Christmas is over. January is a bit of a difficult month. It's mid-winter and this year we've had a lot of cold weather. Snow is welcome but in Paris we haven't gotten much of it and the type we get doesn't usually stick, it either melts straightaway or turns into ice. The city looks grey and smells faintly of smoke and twigs, it's hardly worth the effort to go out, considering all the layers that we still have to pile on. So we're staying indoors, to read, to sew, to play games on the parquet floor, and to eating very simply.
Most mornings I wish only to eat a bowl of creamy oatmeal porridge. I still cook, mostly from scratch, but it's very simple stuff. Our weekly dinner menus might read like this: Pork rib with dried scallop congee/juk on Monday, steamed chicken and vegetables on Tuesday, grilled scallops or salmon with pasta on Wednesdays and braised minced pork with potatoes and carrots over rice on Thursdays. Some days it's just steamed rice, salad and cold cuts, minimal work but still gratifying. Just familiar favourites to get us through the month until we board the plane for a month-long stay in KL and Singapore.
Off-focus photo above is of oven-braised pork belly from Les Papilles, where I joined a group of local foodbloggers for dinner a few weeks before Christmas. Their charcuterie was rather good, it was my favourite course. Otherwise the roasted pink garlic that garnished the pork belly was the high point for me, but everyone got just one clove. Pink garlic is quite expensive, I buy one head each week and it costs nearly 2 euros each time, but it roasts to a beautiful mellow sweetness. Smeared with butter on toast, it's pure deliciousness, come to think of it I might buy more next time.
What I would also be eating more of would be galette des rois. This year the patisserie houses have gotten more creative, and playing with non-traditional ingredients like hazelnuts, apples and even rose petals. More details when I'm done with our researches.