I went to visit my friend and cousin, Susan, this weekend. We had a wonderful time cooking and eating and talking. Our first goal of the visit was to make Escargot like we had at Le Central, the last time we were together.
Here's a photo essay on the assembly of Escargots Bourguignon:
Make a herbed butter from softened butter and chopped parsley, shallots, and garlic. Put some of the butter into a clean snail shell.
Follow this with a cooked snail (we got some lovely canned snails on the internet). You may have to poke it in with your finger.
Then top off with more herbed butter.
Cook for about 6 minutes in the oven, then eat with a baugette or other tasty french bread. We just coaxed the snail out with a fork and all the melted butter and cooked garlic and shallots came out onto the bread. From there, it was easy to enjoy every delicious bite! The snails were not rubbery in the least. In fact, they were delicious. Encore! Encore!
We also made Jamie Oliver's Cheat's Pappardelle, a delicious leek and ham and pasta dish. He calls it a "cheat" because you cut the pasta noodles from fresh lasagna noodles, making them look homemade.
It was as delicious as it looks.
The next morning, after a really lovely and long conversation with Susan and her husband, Dave, we made "puffy" pancakes (cooked in a funny little rounded mold, and flipped half-way through to make little lens shaped pancakes) with a lemon curd and marscapone filling. It took us several tries to figure out the mold and the amount of batter and whether or not we wanted filling inside the pancakes, or outside, or both. In the end, we learned a lot about the dish and even had some great ideas for future tries (white chocolate and raspberry filling anyone?). It's so much fun to try new things with adventurous people. I forgot to photograph the event, however, and only remembered after the last pancake was gone and the lemon curd marscapone had been licked from the bowl. Next time, I promise.
[Since Jeri showed an interest, I researched the "puffy pancakes". Susan had seen it in a Williams-Sonoma catalog and found a set in the returned items section at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We used the Williams-Sonoma recipe. In researching it, I found that W-S is calling it an "Ebelskiver Filled-Pancake Pan" (that's a reference to its origins in Denmark). Watching the video showed me how it's supposed to go. Susan and I will now know how to do it much better next time.]
I'm really glad I went despite a lingering cough. I love hanging out with Susan, and we made some fabulous food. Also, I got to know her husband better and that was long overdue. We had a great conversation that reminded me of some really important things I'm working on right now and had kind of lost track of in the stress of work and exams and feeling lonely. It was the perfect antidote for feeling sorry for myself, because really, I have so much and have so much to offer.
And Life is Good. (Hard, sometimes, but Good.)