The last time I saw Paris, the Pantheon drew me like a magnet. We could see it from our street at night, magnificent and glowing.
I had to get up close. My husband and I promised ourselves that if the days were pleasant we would walk and visit neighborhoods and get to know the real Paris. If it rained, we’d go to museums and other inside touristic spots.
It was in the 80s while we were there. Every day. And so we walked. And walked.
On our second full day in Paris we stopped at the cash machine near Maubert-Mutualité and seeing the Pantheon only three blocks away, we made a dash for its grandeur.
We chose a street that was painfully uphill. This was on May Day, le Fete du Travail, a day of skimpy bus service. We’d been walking all day. The trek was tiring and it was 86 degrees.
That’s how we found Square Paul Langevin, named for the famous physicist, at the intersection of Rue Monge and Rue des Ecoles. That’s why we sat there for a blissful 30 minutes, feeding pigeons cashews from the bag in my purse and sipping water from our bottles.
The pigeons were bold and brazen and were very soon nearly eating from my hand. We both swore we'd shot a photo, but when we returned home it was gone. No matter. It was a lovely, leafy interlude.
I'll make sure I carry cashews next trip. Wonder if I can find these in Paris? Honey-Mustard and Onion cashews like the kind Walgreen’s Drug Store sells. I thought they'd be wonderful paired with chicken. My first effort was to chop cooked chicken, celery, green onions and dried apricots. I added cashews, drizzled the whole thing with may blended with an apricot dressing from a bottle and a dash of cumin. Not a bad salad but not stellar.
So I tried a different approach: Cashew-Encrusted Chicken with Creamy Honey Sauce for Two
2 chicken breasts, cut into medallions or strips
1 egg white
1 cup cashews, finely chopped
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup commercial salad dressing or mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350. Coat chicken pieces in egg white and then roll in cashews, covering thorougly, Arrange in shallow greased pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning over about midway through cooking.
In small bowl, blend half-and-half, mayo and honey with beater. Use as a dipping sauce for the chicken. I served it with chopped green onions to balance the sweetness.
Want to explore hidden Paris? Former chef and chocolatier Richard Nahem prefers Paris' hidden charms and he'll show them to you if you book one of his new tours. Learn more!