November 20, 2011

Sundays in Europe...


With the imminent departure home of my dear friends J & T looming large on the horizon, there'd been a request to imbibe in some unique Melbourne specialties to help cap off their long and respectively short Antipodean sojourns before jetting off to new adventures, and so I suggested they might like to pop around for Sunday lunch. A simple, relaxed affair was all we had in mind, although I suspect neither J nor T quite realised what it meant for me to say, "I'll do lunch"...




Continuing in an effort to make full use of my culinary print library, this time occasion called for something old and something new in two delicious offerings from the lovely Skye Gyngell, because for once, I had something very particular in mind...

Now I'll be honest, I personally find French cuisine particularly intimidating, and while I don't quite know why, I expect it has something to do with their getting everything just right. Even the simplest of combinations are presented as dishes so exquisite you're absolutely petrified that should replication of such wonders be attempted by your amateur hands, something is bound to go horribly, horridly wrong.

But given the rules of engagement here at TPB, such equivocation simply will not do, and so lunch was most definitely on and it was straight in at the deep-end for me with one of my most favourite of dishes, bouillabaisse.

I first taught myself how to dismantle a crab,




and then it was simply a matter of taking some excellently selected seafood,




combining it with a few other luscious necessities,




and then pondering whether or not I had a pot large enough to accommodate it all...


 


Served simply as a broth aside toasted baguette with rouille,


  


and followed by a slightly bitter and refreshingly crisp witlof and radicchio salad,


 


I'd say Sunday lunch sure doesn't get much better than this.


 


Mind you, it's not really a proper Sunday lunch without lunch dessert, and so there may have been a few caramelised blood oranges,



 


and perhaps just a sliver or two of blackberry and almond tart.


 


Just maybe...



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