Lockdown in Paris: Day 39

It’s Fun Friday, and today we’re talking about confinement cooking. You’re putting me to shame—all y’all, with your fancy cooking and your food porn photos on all the socials medias. The things you are making and baking—incredible inventions, ambitious menus, vegan, gluten-free—it’s astounding. And here I was just happy with my gnocchi and chili, but you guys on Facebook and Instagram are really making me feel like an underachiever. Check out what people are cooking:


Yes, I’m talking to you, Samantha Verant, with your fancy focaccia decorated with an entire floral scene. Samantha has a new book coming out about a chef, so she’s really taking the cooking thing to a new level. Don’t you just want to rip into that yummy goodness, pretty or not?


“Apfelstrudel going in ze ovfen,” my friend Andrew messaged me. Then he sent this “after” photo. Apple strudel, really? Oh, that’s just not fair. And me on the other side of Paris, stuck in my “zone.” Andrew is quite the cook, throws the best dinner parties. Plus, he’s a real MacGyver in the kitchen. Give him breadcrumbs, some leftover coffee, cocoa powder, and he’ll whip up a chocolate mud cake or something. I dunno how he does it. Below, his “first attempt” at lockdown mince pies. Can you even?


Gluten- and dairy-free chocolate chip banana bread, from my buddy Matthew. This is just annoying on every level. First, he doesn’t even have a real oven. Second (and this makes me nuts), he never follows a recipe when baking—no precise measurements at all!—and yet, somehow, he makes yummy baked goods. Even gluten-free, which you know come out like rubber if you just breathe on them wrong. Gorgeous, Matthew! But—grr—you make me mad!


My friend Edward is a very chic guy. So is his food. He’s been cooking up something special every day. And his dishes are as inventive and healthy as they are gorgeous to look at. Above, what he called, “‘Asian’ turkey lettuce wraps.” I know.


“I wanted to make a Spanish tortilla, but I didn’t have enough olive oil, so I just added a bit of duck fat,” friend Patty told me. “And it came out pretty good.” I’ll bet it did. Duck fat? Patty is not afraid of trying new things. The other day she made Pork Tinga. Yeah, I had to Google it, too. She had it at a restaurant once and liked it, so she thought she’d give it a try at home. No recipe, just from taste memory. Easy-peasy, right? Want to make Patty’s Spanish Tortilla? See the recipe below.


This was my post. I was so proud of my little plate of gnocchi, I had to share it on Facebook. My sauce tasted almost exactly like my mother’s. It was a huge triumph. “Did you make the gnocchi?” someone asked in the comments. No, I did not. They were fresh-made by someone else. So sue me. You guys are a tough crowd.

Get caught up on my diary, here.


Spanish Tortilla


1 onion, thinly sliced
3 potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups olive oil (500 mL)—(or a bit of duck fat if you’re Patty)
6 eggs
1 pinch salt


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a very hot pan.
  2. Fry the vegetables in the olive oil over high heat for 10-15 minutes until they caramelize.
  3. Drain the vegetables on a paper towel.
  4. Whisk 6 eggs in a bowl. Stir in fried vegetables then leave to set for 15-20 minutes.
  5. In a nonstick pan, fry the egg mixture in some olive oil over high heat for 1 minute, then reduce to a low heat for 2-4 minutes.
  6. You’ll need to flip the tortilla to cook the other side. Here’s how: cover the pan with a large plate and carefully turn the omelet out onto the plate, then slide the omelet back into the pan. Fry for a further 3-5 minutes over low heat. To check if the omelet is cooked, gently press on the center. If it springs back, it’s ready.
  7. Repeat step 8 to remove omelet from the pan to the plate and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Tasty.
All photos this page used by permission.


On today’s bookshelf

My mom’s fave celeb chef. Click book to buy.

It ain’t a cookbook, but I talk about food a lot. Click book to buy.

6 responses to “Lockdown in Paris: Day 39

  1. I baked cranberry scones. I hate baking. Fierce devotee of the Great British Baking Show.

    It’s too precise for me. I love to cook, because I can freestyle. But baking requires an exact combination of specific ingredients, put together just so, with little room for variation.

    Still, the scones were mad delicious. Must find some sanding sugar for next time. Or whatever the Brits call it.

    • You’ve just described why I love baking. I’m a scientist at heart. My sister also hates baking for the same reasons but is a chef. It’s always my job to make the dessert. I am also obsessed with the Great British Baking Show. Bravo on the scones. Isn’t sanding sugar just granulated sugar? Maybe not. I don’t know why those people don’t just speak English already. 😉

      • Every time I’m in the UK, I experience language issues. Who knew?

        Granulated sugar and sanding sugar are two different animals. Sanding sugar is much bigger grains and doesn’t really melt in the oven, like granulated does. And it comes in colors.

        In the summertime, when I can get perfectly ripe plums, I make a killer clafoutis, which I top with sliced almonds (there’s almond extract in the clafoutis) and sugar. Must buy sanding sugar for this, as well as the scones. Maybe online.

      • Sanding sugar! Colors, yes! Like what Ma put on her Christmas cookies. Apparently, we call it sanding sugar in the States, too. Who knew? For someone who hates baking you sure know about sanding sugar, how to make clafoutis, and love The Great British Baking Show. You are quite the dichotomy, Catadromy.


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