Meet my Parisian friend Hélène!
If I had to describe Hélène in one word I would say she's a superwoman. She's incredibly dynamic and just thinking about all the things she manages to do in one single day makes me feel guilty and … tired. She's got a full time job with a lot of responsabilities, besides she also runs her own buisness, she's a mum, practices some sport and even finds time for some girl friends weekends. And worst is that it looks really easy to her.
So of course Hélène doesn't have too much time during the week for cooking but no way for her to eat junkfood or frozen meals. She focuses on salads or soups, making her best to eat seasonal and local dishes, and sometimes goes to her local Italian caterer. Big fan of seeds, we can say that Hélène is my super healthy friend.
We spent a lovely moment in her beautiful appartment in the XIXth of Paris, talking about her everyday life, food and of course cooking the recipe she decided to share with you : creamy salmon lentils.
You're living in the XIXth, how would you describe this area of Paris ?
We have the chance to live just right in front of les Buttes Chaumont Park, one of the biggest of Paris, and to me one of the most interesting because you can always find some new hidden spots. And it's offering everything you need for a perfect day with kids : pony, fairground ride or puppet show.
Our neighborhoud is very familial with a diverse population which is nice to me. I love this place because it's very calm and in the same time very close from “cool” places such as the Canal Saint Martin where you can find some great bars and boutiques.
You have some very busy weeks, could you describe what your weekends look like ?
We love so much our neighboroud and our cosy new appartment that we appreciate staying in our little cocoon. We take time to stroll in les Buttes Chaumont, having picniques in summer or even ordering some food at Rosa Bonheur to eat outside under the trees with coats during winter.
Having a new home is also taking a lot of time in decoration. So I have a new passion for brocantes and antiques. We spend a lot of time at “les puces de St Ouen” searching for some unique furnitures or decorative items.
Where do you shop your everyday life food?
Close from home is “la halle secrétan” which is an Historical inside market from the XIXth century. It's a beautiful building, and you can find whatever you want everyday.
Hélène's good tips in Paris:
La butte Bergeyre : an atypic area of the XIXth, with little houses and paved streets
Les Chics Types restaurant : for a great dinner with friends. Good french cuisine and bistrot atmsophere.
Le Pavillon du lac: for a kidfriendly tea time with a beautiful view on the Buttes Chaumont park
Le Pavillon Puebla : also in les Buttes Chaumont, it's a very nice place to have a drink in summer
Fleux : An amazing decoration boutique in le Marais where I definitely spend too much money....
Hélène's recipe : Creamy Salmon lentils
Hélène's family is from Berry, in the center of France, so she very naturaly shares with us a recipe made of a local product from this region : lentils. This is super easy recipe ! Few ingredients, quickly done for a great dînner with friends.
Market check list for 4 people :
- 250 grs of green lentils
- 2 shallots
- about 120 grs of smaked salmon
- 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
Peal and cut the shallots in small cubes. Cook them on a medium heat with some olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and 5 minutes later cover with water. Let it cook for about 20 minutes.
During this time cut your salmon into thin slices and put it in the cream.
When lentils are cooked drain them and add the cream salmon out of the heat. Season to taste and it's ready!