Friday, May 29, 2009

Paris, je t'aime

I've just returned from a week's vacation in Paris. Ahh, Paris, how I love you. I joined my parents and all of my dad's siblings, plus my uncle's wife for a week of sightseeing and delicious food.
This was my third trip to Paris. My first trip, in 1993, followed a college semester abroad in Senegal. I was largely touring by myself, my French was awesome, and I was completely broke. That meant I ate a ton of sandwiches, especially chicken sandwiches. Every bakery has a little pile of sandwiches on baguette in a case. For a couple of dollars, you could get a large chunk of bread with chicken which was delicious and filling. I never sat down to eat once during that trip. That trip also introduced me to the magical Parisian falafel...
On my second trip to Paris, in 1998, Beth and I were on a budget vacation. We ate lots of street food that time, too. We were staying on rue de la Huchette, in the Latin Quarter. The street is home to the city's many Greek restaurants and take away schwarma and falafel windows. Needless to say, we ate a great deal of those delicious falafel sandwiches, piled with lots of vegetable salads and lovely sauces. Again, why pay for a restaurant meal when the take away is so awesome?
This trip to Paris was decidely different on the food front. Since I was with my parents who actually like to (and can afford to) sit down and eat, we went to a lot of restaurants. Which means I didn't eat so many sandwiches. If 1993 was the year of chicken sandwiches and 1998 was the year of falafel, then 2009 was the year of fancy raw beef concoctions eaten at fancy restaurants.
I had seared "Aller Retour" beef tartare with herbs atop the Pompidou Center.
Then there was a lovely carpaccio plate under the grand stained glass dome of the Printemps department store.
Finally, I had classic beef tartare at Chez Francis with a view of the Eiffel Tower at sunset. Magic!
So, my news on the sandwich front is a little thin. The only sandwich I ate that I actually took a picture of was the emmental and butter sandwich at the top of the post. I purchased that atop the Musee d'Orsay and it was perfection. We did have a Sandwich Night at our apartment with bakery sandwiches and falafel but my dad took those pictures since my camera battery was dead. When I get them, I'll fill you in on Nuit de sandwich!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fry bread fierceness

We celebrated the season finale of America's Next Top Model last week with Indian Tacos. I bet you thought that you couldn't improve upon a taco made with a delicious corn or flour tortilla. Au contraire, you can build your taco on a delicious piece of fry bread. Bread is alwasys tastier when fried, right?
I'm a total fry bread novice, though. For my first attempt, the bread turned out pretty well, even if they were a little small. Can you see the fry bread under all of the toppings? Also, does it look like the Indian Taco is menacing Kate? It's saying, "Don't leave us!!! There won't be Sandwich Nights like this when you're getting all fancy educated in Michigan! PhD, schmee aich dee!"
I used a fry bread recipe I found online that uses both powdered and regular milk. I think it made the dough rather tender and lovely. I'd add more salt next time, though. Unfortunately Angie didn't get her super top secret fry bread recipe from an unnamed source to me in time. We'll have to reprise the Indian Taco in the near future.
For toppings, I had seasoned bison meat, chili beans, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, salsa and taco sauce. As usual, everyone--that being Kate, Karen, Angie, and Katy, dove in and created their own masterpieces. Since my fry bread was small and sort of thick, you couldn't fold it around the ingredients. We had to eat the tacos tostada style, with knives and forks. All you sandwich purists can shudder all you like. We were quite content.
Limes were on sale at the store so I took that as a sign from above that we should have margaritas made from freash lime juice. I got the recipe from my cousin: 2 parts lime juice, 1 part simple syrup, 2 parts tequila, 1 part triple sec. That equals 6 parts of YUM. And of danger. We all sipped since it was a school night.
The ANTM finale was actually sort of exciting. I knew Teyona (right) would win but freaky Allison(center) made a very strong case for herself in the end. Like the contestants, I almost couldn't look at the winner's picture at the end. Anyway, here's to freaky alien looking country girls and Sandwich Nights!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Next Sandwich Night Wednesday May 13!!!

Hello, my lovies.

Sandwich Nights have been a bit infrequent of late. I am not promising anything like a normal schedule again but we do have several great reasons to have one next week:
1.) America's Next Top Model Cycle 12 finale
2.) A tipsy plan formulated at Beth's going away to celebrate this event with sandwiches
3.)A tipsy visit to the hat which produced Indian Tacos as the suggested sandwich (purists, you are out of luck with this one.)
4.) And last but not least, this will be the last Sandwich Night before our beloved Kate leaves the Twin Cities for Israel, and then Ann Arbor for grad school.

Sounds like a good reason for a party! Let me know if you coming so we make enough fry bread! Mmm...fry bread.