When I first learned that we were making tuna-packed piquillo pepper for this week’s FFwd, I thought to myself: YUM! That sounds fantastic! But.. what is piquillo pepper again? I quickly googled it and remembered having had this for a quick lunch in the Spanish coastal town of San Sebastian, almost a decade ago. It was stuffed with a ricotta-like kind of cheese. I remembered liking it, but I also remembered liking the 12 euro glass of white wine even more. And that was my first and only encounter with piquillo pepper. Despite having spent a good chunk of my young-adult life in France (8 years to be exact), I have never come across piquillo pepper on the other side of the Pyrénées. Maybe it might have been more common in the French Basque region.. But still, I never saw it on any menu there, although I used to venture to Biarritz almost every other weekend.
I know, I sometimes have a hard time following a recipe, but I have an even harder time following this week’s FFwD assignment. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE duck breast. And I know I would love duck breast WITH fresh peaches even better. I even bought the fresh peaches to prove it. But duck breasts were just a hard find here in Singapore. I could find whole ducks at my local supermarket but I didn’t feel like spending money on a whole duck, let alone butchering it all on my own (head and all). And I didn’t want to commit to eating and cooking duck for the rest of the week either. So I made something else. And was glad I did.
A French picnic is never complete without the appearance of charcuterie. Jambon, saucisson, terrine and pâtés are usually sandwiched between or spread on ripped baguette. Pour yourself some sparkling (cheap but oh so good) wine in a plastic cup, sit by the river, and enjoy your porky baguette. Voilà, you’ve got yourself a typical French picnic! Oh but wait, I don’t eat pork. Oh not a problem. We non-pork eaters get the luxurious stuff: smoked salmon. Which is why blinis are also an essential part for a French picnic.. Well at least for me anyway.