How do you eat?
When eating in restaurants in the US I’m usually asked: ‘Would you like an appetizer?’. The question always makes me think of Potato Skins or Cheese Curds or something similar…. Something to nibble on while deciding on dinner.
The dinner which will consist of a first course, a main course and a dessert.
I always decline the appetizer, then order a first and main course (and confusing the server, I’ve learned).
Here, as in the rest of Europe, the question is never asked.
Occasionally, for lunch you will see offers of a 2 course menu option – either first and main or main and dessert.
But, a full dinner menu at any restaurant is the norm, and includes a first course, main course, cheese course and dessert.
At a ‘nicer’ restaurant dinner will start with a small ‘taste from the chef’ and end with chocolates or a small sweet ‘from the chef’ with coffee.
Coffee, by the way, is a separate, optional, course.
And the cheese trolley at a nice restaurant is a thing of beauty – often 10 – 15 different cheeses to choose from.
But, that’s dining out….. What about dining in?
How do you eat at home?
When I was a child we had the traditional meat, potatoes, vegetable with an occasional, seasonal dessert.
When I started entertaining in the US, I normally served a salad, main course and dessert.
When I started entertaining in Andorra, and now in France, I serve a first course, main course, cheese course, dessert, coffee with chocolates.
Preceded, of course, by drinks and nibbles.
But, how do you eat at home? When not entertaining?
On Friday and Saturday we have a first course and main course. Occasionally we’ll have a bit of cheese or a bit of fruit after, rarely an actual dessert and rarely coffee. Maybe a square of dark chocolate.
On Sunday, in winter I’ll make a kettle of soup, or a slow-simmered stew; in summer a roast or chicken on the barbecue.
Monday – Thursday we have stir-fries, pastas, simple grilled or braised meats with rice and vegetables, salads in summer, leftover soup in winter.
Needless to say, one of the things we eat a lot of this time of year is courgette (zucchini).
Mon mari thinks I should do a cook book: 101 Ways with Zucchini.
Perhaps I shall….
I do have about 30 recipes in my personal arsenal, but, when time is short this is my favorite.
Sometimes simple is best.
It works equally well with yellow and green…. or my bastard mixes…..
These get very, very creamy inside – melt in your mouth!
Fried Zucchini (Courgette)
1 yellow or green courgette (zucchini), 8 inches (20cm) long
1 tbs olive oil
salt, pepper for finishing
Slice the blossom end off of the zucchini, then slice it into 1/3 inch (1 cm) rounds. Don’t bother with the thin, stem end. (Slice as much as you’ll want to eat; I did about 12 slices. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. The skillet needs to be large enough to hold all of the slices flat. Add zucchini slices and sauté 6 – 8 minutes. Check after 8 by lifting up with tongs and looking at the bottom; it should be getting brown spots on it. If not, sauté some more; if yes turn and sauté the other side. The other side won’t take quite as long. When they are done the slices will have nice, browned patches on both sides and be tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve.
You can always sprinkle them with shredded purple and green basil…..
week of July 23 we have Grilled Lemon Shrimp, Melon with Prosciutto, Barbecued Cornish Hens, Inside-Out Burgers on the Grill, Quinoa dn Lentil Salad…
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