After two weeks without cooking, you can imagine how excited I was to find myself in a kitchen again. And not just a little kitchenette. A real kitchen, with pans and pots and spoons and knives and cutting boards.
The things we take for granted.
On that note, we also take drugstores for granted in America. Drugstore: CVS, Walgreens, etc, where you can buy shampoo, band-aids, snacks and birthday cards all at once. AND they’re generally open 24 hours a day. No such place exists in France. So I was a bit lost the other day after walking in and out of three pharmacies in search of shampoo and conditioner. It finally took asking my host’s daughter where such elusive items could be procured: at the grocery store. Of course.
At least I have shampoo now. It smells like cranberry, too! Things are looking up.
After taking a lovely shower and washing my hair really well with my new hair products for the first time since leaving home (I’ve been using the shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush…they get the job done, but real shampoo and conditioner work much better), my attention moved to the kitchen. It’s quite nice, as far as kitchens go. There’s lots of space and granite countertops and a stove and an oven.
What more could you ask for?
Since it was dinnertime, I jumped on in and made dinner for myself. For my first homemade meal in France, I chose a very French protein: lamb, of course! With lots of garlic and mustard, it was the perfect meal to begin my adventures in Bordeaux.
Pan-Fried Lamb with Mustard
½ small yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 TBSP mustard
½ tsp herbs de provence
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil + a bit for cooking
1 lamb leg steak
Throw the onion into a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and cook them on a low heat so that they start to get all gooey and caramelized. While they are cooking, mix together the mustard, garlic, salt, herbs, and 2 tsp olive oil and paint the mixture on both sides of your lamb. When the onion are about halfway done, turn up the heat to medium, move the onions to the edges of the pan, and add the lamb. Cook it for about five minutes, until it starts to get brown and crusty, then flip and cook it until it’s about 125 degrees in the middle…it shouldn’t take too long. Right when the lamb is almost done, pour about ¼ cup of warm water around the edges of the pan. The water will pick up the lamby bits and mustard that have been left on the bottom of the pan and help finish the onions. Take the lamb off and swirl the onions and liquid in the pan. Most of the water should evaporate, leaving nice, caramelly, mustardy onions to put on top of your lamb. Serve with anything really. I put mine on top of steamed green beans 🙂