When you read about expats living in France, you’ll read many positive stories, but there’s one thing they’ll all complain about. The bureaucracy.
Now, I’m no expat. I may live in two countries, but I work, pay taxes and arrange all other official stuff in the Netherlands. So I’m not too familiar with how official things work over here in Paris. But as MrintheKitchen is French and a fulltime resident, I do see plenty of examples of the dreaded paperasse (paperwork). Simple things can take forever.
I remember we tried to buy my uncle (who was going on a holiday in France) a data card so he could use the internet on his laptop. The Mr and I went to three different internet/phone stores before we found one who could help us. I thought that was it, we’d buy the card and walk out, but no, there was some paperwork to be done! They needed not only full data of the creditcard (unfortunately, only a card of a French resident would do), official identification, and about 4 pages of forms to fill in before we could leave with a card worth 25 euros of internet browsing.
And mind you, this was a pre-paid card. I don’t know what you need to hand in when you want a telephone contract. Probably your whole medical history PLUS family tree.
Last year I needed new glasses, and as we walked by an optician in Paris, I decided to buy one there. It’s not covered by my own Dutch health insurance, so there was no reason why I couldn’t buy one in another country, right?
WRONG. I tried on numerous pairs of glasses and found the perfect match. I expected the optician to test my eyes. But to my surprise, she asked for the prescription from my eye doctor! I explained I just have a simple problem, I don’t see well in the distance. Nothing you’d consult an eye doctor for in the Netherlands (where you only go to an eye doctor if you have serious eye problems, not for a simple myopia).
Unfortunately, she couldn’t give me glasses without an official letter from an eye doctor, I needed to go see my doctor in the Netherlands and come back to give her his prescription (in Dutch, that would have been fun…). Luckily the Mr was able to explain to her that there was no way I could go to an eye doctor (in fact, I’ve never been to an eye doctor my whole life!), and that even without a visit to the hospital, we would still like to buy a new pair of glasses. In the end, she gave in, and I’m very happy with my new glasses.
What all of this has to do with today’s recipe? Not much, it was just me rambling about paperasse. Thank you for listening :)
And now on to the fun stuff, food!
Today I have pan seared scallops with chorizo for you. Easy and very quick to prepare, yet packed with flavour and so delicious I’d almost lick the pan.
- Fresh scallops, 8
- Black olives, 2 tbsp
- Chorizo, 80 gr (2.8 oz), in slices
- Shallot, 1, sliced
- Bake the chorizo in medium heat in a dry pan until browned and getting crispy
- Once there's some oil (coming from the chorizo) in the pan, add the shallot and turn down the heat
- Bake on low heat until the shallot has softened
- Take everything out of the pan, but leave some of the oil, that's what we'll use to bake the scallops
- Pat dry the scallops (they need to be real dry, that's why frozen ones won't work)
- Bake them in the chorizo oil on high heat for 1-2 minutes per side, until done*
- Add the rest and reheat for 30 seconds, just to make sure everything is warm
- I like to eat this with a green salad and crusty bread