Taste of Paris: Miznon

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11695902_844701115977_8803345370097266460_n.jpgThis past Summer I spent two months cooking for a private family abroad in France. It was my first time to France, and I arrived not speaking a word of the language and completely unaware of how life changing the experience was going to be for me.

About a month into my stay in France, I journeyed to Paris for five days. I took a beautiful train ride that cut from the coast of La Baule to the city of Paris.

When I arrived, a car took me to Ile Saint Louis, where I stayed in a stunning chateau. It had floor to ceiling windows that opened out to a large courtyard below and the quiet, quaint streets of the island.

I ventured out into the maze-like streets of Paris. I refused to buy a map, but discover the city of my dreams on my own. I memorized landmarks and navigated my way through the city.

My first day was overwhelming. Starving, I decided to walk through le Marais and find an authentic dining experience in Paris.

Everywhere I looked was filled with tourists. I walked through seemingly endless side streets and alleys until I came across a tiny storefront of a restaurant with patrons spilling out the windows and entryway. I knew I had to eat here. 11836827_844700831547_9000377625054051336_n.jpg

The smell coming through the door of the restaurant was amazing! It smelled of slowly cooked meat, char, and smoke. I pushed through the door and saw a room with fresh produce on wood shelves, big bowls of lemons and heads of cauliflower. The menu was scribbled on a chalkboard wall in bright colored chalk. The kitchen was completely open, and the cooks prepared the food right in front of you as you ordered. There was minimal seating, and the crowd was loud and joyous. It felt like I had entered someones home, like everyone there was family. 11796379_844701135937_8055135375021145522_n.jpg

I stood awkwardly- waiting for someone to wait on me, or take an order – it never happened. I felt so embarrassed, I almost left. Then I decided to step out of my comfort zone, and I plunged myself down at the counter bar, and sat next to a beautiful pregnant woman.

I sat a few minutes, and then pushed myself to talk with her. I nervously asked her if she spoke English, (which she did, thankfully), and then proceeded to ask her how to order. I then explained I was a NYC chef visiting Paris, and wanted to taste the best food the city had to offer. She explained to me that her husband owned the restaurant and that I was indeed in the right place for good food.

She brought her husband over, and the three of us spoke about middle eastern food, restaurants, New York, and Paris. It was one of those experiences you don’t forget, and then the Chef decided to order for me. 11846732_844700891427_8813675508574140144_n.jpg

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The man working the counter was a combination host, maître d, and comedian. He poured me some warm red wine on this balmy  95 degree day. The restaurant was open to the street, and the heat everywhere. My clothes clung tight and wet to my body. A runner brought over some fresh made pita with side dish of tahini with tomato water and spiced olive oil. I dipped the hot fresh pita into the cool spread, and it refreshed me. 11846620_844701190827_7939526496194403906_n.jpg

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11836825_844700991227_537711851019361455_n.jpgNext came out a fresh pita pocket stuffed with thinly sliced steak, fresh parsley, red onion, and tahini sauce. It was served with roasted green chiles on the side for spice. (They’re very spicy!)

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Next came out the most incredible boeuf bourguignon stuffed pita. The combination of french and Israeli flavors are absolutely delicious, and was the singularly most delicious and memorable thing I ate in all of France. At the same time, they brought out a whole roasted head of cauliflower. It was perfectly tender, roasted nicely with salt and oil. You cut off sections as you ate it, and it made for a perfect accompaniment to the meal.

11825810_844701016177_7969641697193079440_n.jpg11013217_844701056097_1822053214430203279_n.jpg11825795_844701066077_1189422550208118183_n.jpgI drank a few more glasses of wine, ate way too much food, and chatted with the owners. Before I left, I was treated to one last indulgence. Apple Tarte Tatin, stuffed in a pita. A classic french dessert, with an Israeli twist. It was so delicious, I’m not sure how it hasn’t blown up into a huge trend around the world. (Maybe it will now!) 🙂

11855844_844701210787_2959316317263413118_n.jpgIf you’re in Paris, and venture into le Marais, you must check out Miznon.

Miznon
Restaurant: Israeli-French Fusion
Address: 22 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris, France
 

Bon Appetit!
Sean Patrick Gallagher
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Last “Perfect” Picnic of Summer

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I wanted to have a picnic all Summer.

