Paris is … well, Paris is a great place for food, which is one of the reasons I love this city. Every day I wander into another little shop, looking for cheese, meats, vegetables, wines, coffees, or teas. Or conversation with people who love food and love to cook.
Today was brisk and sunny, I was out early, enjoying the holiday feeling, the lights and smiling people, the frowning people. Christmas trees are selling now, and the man who sits on the corner near my apartment depending on the kindness of strangers for his income added a new puppy to his entourage. He now has three.
I have been cooking a lot lately, saving my dining-out money for when Angela arrives. The kitchen in my apartment is small, two burners and a toaster oven. That limits my choices, but so far I’ve not had any problems satisfying my palate. This afternoon I picked up some sliced duck and a few shallots, and when I returned home I surveyed the kitchen and noticed some pasta and chèvre, and macaroni and cheese came to mind.
I cooked the pasta until it was just under al dente, then rinsed it in cold water and drained. I returned it to the pan and cooked it for a minute longer, to chase away any excess moisture. I then sliced the chèvre into it, added some salt and butter and mixed that well.
The duck I heated gently, then removed it from the pan and sautéed an onion and a shallot in the duck fat, which imparts a great taste to the vegetables. The duck I tore into smaller pieces, then added it, along with the onion and shallot, to the pasta and cheese mixture. Stirred it well and seasoned with more salt and pepper, then added a bit of cream.
The oven was hot, so I buttered a baking dish and put the pasta mixture into it. Into the oven went the dish, and I cooked it for an hour or so.
About five or 10 minutes before the dish was done I put a few more pieces of chèvre on top of the pasta and broiled it until the cheese melted.
It was excellent, with a baguette and a pinot noir. If you can’t find duck I have also tasted this dish with pork bacon, or lardons, or salmon. I prefer duck.