Thursday, January 26, 2012

Remembering Rouen, France

This past September, my husband and I went to England and France for 12 days, and yes, we ditched the kids...they had school, so that worked!  We do hope to take them in the near future.  Since it was my very first visit across the pond, I wanted to hit the big cities of London and Paris, then venture out for a few days in each country to get a feel for the culture, food, etc.
Call it brave, or stupid...but we rented a car in Paris and drove to see the #1 sight in France, which is the monastery Mont Saint-Michel.  This piece of history (since 6th century) is perched high on the edge of the Normandy coast.  That's a post all it's own.  As we plotted our trek, we chose the city of Rouen as our historical spot for lunch.

We were picturing this quaint little village, because that's what we saw online...but it turned out to be quite the industrial city and much larger than expected.  This beautiful church was in the center of town and so thrilled to have found it.  We joked that we were on the road to "ruin".  Even though the French pronounce it "Rahww"...basically leave off the ending.  The maps, and highway systems were not the best or easiest to follow.  The google map on my phone we were counting on, was not accurate.  That made my husband Blake very nervous, and he's never nervous (it's usually me!).
Thankfully, not too far off the highway, we found a cafe.  It was cute, quaint, tables out front...typical French cafe.  Did I mention that Blake and I don't speak French?  We had a book of phrases, that proved NOT to be helpful at all.  We thought we ordered water, and got red wine instead.  Not complaining, just letting you know how bad our French really was.

The menu had lots of choices and we each figured out something to order.  I chose the Salades Poulet Caesar....ahhhhh, chicken caesar salad!  I do think it was the BEST  Chicken Caesar salad I have ever eaten!  As you see in the first pic, it was topped with 2 poached eggs, huge chunks of parmesan cheese, roasted chicken pieces, halved red potatoes (which I'd never seen on a salad like that before).  The lettuce was tossed lightly with a Balsamic viniagrette, and the traditional Caesar dressing was on the side.  DELISH!

Blake ordered some type of ham that came with French Fries!!  It was served on a slate platter, which was too cool!  Just one of the many surprises we stumbled upon.

So....for dinner, I recreated the Chicken Caesar Salad...all but the potatoes, because I didn't have any, and it wasn't worth another trip to the store...:)

Rouen's Chicken Caesar Salad
deli roasted chicken, deboned
cucumber, skinned and seeded
parmesan cheese
Romaine lettuce
poached eggs
boiled red potatoes
Balsamic viniagrette
Caesar dressing
homemade croutons

I'm including my quick and easy way to make your own croutons.  I bought a loaf of French bread in the bakery section of our grocery store.  Cut it up into cubes and tossed with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Pour on some more olive oil for good measure. (you want each cube to have some oil)  Spread out in a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with 1" edges) and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Stir, to prevent any burning and bake for another 10 minutes or until pieces are toasted.  I store them in a ziploc bag and they keep for weeks!

Au revoir,


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