This is my third month in Paris. Three. Months. If Paris were a baby, I would be telling people about it right about now. Thank goodness it isn’t, because I imagine giving birth would be an even more painful experience than usual, what with the pointy Eiffel tower and all. And no, this isn’t some convoluted introduction to a baby announcement. Not pregnant here, move right along. I just ate too much cheese and bread and chocolate over the past… three months. Oi. Must do running or similar.
Which is why I dreamed up my latest plan: eating no animal fats during the week, except for fish (because healthy) and butter (because what is the point otherwise?). Like my ideas are wont to, this one is turning out to be nicer in plan than in practice. It sounded lovely when I pondered it over a plate of grilled chorizo, happily chewing away. I would eat only plant-based things during the week, feeling healthy and righteous and effortlessly shedding pounds. Treats on the weekend (a cheese plate, some charcuterie, maybe a cream filled pastry or two) would taste extra special and my skin would glow. Then the weekend ended, I put the plan into practice and promptly ran into a half-finished round of St Marcellin in my fridge. Huh. Well, couldn’t let that go to waste. So the project got moved up a day, bringing us to yesterday.
A plate of lentils and tomatoes was my dinner. I melted half a tin of anchovies and a large clove of garlic in some olive oil, added a knob of butter and a handful of chopped cilantro and then stirred in the cooked lentils and tomato. Not bad, really. It was just… more like a side dish than dinner. It would have been just the thing alongside a nice piece of roast chicken. With crispy skin, preferably. By itself, it required three (okay, okay, four) chunks of chocolate as dessert to make me feel like I’d had a meal. I need a better plan. And I think the bowl up there might be it.
That is a bowl of tomato sauce fragrant with wine and terragon, with juicy shrimp floating in it. It is warm (v. important now that I am back to wearing gloves when I cycle to work), it is delicious and it feels like a decadent meal when mopped up with a piece of fresh baguette. Pleasingly, it is also a cinch to make and is imminently doable as a dinner, even after a day of healthy eating and work. Yes, that’s much more like it.
Quick shrimp in tomatoes
Based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 3 spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 large pinches of dried terragon
- a few splashes of white wine
- 100 gr frozen shrimp (or other seafood)
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Put some olive oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic and then gently heat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the spring onion and terragon and cook for two minutes or so, until the onion is just soft. Add the wine and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes some salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the sauce has thickened a bit. Add the frozen shrimp, lower the heat a little and keep the sauce gently bubbling until the shrimp are heated through. This should only take a few minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve, with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.