Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Last Meal in Paris

Since I posted about my first meal in Paris, it's only appropriate to bring things full circle with a description of my last meal in Paris. Both meals took place in my tiny kitchen, but whereas my first meal was entirely purchased and quite traditional, the final one was prepared entirely from scratch and took a stretch of the imagination.

I returned to Paris from Edinburgh Sunday afternoon. I had just one more night to spend in Paris, and I wanted to make it memorable. I had plans to meet up with friends for dinner, but on the (very slow) train ride from CDG, I decided I wanted to cook instead. Going out to yet another French restaurant on my last night seemed...impersonal.

I had planned to make homemade shrimp dumplings and chocolate passion fruit mousse. What I didn't realize, however, was that it's impossible to buy groceries on Sundays after 6 PM. I finally found one tiny corner store that was still open. No shrimp, but there was frozen Norwegian salmon fillets. 

Salmon dumplings it is, then.

Constraint must be the mother of creativity, because those dumplings turned out fantastic. I mixed chopped salmon with peas, mushrooms, ginger, scallions, and cilantro. Not entirely traditional, but it worked out very well. 


Dessert was an impromptu affair. I still had a passion fruit left over from my passion fruit tartlet experimentation, but I was pressed for time. In a pinch, I stirred the pulp into some whole milk yogurt and added some orange peel for flavor. 

Passion fruit yogurt is really, really good. 

For a final toast to the city, we took the bottle of champagne my landlady had kindly given me up to Montmartre. I guess it would have felt more special if tons of people didn't also have our idea. The steps of Montmartre were packed on a Sunday night with people drinking and chatting. At least we were the only ones with champagne. 

 Being out at night with a crowd of people reminded me of watching the fireworks at Bastille Day. It had only been two weeks prior, but felt worlds apart. Back then, we were busy speculating about the upcoming written exam and gossiping about chefs. Now that class was over, Paris felt different, like I didn't belong anymore...

We had a quick toast, then gave away the rest of the bottle to a nice-looking couple sitting on the steps. I had just under seven hours to pack and clean the apartment. It was time to leave.

1 comment:

  1. Qian!!! I miss ya, mon amie! This post almost brought tears in my eyes because I felt exactly the same (except that I still feel that I belong to Paris. :D) Great job blogging and keep baking, cooking, and making ice cream! I hope to see u soon...