Paris Je T’aime

Well this is a little embarrassing…

You see it’s been almost 3 months since I’ve last been here.  I wish I could say I had a valid excuse like I broke my hand or I’ve been traveling the world or I’ve decided to go on strike from technology…but I don’t.  At least I didn’t break my hand though because that would be unfortunate.

I am however, listening to Edith Piaf and dreaming of my upcoming trip to France!  I’m wistfully dreaming of strolling the ghostly streets of Paris (in August!), indulging in heavenly food and wine and art and culture.  Paris in August you say?  I know, it may raise a few eyebrows, especially since I’m not just going to Paris in August, I’m a foodie who’s going to Paris in August.  I’m well aware of the fact that several of the restaurants I long to visit will be hibernating during my stint there, as everyone will be vacationing but it was August or next year and Paris anytime is better than no Paris at all and no Paris at all just sounds downright ridiculous!  Also, we won’t have to deal with a whole lot of crazy tourists, meaning more patisseries for moi.

This won’t be a leisurely trip but I am as insatiable about travel as I am food and am determined to absorb as much as I can during our brief time there.  We’ll start off with 2 days in Paris, take a night train to Provence and have 2 days there to explore Aix, Gordes, Bonneux, Arles & Sault – the lavender fields will be in bloom!  We then will take a night train to Bern and will have 3 beautiful days in Switzerland, visiting Lausanne, Luzern, Bern and Wengen/Interlaken.  Finally we will take the train back up to Paris and have one last day there before flying home the next morning.  Maybe we are insane for being so ambitious but I am a voracious traveler with lot’s of stamina!

Speaking of Paris, I have to take a minute here to mention Woody Allen’s latest film Midnight in Paris, which I recently had the pleasure of seeing.  We snuck in a Boda box of red wine and cookies from Whole Foods and had big smiles on our faces for the entire film (and it wasn’t just because of the buzz or the sweets).  It was dreamy and a lovely surprise and totally got me in the mood for Paris.   And if you don’t happen to be a fan of Woody Allen, particularly because of him usually casting his highly neurotic self in his movies, fret not because a delightful Owen Wilson plays the neurotic Woody Allen character and is actually enjoyable.  There are also some great cameos.  Definitely recommended.

I have tales and pictures from Seattle and Maine to share with you but they each deserve their own post, so until then, I have a sandwich for you…

See this gorgeous colorful fusion of orange and fushia?  These are two of my favorite things, tangled together in a sweet, summery mess.  Caramelized red onion and peaches.  What is not to love?  They’re about to go on something really yummy…

This is ciabatta bread from the bakery I work in.  It’s been spread with homemade pesto and a blanket of provolone cheese and then it went under the broiler for a bit.  The airy ciabatta got toasty and the cheese golden and bubbly.

Then this happened.  My mouth is doing cartwheels just looking at it.

A darn good sandwich it was.  You can make one too.  Well, make two, one for you and one for someone you really like.

Not Your Average Chicken Sandwich

Grilled chicken with caramelized onions and peaches with pesto and provolone

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of ciabatta bread from your favorite bakery
  • 1 marinated grilled chicken breast (I love a good marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, pressed garlic, Dijon mustard, pepper and red chili flakes but any marinade will do, as long as it isn’t too bold and you marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour).
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • (Pesto homemade or store bought, whatever you fancy, but homemade is such a cinch and is definitely recommended!  I use the basics toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and grated parmesan but also like to add a ¼ tsp of red chili flakes for an extra kick).
  • ½ red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 fresh peaches, pitted, skinned and halved or quartered
  • About 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbs butter and 1Tbsp light brown sugar (for caramelizing the onions and peaches).

Assembly:

  • Put the olive oil in a medium sized skillet and over a medium low heat, add the butter and brown sugar and cook the onion rings for about 20-30 minutes until caramelized, adding the peaches in for the last 10 minutes or so.
  • Lightly toast the top side of each ciabatta slice in the oven under a low broil.  Spread the bottom side of each slide with pesto (you can spread both slices if you like).
  • Top with 2 slices of provolone cheese per sandwich and place the bottom slices back under the broiler, still on low until the cheese bubbles and starts to golden.
  • Slice the chicken breast in half if it is too thick; place on top of the cheesy pesto bread, then use some tongs to drape the caramelized peaches and onions over.  Top with the other slice of bread, close your eyes and take a big bite.
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