rouge! Tuesday will be another big day as our stuffed goose is ready and we can pick it up. So, three more nights until the Christmas Day and the menu already looking fine!

How is your menu coming along? What are your favorite Christmas dishes and do you prepare them yourself?  Follow Pearlspotting on Facebook to read more about our Franco-Finnish Christmas in Paris!

What to expect to eat in Roussillon?

Earlier this month I was in the region called Languedoc-Roussillon and specifically in the southern part of it, Roussillon. This area of France is truly interesting food-wise: it is very Mediterranean but the mountains lurk in the horizon, it borders Spain and it is considered part of Catalonia. It has a strong culture of jambon, sausages, different types of seafood, snails, rabbit, cod, anchovies and tapas plates etc., and one should not forget the local wine and cheese making!

Roussillon wine

This blog post is about sharing my culinary experiences during the recent five-day trip in Roussillon, and to show you what to expect to see and taste both at restaurants and at markets. Enjoy!

Beautiful garlic! After all, it is the Mediterranean!
garlic in Collioure

Cheese! (mixture of cow and sheep):
cow-sheep cheese

Roquefort-flavored sausage:
soubressade and local sausages

Sea urchins! Salvador Dali liked them… do you?
sea urchin

Catalan snails in tomato-jambon sauce:catalan snails

Warm goat cheese salad: warm goat cheese salad

Mussels with aïoli and grilled cuttlefish:
mussels with aïoli

Mushroom with Balearic spicy sausage called soubressade on a toast:Sobrassada

Duck legs: duck legs

Beefsteak: a beefsteak

Razor shells (my all-time favorite!!): razor shells

“Small tapas assortment”: tapas assortment

My only regret is that we did not have a chance to taste the local oysters, but one always needs to keep a reason to return!

PS Why not to follow Pearlspotting also on Facebook?

The Bastille market in October

Observing seasonal variations of food markets is definitely one of my main Sunday hobbies. We are now officially in autumn, which means endless amounts of cabbage, figs, pumpkins, pomegranates, persimmons, mushrooms, etc. No more strawberries, melons and peaches.Bastille marketToday was a particularly interesting day at the Bastille market, and this is what we got for less than 10€! There was a whole rabbit (with fur and all that!) for 9€ and the vendor would have prepared it for us, but we skipped it this time… This week we will be eating healthy: cauliflower soup, onion soup, ratatouille, grilled eggplants and stuffed tomatoes. Unless you would like to suggest something different?

PS To compare today’s market to the market in May, have a look here: https://pearlspotting.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/the-catch-of-the-day-at-the-bastille-market/