Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

I may have gone gaga over France but I am still Canadian so Happy Canada Day! I must pay tribute to my Canadian heritage with this installment of…

(I would love to hear your faveourites on my comments/posts)

Number 1.
Multicultural food. Sushi on Sunday. Mexican on Monday. Thai on Tuesday---ok. You get the point. We have global access to all things ethnic and delicious. What a treat.
Any ingredient, anytime. It can be a bit ridiculous with all fruits all year round but it is a real blessing. When you ask a French grocer for horseradish or corn (yup, corn) and they have no clue what you are talking about, you realize how spoiled we are. However the worst is NO MAPLE SYRUP!!!! This is devastating news to my Saturday morning pancakes.

Number 2
Well marked street signs. Never thought I would appreciate this one but having been lost for half of my stay so far, I can attest we do this well. Even with a navigation system there is always confusion and it is mandatory I get lost once a day.

Number 3
Customer Service. Usually bang on.
Well, we are told to be nice. The French actually go with their mood. Most of them are in good spirits but the ones that are not will sneer and practically spit on you if you piss them off. It is a real hit and miss here. Sometimes you get the “BON-JOUR Madame” “Avec Plasir” and “Enchante”.
Other times you go to the only café in some random town, population 17, and are totally ignored.
At Chez Gazois I felt like Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Hey! Over here!!! Water? Menu? Anything??? Helloooo (echo, echo, echo)????
Now, to their defense I think the staff, all related, had a case of kissing cousins. No, seriously. There was something inbred about this crew, so maybe their vision was impaired. Needless to say there was a invisibility we all felt as we sat down and were totally disregarded until we finally made an executive decision to drive 27 kms to the next town and eat there as it would probably mean we would be served faster.
Another sound bite from my dear father…“This is no Global!”
No, Dad, it certainly is not. Ahh…the irony.

Number 4

Nice teeth (smiles) and deodorant. We are huge fans of both and that is a very good thing.

Number 5

Friends and family. Ok, so maybe we don’t do it better but mine are 95% from there so it is my number 5. Actually number 1. You are all my heart and raison d’etre. (yes, my throwing in French words is kinda pompous but at the same time relevant). I love you all and miss you dearly.

I really should be posting a Canadian recipe, but alas, I don’t eat poutine and as previously mentioned the absence of Maple Syrup in these parts has stalled me in my ode to Canada meal.

So the best I can do is post this grilled eggplant, red pepper-tomato sauce and fresh chevre dish as the colours are reminiscent of the flag. Sort of. I am trying. What is most important is just sitting down to a meal with a bunch of people that make you laugh and feel good, right? It could be cheap hot dogs or fois gras. If the company is good the food is better.

Grilled eggplant with red pepper-tomato sauce and fresh goats cheese

1 large eggplant sliced in half inch slices, lengthwise.
Place on cutting board and salt with fleur de sel to remove excess moisture.
This will make the eggplant less chewy. Let sit for 30 minutes. You don’t have to do this but it helps.

1 cup fresh tomato or store bought sauce
1 8 oz container of roasted red peppers
Puree the red peppers and add to the tomato sauce
1 head of roasted garlic (in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes)
Remove garlic from oven, peel and add soft cloves o tomato-pepper sauce.
Set aside.

In a sauce pan or bbq heat to medium-high temperature, ¼ cup olive oil.
Add slices of eggplant and fry 5 to 7 minutes each side or until soft and cooked throughout.

In another saucepan heat up sauce. Season with salt and pepper and ¼ teaspoon chili flakes.

When all eggplant has been cooked lay on a large serving platter and pour sauce overtop. Garnish with fresh basil or oregano, your faveorite olives and ½ cup of good quality goats cheese or feta. You can serve as is, on crusty pieces of toasted bread (bruschetta style) or pasta.

1 comment:

  1. This is fabulous!! Can't wait to follow your adventures a la France. Enjoy.