Due to busy schedule with zero time off, I  hardly take time to smell the roses. Living in New York City is always a rush. Rushing out of the shower, rushing to the subway, rushing through the grocery store… relaxation is always in the foreground of thoughts but never attained.  The idea of escaping for a few hours to a park in the city is just what I needed, and I got to work planning the “perfect” picnic.

To me, the “perfect” picnic is minimal effort for maximum relaxation time. To achieve this all you need to do is plan ahead. Plan the menu ahead, shop 3 days ahead, prep 2 days ahead, cook the day before, and the day of… relax!

The Menu 

 Lemon Dill Chicken Skewers

Baby Red Potatoes and Watercress Salad

Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

Baguette slathered in Kerrygold Butter

Ginger Beer and Maine Root Blueberry Soda

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies 

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Shopping List

Lemon Chicken Skewers

2 pounds, boneless chicken thighs, cleaned with excess fat removed

2 lemons

1 small white onion

1 clove, garlic

1 bunch fresh dill

dash dried oregano

dash hot pepper flake

Baby Red Potatoes and Watercress Salad

8-12 baby red potatoes

1 bunch fresh watercress

1 small white onion

1 8oz container greek yogurt

1 bunch fresh dill

dash dried oregano

dash hot pepper flake

Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

4oz farro

1 bunch fresh mint

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes

4 cloves garlic

4 oz greek feta

olive oil

1 bunch fresh oregano

Additional Purchases:

Sodas

Baguette

Butter

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies ( I made mine from the Nestle Tollhouse recipe!)

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Picnic Recipes

Lemon Chicken Skewers

2 pounds, boneless chicken thighs

2 lemons, juiced

1 small white onion, chopped

1 clove, garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1 bunch fresh dill

dash dried oregano

dash hot pepper flake

  • In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper.
  • Clean chicken and place in large ziplock bag. Cover with marinade.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • You can grill the chicken or broil in the oven. I live in Manhattan so I broiled the chicken for 20 minutes until dark and colored and juicy inside.
  • Allow to cool and place on skewers.

Baby Red Potatoes and Watercress Salad

8-12 baby red potatoes, cut in half

1 bunch fresh watercress

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 8oz container greek yogurt

1 T red wine vinegar

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T olive oil

1/2 bunch fresh dill

  • Slice potatoes in half and add to a pot of cold water, season with salt.
  • Boil gently until just tender. Shock in ice water.
  • Slice you onion and chop the herbs. Cut the watercress into bite sized pieces.
  • Mix the greek yogurt with olive oil, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and dill.
  • Mix the potatoes, onion, herbs, watercress with the dressing. Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed.
  • Refrigerate at least an hour, even better made the day before.

Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

4oz farro

1 bunch fresh mint, minced

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 medium sized red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, whole

4 oz greek feta, diced

olive oil

1 bunch fresh oregano

  • Boil farro until tender. Rinse and cool under cold water. Keep cold in fridge.
  • Cover heirloom tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and fresh oregano, cook low and slow in the over for thirty minutes. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Once tomatoes and garlic are cooked, remove from oven.
  • Mix the farro with chopped mint, diced red onion, olive oil from cooking the tomatoes, the tomatoes and mash up the garlic and mix in.
  • Dice feta and mix in.
  • Serve room temperature or cold.

I slathered a fresh Baguette with Kerrygold butter

I also made Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies ( I made mine from the Nestle Tollhouse recipe!) Sweet final bite for the perfect meal.

 

 

Day of the Picnic:

 

Reheat the chicken skewers, wrap them in foil to keep warm.

Pack your bag full, cold items on the bottom, hot on top.

Bring a big blanket, a sweater in case there’s a chill in the air, a book…

Bring disposable plates, glasses, silverware, and napkins.

 

Enjoy.


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Beautiful day in the park bymy house. Right past the West Side Highway and onto the Pier.

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#PrivateChef

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#PrivateChef

A quick shot from a dinner for a private client earlier this month.

Grilled Ny strip, parsley pesto, grilled haricot verts with grilled peaches and toasted almonds, arugula salad, farro salad with feta, tomato, red onion, fines herbs and olive oil poached tomatoes = Summer in your mouth.

Successful night.

Cheers

30 Minute Meal

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Fettuccine Bolognese

Fettuccine Bolognese

I know how tough it is to come home and cook. I cook all day long! If it’s a work night and I’m cooking dinner, it has to be quick or I don’t really have the motivation. Especially when you live in NYC and you can get any cuisine you can think up delivered to your door in 15-30 minutes.

