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Oct 10, 2006 05:44 AM

Anyone tried recipes from Les Halles (Anthony Bourdain) cookbook?

I vaguely recall this book getting a poor review in the New York Times because a lot of the recipes didn't test well with the writer. I'm thinking of making one of the desserts (chocolate hazelnut tart), and while the recipe looks pretty basic, I fear it might be missing something. Has anyone tested any of the dessert recipes from this book?


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  1. I've tried the chocolate mousse and liked it alot. From what I recall, the dessert recipes are all pretty basic and classic looking to me. I would probably do a quick comparison w/ some other recipes (preferably from trusted sources). I've made a couple of soup and savory recipes in the book that turned out well overall.

    1. I used the recipe for hangar steak, the recipe was fine although we didn't care for the hangar steak itself (tasted like kidneys, my husband says).

      2 Replies
      1. re: coll

        In fairness to Bourdain, he does describe the taste of Hangar Steak (Onglet) in the blurbs in book as kidney-like and more organ meat flavoured.

        1. re: Atahualpa

          I certainly don't blame him! It was a learning experience, that's all.

      2. Haven't done much but what we've done has worked, with minor exceptions. Did the 7-hour leg of lamb which was delicious, but if I did over I probably would tweak a bit with some tomato or something else to give a little acidity or bit to the sauce. The lamb is supposed to be cooked in a dutch oven with the lid sealed by a sort of doughy paste, which I could not get to work (didn't make a difference).

        Did a potato dish which was fine, did the chocolate mousse which was great.

        1. Great, thanks for the feedback. I will take a shot at the tart this weekend, and give a report back next week.

          1. I've done the 7-Hour Lamb. The sealing dough just needs a little more flour than the recipe calls for. If it is humid out, maybe even double the recipe. I found in the middle of winter with the heat on, I only needed a pinch more than he said, in summer with doors open, I doubled it.

            I have also tried his Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mousse, Duck Cinfit, Cassolet, Hangar Steak, and a couple of other recipes. They have come out, on average, as well as any other cookbook I own. There are a few tweaks here and there that I would make. But, since I'm not a by-the-book recipe follower, I tended to make them on the fly and all the stuff turned out well anyways. For example, I think the Cassolet looked a bit too dry (or too wet?) and I simply rebalanced to correct.