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.

12 comments:

  1. Sigh...how I wish we could (at least, occasionally) return to those days of gracious dining. A small thing I noticed on the dinner table: Are the wine decanters set into a bed of ivy on wicker coasters? If so, what a charming (and practical!) idea.

    Jennifer, more posts about gracious, intimate entertaining, please. Perhaps it will inspire your readers to try it, too. Who knows? Might start a trend!

    Cheers,
    April

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    1. April, I will happily work on more posts about gracious entertaining. Stay tuned for more.

      It does appear that the decanters are set into a small basket/coaster of ivy. So original!

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  2. Beautiful - Jennifer! Thank you for sharing these pictures. I especially like the garden.

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    1. Ellen, the tiny garden is a delight!

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  3. Oh, it's so typically French! Especially the lineup of bottles...I can't read the labels but they look like Burgundy. What is in the pate a choux?

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    1. I believe it's scrambled eggs with truffle butter.

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  4. Love the recipe and the beautiful cobnuts decorating the plate.
    www.islasimpson.co.uk

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  5. Love your posts on gracious entertaining -- I cringe when I see people entertaining their guests with drinks served in red plastic cups and plastic cutlery on paper plates.

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    1. Annette and April, I cringe, too! I better start working on more entertaining posts ASAP. :)

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  6. Annette, I cringe, too. My husband and I have been invited to family Christmas dinners where the china rests in the cabinet and we eat off paper plates, on paper cloths. When I entertain with proper wine glasses, good cutlery, china plates...even on the patio...some people think I'm 'putting on airs'! After awhile, one gives up. It's like fighting the incoming tides.

    Hopefully, posts like this one will encourage people to (at least occasionally)make an effort. There are lots of people (like those reading Jennifer's posts) that would truly appreciate it!

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  7. So lovely Jennifer! I always say to use all of the "good stuff" and never use paper napkins!
    Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Featuring Artist Scott McBee

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  8. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Annette , I cringe too . Never paper plates , paper cloths , paper napkins , plastic cutlery , etc. NEVER ! You are not having a childrens birthday party .
    If you are making an effort , why not for yourself also ?
    I always enjoy a beautiful dinner table so much !

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