I have to admit that I am a sucker for comfort food, and my number one is pasta. Of course I love to make fresh pasta, and if I’m feeling really up to it – make delish raviolis filled with all sorts of decadent things.

Nonetheless, at least once a week I make a pasta dish and I have to tell you its oh-so-satisfying and couldn’t be simpler. Last night I made a beefy Bolognese. Beautiful fat laden ground beef browned and stewed with onions, garlic, hot pepper flake, and San Marzano tomatoes.

 

Here’s one for your recipe book – the most simple weeknight dinner.

 

Fettuccine Bolognese

 

Prep time: 5-7 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

 

1 box fettuccine pasta

1 pound ground beef – (I like 80/20 for the fat content)

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

2 T tomato paste

Splash red wine – (If you have some open)

1 large white onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T olive oil

1/2 t hot pepper flake (or 1 T if you like it hot!)

1/2 t dried oregano

2 T grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Place a large pot filled with salted water on the back burner and get it to a boil first.
  • Have your onion diced and garlic minced ready to go.
  • Heat a large pot on medium-high heat, add your oil and allow it to get hot.
  • Add your beef and break it up, brown evenly. Remove the grease if you like, or leave it in for more flavor. 🙂
  • Add your onion and garlic, add the hot pepper flake and dried oregano.
  • Cook your onions until tender. Add the tomato paste and mix it thoroughly. If you have some open red wine – or have a glass while cooking, add in about a 1/4 of a cup now.
  • Let the wine cook out, then add your tomatoes. Turn the heat to medium low – low.
  • Boil your pasta, once cooked, drain and leave in colander.
  • Stir the sauce every 5 minutes to prevent scorching and let cook for 15-20 minutes. If you have longer you can let cook for 30 minutes if desired.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste – I also like to add in 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan or pecorino at the end.
  • Mix into your fettuccine and serve.

 

Easy weeknight dinner done! I served it with roasted broccoli and garlic, a glass of wine, a hunk of rustic bread, and great company – all in 30 minutes!

 

Enjoy!

 
Sean Patrick Gallagher

 

Sean Gallagher 1

Braised Pork with roasted mushrooms, roasted potatoes, watercress, lemon dill dressing

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Heres a different way to use a pork roast. Searing, slicing, and then braising the pork adds a ton of flavor and makes this a quick cooking dish. Flavors of fire roasted tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, dill, watercress, and citrus make this a beautiful summer dish.

 

Braised Pork with roasted mushrooms, roasted potatoes, watercress, lemon dill dressing

2 pound pork roast, boneless

1/2 bu dill, chopped

1/2 bu parsley, chopped

2 cups veg stock

1 large can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed

10 cloves garlic, minced/sliced

2 pounds small yellow potatoes

2 lemons, juiced

1 bu watercress, cleaned and chopped

1 portobello, sliced

4 shitake, stemmed and sliced

1 ct crimini mushrooms, quarted

1 cup crumbled feta

2 T capers, drained

 

 

1: Sear pork in 2 T olive oil on medium high heat, rotating once so both sides are caramelized.

2: Remove from heat and let cool. In the same pan, add you mushrooms, and 1 clove garlic minced. Cook over high heat to caramelize mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

3: Remove mushrooms and add sliced onion and 2 cloves minced garlic.

4: Cook over medium heat until onion is cooked. Add vegetable stock, cook down for 5 minutes on high. Add tomatoes, crushing them in your hands as you add them to the pot, turn down heat and cook for 5 more minutes.

5: Slice your pork into 8 equal portions by cutting it in half, then fourths, then 8ths.

6: Lay pork into the sauce so they fit snug.

7: Add capers, top with mushrooms, and half the feta.

8: Place in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.

10: When pork comes out, make sure it is cooked through, top with more feta and chopped parsley.

Roasted potatoes with watercress and lemon dill dressing 

1: Half potatoes, toss in olive oil with salt and pepper and 1 clove sliced garlic

2: Roast at 400 for 15 – 20 minutes until brown and crisp

3: Clean and cut watercress, place in bowl to side

4: In a container place 1 clove garlic, 1/2 bu dill, 1/2 bu parsley, and juice of one lemon.

5: Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 T water. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

6: When potatoes are hot out of the oven, toss in with watercress and dressing.

Serve hot or room temperature.

 

This recipe is delicious, healthy, and very flavorful. Try it out!

 

Cheers,
Sean Patrick Gallagher