Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chez Michel (神秘嘉賓Michel), 1


I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, and finally, I have the opportunity to introduce you to our first guest, Michel. Over the holidays in December, our friend Michel invited us to his place for dinner. This is the second year that he's invited us over for the holidays, and for that, we're very grateful! Being in a foreign country alone during the holiday season can be a little bit depressing, but he's always letting us know that we're not alone here.

Besides being such a kind and generous person, he is also an extremely talented musician, and one of the best cooks I've ever met! He's also a dear friend of mine. There are so many great things to say about him that I could go on and on... I do not know anyone who does not like Michel, and everyone wants to be invited over to his place, as well!


Michel is also well-known for his style and taste!

We first met him when my husband's new colleagues decided to throw us a welcome party. Since Michel is a great cook, naturally everyone wanted to find an "excuse" to get together at his house. When we arrived, we were not really told how they arranged for the food. When I saw the fancy food presentation on his dining table, I thought that they had paid a catering company! Only after I stepped in his kitchen, did I realize that he was the master chef behind all those delicious hors d'oeuvres. Boy, was I impressed!


My dream dining room...

In his invitation this year, he told me that he was just going to make something simple. I thought to myself: "With Michel, there's no way that he would make something 'simple'”, and of course, I was right! We ended up having a several course meal. (See photos)

I confess that I did not watch how he prepared all the dishes (every cook needs his own space! XD), but he told me a little bit about each dish and sent me some recipes as a guideline for me to try. I'm sharing my version of all the recipes with you, so you can try to make these "simple" (a word only found in Michel's dictionary! XD) delicious dishes, like I did, for yourself! I'm sure Michel would be proud of me if he sees them! (Just click links below photos to go to recipes!)

On the left: I don't usually drink much wine, but I always love the wine Michel picks
左圖:那天的酒瓶很特別!我平時不大喝酒的,但是只要是Michel選的酒,我都愛喝 XD

On the right: You can find some nice collections of art at his house

早在幾個月前,就一直很想找機會把這位神秘貴賓介紹給大家,但一直拖到現在!!! > < 前些日子的過節期間,我的好友 – Michel,邀請我們到他家做客,這是我們搬來魁北克後,第二年在過節時收到他的邀請。在人生地不熟(又寒冷)的魁北克,還要獨自過節,實在令人有點沮 喪啊… 因此,我們感到非常的幸運,能在這裡遇上那麼有人情味的朋友,實屬難得,也很令人欣慰。


A beautiful giant Christmas tree is a must at Michel's house every year!

我第一次遇見Michel是剛來沒多久時,因為朋友手藝很好的關係,老公的工作單位請他幫我們辦一個"Welcome Party"(應該是說大家想找藉口去他家裡,還有品嘗他的菜啦!>w<) 我當時對整件事情並不了解,所以以為他們大家請來什麼有名的廚師之類的,直到我走進朋友的廚房,才發現原來他就是幕後的"大廚"


it is very similar to pâté. Here, Michel made it with both pork and duck. The meat has been cooked in fat for a long time, so it is tender, flavorful, and wonderful! 


Before I met Michel, I had not tried rillettes and did not know anything about it. Now, it's one of my favorites! You can see it in a lot of restaurants here, but it's hard to find one as good as his. Luckily, he was generous enough to give me a full container of it, so I can even enjoy it at home! Unfortunately, I was not able to make this dish with Michel this year. It looks like we'll have to share this recipe next year....


Michel這一次邀請我們,他預告了,他將會簡單的做幾道菜。聽他這麼說之後,我跟老公説用膝蓋想也知道哪~~~~~有可能的!! 在我這位朋友的眼裡,「簡單」兩個字跟一般人的定意根本大~~~大的不同!果然不出我所料,那天去朋友家吃到一堆一~~~~~點都不簡單的料理!!! (請看圖片)

我那天很認份的扮演著座上賓客的角色,沒機會看他做菜偷學幾招 (你也知道,每位大廚都有一個絕對保密、誤闖者死的廚房… XD) 朋友後來仍有稍微透露一點做法,也很熱心的從網路找來幾個供我參考的食譜。我在這裡順便附上我自己的食譜並且分享給大家,讓大家也可以一起"享受"一下朋 友,Michel的大餐喔!(按圖片下方的食譜連結)

I love this salad!!! The bitterness of the chicory, the smoky flavor of the bacon, the crispiness of the croutons, the warmth of the vinaigrette, and not to forget the soft runny egg yolk from the poached eggs, are all combined in this dish. I think you'll agree that this is not so "simple" (as Michel says)! XD


Even though I wasn't supposed to disturb him while he was cooking, I couldn't resist the smell of the rösti and had to sneak in the kitchen to snap this quick shot! Sorry, my friend!!

雖然不應該在朋友煮菜的時候干擾他,但那煎餅的香味實在太誘人啦!!!! 忍不住走到廚房拍下這一張~

Émincé de porc à la zurichoise Pork cutlets in Zurich style 蘇梨士風

It is typically made with veal. Since we don't eat much veal, my friend substituted it with pork. The pork was tender and paired perfectly with the white wine and mushrooms. My recipe is with chicken, which works just as well!


Of course, as a true Frenchman, Michel always offers some cheese at the end of the meal

This is the dessert I made for Michel that day. I find that in Quebec people are very thoughtful when they're guests. They don't go to an invited meal empty-handed (even when you asked them to!). Most of the time, as a guest, you would ask the host what you should bring, such as wine, cheese, or dessert. And if you like to cook (and you know your host likes your cooking), you might want to offer them a homemade dish or a dessert. Even if the host says you don't need to bring anything, it's still polite to bring some gift that you think would be suitable for them or the party. 


The dessert was not heavy and luckily it went perfectly with Michel's meal (even though I didn't know what he was going to make)!


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