We just couldn’t wait. Antoine and I have already had our Valentine’s dinner. This weekend we’re both travelling but not together: he’s leaving for work and I’m going back to family in Scotland during the children’s school holidays. On St Valentine’s Day I’ll be doing my first macaron demonstration on TV (The Hour on Scottish Television, STV). I’m rather nervous since it will be a challenge to show how to make these Parisian delicacies in the space of 6 minutes in a hot studio!
Where was I? Yes, our romantic dinner. I always thought the French were such romantics – until Valentine’s Day. They don’t do the hearts and cards as much as back home. But as Antoine puts it: “We celebrate St Valentine’s Day every day, chérie”. Oh-là-là. What can I say to that? Always a way with words. It’s true we do the candles often and have quality time over good food and wine so yes, it was just “another dinner” together. 😉 His greatest pleasure is finding a wine that matches the meal and often teases me with blind tastings. Mine is relishing in the whole foodie experience, starting at the market.
One of my favourite stalls at the market at St Germain-en-Laye is the Volailler (poultry specialist) who also sells game and many other delicacies. They used to be part of Monsieur Janinet’s impressive rôtisserie which was an institution in the town. Now you can find them only at the market but their top-notch produce hasn’t changed. Let me introduce you to Monsieur Di.
Monsieur Di is adorable. As we discuss how to cook his produce, he throws some extras in the bag when I’m not looking: fresh parsley and some extra boudins blancs stuffed with cèpes mushrooms. Like his friendly colleagues, he prepares my pigeons with such care and finishes them off under his flaming blowtorch so that my life is easier in the kitchen.
My dish was inspired by the VI Nation’s Rugby. We watched France beat Scotland (ouch!) at the Stade de France on Saturday in a windy stadium. So feeling patriotic, I needed to add a touch of Scotland to the table. I’ve posted the recipe for Pigeon with Whisky, Ginger and Apricots. The photo is not very pink for St Valentine’s, but I can assure you it was pink in the middle. I should have taken a photo but forgot!
What was for dessert you ask? Well, I’m leaving that as a surprise until Monday 😉
I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day or a whole year of Valentine’s Days with your flame. Now I need to get back to the kitchen to prepare macarons for Monday!