Eat French—Stay Slim!


That’s what Mireille Guiliano counsels, and I’m beginning to believe it. You remember Mireille: she’s the former CEO of Veuve Clicquot (dream job) and the author of the New York Times best seller French Women Don’t Get Fat. I’ve received my copy of the new French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook—published April 27 by Atria—and I’m loving this idea that I can eat the French food that I adore and stay trim (or should I say, trim down). And now we’ve invited Mireille to do our very first Twitter chat live on Wednesday, May 19, between noon and 2 p.m. EST, or lunchtime in New York. You can ask Mireille about anything, from food to fashion, Paris to pot-au-feu. Here are all the details.

Following the new cookbook (guidebook to my new life), I’ve been doing the magic cream for breakfast—we’re going to give you that recipe next week, so stay tuned!—and I’m going to try this scrumptious-sounding, perfect-for-spring salmon recipe next: Salmon with Leeks and Asparagus en Papillote, which appears below. Mireille says that cooking your own food will make you more conscious of what you’re eating. I couldn’t agree more. There is no doubt that I get into a lot more trouble when I’m out than when I’m cooking at home. Plus, as I thumb through these pages, her enthusiasm for these recipes abounds, and they don’t sound at all like the traditional diet crap. Can you feel sorry for yourself when eating Duck Breast à la Gasconne, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, or Apricot Tart? The theory seems to be not everything all at once—OK, I guess I can live with that. Mireille believes in eating sensibly and pleasurably. I’ve definitely got the pleasure part down, so now I guess I’ll get to work on the sensible part.
Here’s some inspiration, courtesy of Mireille Guiliano and Atria Books. See you next week on Twitter! 

Salmon with Leeks and Asparagus en Papillote

Excerpted from The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook, by Mireille Guiliano, published in April by Atria.
Serves 4.
3 oranges
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 leek, white part only, cut into thin strips
8 asparagus tips, cut in half (reserve asparagus stalks for a salad)
4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon steaks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Remove the zest of 1 orange in long strips and julienne; reserve the orange. Place the julienned strips of orange zest in a small pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Drain the zest and set aside.
3. Prepare the orange segments: cut slices off the top and bottom of the remaining 2 oranges and then slice away the peel and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit. Working over a bowl and using a small, sharp knife, cut between the membranes to release the segments and juice of all 3 oranges.
4. Cut four pieces of parchment paper into 12- x 16-inch rectangles and brush the centers with sesame oil. Place one quarter of the carrots, leeks, and asparagus tips in the center of the first piece of parchment paper and top with 1 salmon steak. Add the orange segments, blanched orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon orange juice. Season to taste and seal the packet by bringing up the sides to the center and folding them down tightly. Seal the ends by folding each in tightly. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, creating four packets.
5. Place the packets on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven (the packets will be puffed and lightly browned) and allow to rest for 5 minutes before placing each packet on a plate and serving. Allow guests to open their packets and garnish with cilantro and dill.