Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Dinner in a Paris Kitchen
It recently dawned on me that it's been ages since I've written an entertaining blog post- that is, a post about entertaining. Let's hope you've found at least some of my recent posts to be entertaining.
Who better to coax us into preparing a casual weeknight dinner than Marie-Paule Pellé, an "inventive Parisian style maker," according to this Nineties House Beautiful article. It turns out that Pellé, a designer and stylist, was responsible for some of Henri Bendel's interiors when it reopened at 712 Fifth Avenue in the early 1990s. As inventive as Pellé seems to be, she is also an inveterate hostess, able to whip up a delicious meal in half an hour. (If only I could be that efficient when cooking for dinner guests.) For the dinner party seen here, Pellé created a doable menu of store-bought brioches filled with truffle-flavored scrambled eggs, mustard-coated salmon, goat cheese rolled in ground hazelnuts, and poached peaches for dessert.
But what I find more inspiring than the menu is the setting: Pellé's rue de Rivoli apartment. While her home might be big on Gallic charm, its small-size makes entertaining a challenge. Nevertheless, Pellé is able to seat twelve for dinner in her pocket-sized kitchen. The saving grace, however, has to be her miniature garden located in a light well (see photo above.) Planted with lush greenery and a few hydrangea bushes, the garden is an airy-yet-cozy setting for champagne and biscuits, seen below, or, as I imagine, an intimate dinner for two.
Crottin de Chavignol and Hazelnut Rounds
1 16oz. log Crottin de Chavignol or other fresh goat cheese, chilled
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
Slice the cheese log into 16 1-ounce rounds. Roll cheese rounds in ground hazelnuts until completely covered. Allow cheese rounds to come to room temperature before serving with a loaf of crusty French bread. Serves 6.
All photos from House Beautiful, Elizabeth Zeschin photographer.