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CONTENTS introduction ................ 7 s av o u r y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 s w e e t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 3 a b o u t t h e a u t h o r . . . . . . . . . 1 0 0 index...................... 102

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INTRODUCTION Paris is a be au tif u l, in spi ri n g c i t y, an d I hav e spe n t m u ch o f m y l i fe the re. Fre n ch pe ople hav e a t r u e passi o n fo r c o o k i n g , an d t he c u i si n e i s a n atu ral part of the c u l t u re. I t i s as m u ch abo u t t he qu al i t y o f t he produ cts an d the pre parat i o n o f t he m e al s as i t i s abo u t e at i n g. W he n I m ov e d to Lon don t he o n e t hi n g I m i sse d w as t he fo o d back ho me – in particu lar the w o n de rf u l de l i c ac i e s so l d i n t he brasse ri e s o f Paris, f rom sim ple croi ssan t s t o m o i st cho c o l at e c ak e s, pi pi n g ho t croqu e s-m on sie u rs an d f re sh che e se s. I hav e w o rk e d i n re st au ran t s fo r m ost of m y life an d th ou g ht i t m i g ht be n i c e t o bri n g a sl i c e o f Fran c e to the stre e ts of Lon don . M y po p- u p, Le Pe t i t Pa ri s, st art e d f ro m a simple ide a: I w an te d to c o m bi n e m y l o v e o f f i n g e r fo o d w i t h t he cl assi c Fre n ch cu isin e. Sn ack s sho u l d be de l i c i o u s bu t al so s i m pl e an d o f c o u rse sm all, so you c an han dl e t he m w i t h yo u r han ds. T he dishe s you w ill f in d i n L e Peti t Pa r i s are t radi t i o n al Fre n ch re cipe s w ith a m ode r n , m i n i at u re t w i st . I ho pe t he y i n j e c t a hi n t o f G allic char m in to you r n e xt c e l e brat i o n , w he t he r i t ’s a l av i sh part y, drin k s w i t h f ri e n ds o r a n i g ht i n . Nat hal i e B e n eze t

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Savoury

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CROQUE MONSIEUR A l w ays popular w ith adults and children – ser v e for a quick l u n ch or c ut i n to t w o t ri angles and enj o y with drink s. A lter nativ el y c ut t he sand w i ches into four equal squares and pop them on a m etal sk e w er – a g reat ne w way to ser v e this classic dish. S e r v e s 6 o r mak e s 24 sm al l c ro qu es For the sandwiches 400 ml (13 fl oz/1⅔ cups) whole milk 4 medium egg yolks, beaten 300 g (10½ oz/2½ cups) Gruyère, grated 12 slices white bread, crusts removed 6 slices ham 40 g (1½ oz/3 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature freshly ground black pepper For the béchamel sauce 15 g (½ oz/1 tablespoon) unsalted butter 15 g (½ oz/1½ tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) whole milk

For the sandwich filling, whisk the milk and beaten egg yolks in a medium bowl, season with black pepper, whisk again and stir in the Gruyère. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/gas mark 31/2). Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir over a low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until the mixture is slightly thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the nutmeg. Return the pan to a gentle heat and whisk continually for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from the heat. Place half the bread slices on to the prepared baking trays. Top each piece of bread with a slice of ham and some of the béchamel sauce. Spread the remaining 6 slices of bread with the butter. Top each sandwich with a piece of buttered bread, butter side uppermost. Drain the Gruyère cheese and sprinkle it on top of the bread. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Cut each sandwich into 4 equal squares to serve.

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper pinch of grated nutmeg

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PARISIAN SANDWICH A g ed G r uyère has a st ronger flav our than the m ore c ream y, nutty, yo u n ge r v ariety, an d g i v e t hese sand wiches a wonderfull y distinc tiv e taste. For an au thentic Fre nch r ustic look , sec ure each sand wich with st ri n g an d ser v e w ith c or nichons – tiny pick led gherk ins. M ak e s 1 2 1 baguette butter at room temperature, for spreading 6 thin slices jambon de Paris ham, or a similar type of white ham 6 thin slices aged Gruyère cornichons, to serve

Slice the baguette in half lengthwise, leaving the long edge joined together so you can open it like a book. Spread butter along both halves of the inside, fold the slices of ham and place along one side of the baguette. Place the cheese on top and sandwich the baguette together. Cut into 12 equal pieces and tie each piece with string. Serve with cornichons alongside.

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Sweet

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MADELEINES A t radi t ional French c ak e w ith a distinc tiv e pretty, sc allop sha pe – perfe ct to se r v e for af ter noon t e a o r m or ning c of fee. Cov er the batter and chil l i t i n the re f ri g e rator for u p to 2 hours. T his will ensure your m adelei n e s hav e a nic e rounded ‘bell y’ onc e bak ed. M ak e s 5 0 – 60 140 g (41/2 oz/scant 2/3 cup) unsalted butter plus extra for greasing 125 g (4 oz/1 cup) self-raising (self-rising) flour plus extra for dusting 3 large eggs 140 g (41/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar 1 teaspoon clear honey 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon groundnut (peanut) oil 50 ml (2 fl oz) whole milk

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Grease enough mini Madeleine tins to bake 50–60 cakes if you are making them in one batch, dust with flour, tap off any excess, then chill in the fridge. Place the butter in a small saucepan, and melt gently over a medium heat, then set aside to cool. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and the sugar together for 8–10 minutes until the mixture triples in volume and leaves a trail on the surface. Add the honey and the lemon zest and stir into the mixture. Add the oil, sift the flour and fold in, together with the cooled butter and milk until it is all incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the chilled tins and leave to rest in the fridge for 5 minutes. Bake for 5–10 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown. Leave to stand for 1–2 minutes before removing from the tins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Madeleines are best eaten fresh on the day you make them.

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CHAMPAGNE GRANITA WITH STRAWBERRIES T hi s re f re shi n gl y tang y g ranita also tastes delic ious ser v ed with mi n t e d m e lon, pe ache s or k iwi fr uit. I t m ak es the perfec t finish to din n e r i n t he g arden at the end of a hot sum m er day.

Ser ves 8 For the granita 160 g (51/2 oz/3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar zest of a lemon 750 ml (25 fl oz/3 cups) Champagne For the strawberries a few mint leaves 50 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) light brown soft sugar zest and juice of 1 lemon 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/31/3 cups) strawberries

Combine 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) water with the sugar and lemon zest in a heavybased saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to infuse. When completely cold, strain through a fine sieve and add the Champagne. Pour into a shallow container and freeze. Every few hours take the mixture out of the freezer and beat it lightly with a fork to mix the frozen crystals into the liquid. By the time it has frozen, the texture should be granular with large icy crystals. Meanwhile, roll the mint leaves into tubes and slice them thinly into ribbons. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and lemon juice and zest. Gently add the strawberries and mint ribbons. Toss together until the strawberries are well coated. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours to allow the flavours to blend. To serve, put a spoonful of strawberries into small serving glasses or cups and top with the Champagne granita.

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Le Petit Paris by Nathalie Benezet (ISBN 9781742705965)