A friend of mine, who is a very talented sculptor, had an exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland last year. This was her first exhibition abroad so a couple of friends and I decided to go with her in advance of the opening day to help with the set up.
During our 3 day stay, I spent nearly every minute of my free time at a store called Globus. Not only did I eat the best Chinese food ever and bought my beloved melamine serveware, but I also found something very precious: Cafe de Paris spice mix.
I think I was about 12 years old when I first tasted the L’Entrecote at Cafe de Paris in Geneva. I was so stunned by the taste and texture of the sauce that I dragged my mum and dad to the same restaurant 3 days in a row. And also, as a kid, the fixed side order of all-you-can-eat fries was definitely another motivation.
When we returned home from our vacation, I remember begging my mum to cook the same sauce at home, but her trials did not come close. I am not going to exaggerate by saying that I dreamt of that sauce for 17 consecutive years (although such a compulsive behavior would be quite normal for me), but have to say I was quite happy to find this spice mix. I still think the original sauce is unbeatable, but the below version is very close.
Not everyone reading this post has a chance to visit Globus, so here’s what the label on the spice mix says: Dried tomatoes, sea salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, paprika, mustard seed, Cayenne pepper, chives, parsley, muscat, lemon oil, orange zest.
SIRLOIN STEAK IN CAFE DE PARIS SAUCE
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 2 pieces sirloin steak
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Cafe de Paris spice mix
- 1 teaspoon French mustard
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brown both sides of the steaks in butter and oil.
- Put spice mixture and cream into the pan and mix to dissolve the spices and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer steaks to a plate.
- Take the pan off the heat. Put the mustard in the sauce and mix to dissolve. Pour over the steaks.
TOMATO RICE RECIPE
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1+1/3 cup medium or long grain rice
- 3 medium size tomatoes, skinned and pureed (just over 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Put the rice in a colander and wash under cold water, approximately 3-4 minutes. Set aside to drain. Either skin and puree the tomatoes or slice them in half and grate.
- Put olive oil and butter in a pan on medium high heat. When the oil mixture begins to foam, add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated with butter&oil and become somewhat transparent.
- Pour in pureed tomatoes, salt and boiling water, give it a final stir (no stirring after this point before serving) and put the lid on. Continue cooking on medium high heat until small bubbling holes form in between rice (about 2-3 minutes). Reduce to low heat and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Take off the heat, drape a clean kitchen towel or two-three paper towels on top, put the lid back on and let stand for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. (This will take the extra moisture.)