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.)
Thanks for your posting. The ” Entrecote de Paris ” on Union Street is now unfortunately closed. I have to go Geneva or New York now.
Hi.. Sorry to hear that it is closed. It was also one of my favorites in SF. Look at this way: what better reason to travel?
So.. how can we find the mix?
I strongly agree with you that “Cafe de Paris “in Geneva is the best place to taste delightfull grill and sauce all over EUrope.Whenever I go Geneva ,I always eat grill in this place.Menü is always same and simple..Entrecote, salat and pomme frites( patatoes ).
If you want to buy sauce Cafe de paris , you can just demande to the waitress in the Cafe de Paris in geneva ( of course you will pay)..
i’m desperately looking for a way to buy the orginal cafe de paris spice mix online. seached the web but couldn’t get a result. any suggestions?
Ozlem K. – I also checked to see if it was available online, but no luck.
a Greek spice company will launch cafe de paris mix and other mixes end of September
George, will it be available online?
I’m making the sauce for the cafe i work for, the taste is really good and the feedback is really good too but at the end of the day i know that my recipe may not be exactly right.
During my younger years I had a chance to work at Mc Donalds -Cornavan Station Geneve, beside it is Cafe de Paris.
When budget allows – its the best place to dine / have coffee / beer before or after work especially during summer.
No luck finding spice mix online,.. But i found a pretty convincing recipe, here it is: http://bit.ly/84OT0K,.. Btw, as far as i know, cafe de paris is a butter based sauce, but this one is cream based. Is it that versatile? Ozlem K., we’d like to read your formula too,..
Aycan – This is nowhere close to the original recipe. My friend’s father has the original one, but he doesn’t even share with his son. He was given the recipe when they first opened the İstanbul branch back when and still prepares the sauce himself for the Suadiye branch. It is all butter, no cream. That’s all I know.
God dang it (: Back to square one then. Tons of recipe online and even i (just an average guy with a nice hobby) can tell they’re all rubbish,.. If this recipe is that big of a secret, i’m gonna go and try to find a friendly Genevian stranger on Facebook! (Let me squeeze a Star Wars reference here) Help me Ozlem K, you’re my only hope (:
Wikipedia claims that French newspaper Lemonde wrote that the cafe de paris sauce at the Relais de Venise restaurant (which I highly recommend if you go to Paris by the way) uses chicken liver fat. Any thoughts?
Yunus – Possible. And God knows what else…
Amazon now have a company selling a mix: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Caf%C3%A9-de-paris-spice-blend/dp/B002GZ0LFG. Will be trying shortly!