Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Do You Make For Easter Dinner In Paris? Mexican, Of Course

Okay, maybe I should clarify by saying "What do you make for Easter dinner in Paris when you are feeding 20 American college students?" When I made some (very bad) Mexican for some of the students one Sunday (we've been having two of them over every week during the program), the word spread like wildfire that I made the BEST MEXICAN FOOD EVER.

Seriously, it kind of sucked.

So, when I decided to have everyone over for Easter dinner, the requests for Mexican were overwhelming, and because I have grown to love the students like my own children, I had to oblige. And let me tell you, making Mexican food in Paris is not an easy feat. First of all, the French don't seem to like anything spicy, and cheddar cheese is almost impossible to find for less than 20 Euros per pound, there's no sour cream, and after searching for months, I only found one supermarche that carried jalepeno peppers. And I never did find pinto beans, but luckily had my sister bring some when she visited in March. So, I pieced together a pretty good semblance of a Mexican meal, and I have to say, in the end, I was quite proud of it, as strange as it was.

Who knew that a big pot of pinto beans could be so exotic?

Me telling everyone to come and get it. Max was wise and ate on the top bunk to avoid the feeding frenzy.

The spread: Homemade guacamole, salsa, refried beans, chicken tacos, with a few little French additions, like creme frâiche instead of sour cream, gouda cheese instead of cheddar, and romaine lettuce instead of iceberg.

Luckily cooking for college students is like shooting fish in a barrel. Especially when they haven't had Mexican in months.

And for dessert, the best brownies in the world. I'm not kidding. If you've always been looking for the perfect brownie recipe, look no further because here it is. And those things that look like cyclops eyes are actually chocolate eggs filled with ice cream and caramel to look like whites and yolks (stuck on with Nutella). I had to be a little festive in the middle of the fiesta.

Jack loves the ladies, and the ladies love him right back. I may have something to worry about in a few years...

And Max convinced a few of the students to get into a little Uno smackdown too.

It really was a great Easter. I usually have a big Easter feast with friends and family at our place, but this was just as much fun. I certainly missed my friends and family, but it has been pretty awesome to have a whole new family here in France.

Thanks students, I love you guys!


Angela said...

Are you kidding? It was the best Mexican food ever! Thanks so much for making it for us, and thank you for the brownie recipe...those were divine!