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Nov 1, 2007 08:13 PM

Favorite Patricia Wells recipe

I just bought one of Patricia Well's cookbooks....Bistro cooking. I have not tried any of her recipes, but a friend of mine LOVES her books. Does anyone have any favorites out there?

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  1. I love several recipes in the Bistro Cooking and have used it for years. I also have the Italian cookbook, but hardly ever use it. Bistrot Cooking is coming apart at the seams and is spattered with sauce, etc.

    In Bistro Cooking I've had great success with the poulet au vinaigre recipes and the daube de boeuf with orange. The herring and potato salad is great, but I've never made my own pickled herring. I've always bought the Lasco or whatever it's called brand in a glass jar. Works fine.

    I've also made the pear cake which is excellent.

    According to the Cookbook of the Month, her Vegetable Harvest is one to stay away from.

    2 Replies
    1. re: oakjoan

      Thanks for the tip! I wondered about her Italian cookbook. I was tempted to buy it, but I figured I would wait to see if I had good results from The Bisto Cookbook.

      Wow, her Vegetable book is no good. I will have to search a read the reviews on it.

      Thanks again!

      1. re: oakjoan

        Here is an affirmative voice for Vegetable Harvest. I don't have the book at hand, but there is a recipe in there for a salad of raw zucchini ribbons in a creamy lemon chive dressing that is just fabulous and so, so easy. Worth the price of the book just for that recipe, for me.

      2. I have her Off the Shelf, using condiments "cooking from the pantry". There are some really good recipes in there. The green olive baked chicken( I love them and chicken) is really nice. Mostly I love this book because it gives such wonderful and different ideas how to use Chinese,Greek, Italian..and so on, condiments. I get stumped with how to use them at times, this book is truly inspiring. Gorgeous photos as always.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          I think you're thinking of Donna Hay. I never heard of Patricia Wells venturing into Chinese, or even Greek, for that matter.

          I only have the Provence cookbook from Wells, and I like the spicy fennel tomato sauce. Most of the book has gone unused, though. Maybe I'd have preferred the bistro book, but I already had similar (Bourdain, etc).

          1. re: renz

            Ok I am a certifiable idiot!!! Haha!!
            What? You haven't heard? It is the new Patricia, she's doing crazy good food stuff out here on the left coast! not really!
            I am red faced. Patricia - Donna, easy mistake.. thanks, ok I'm going back to bed now.
            but the green olive chicken really is good...honest.

        2. I adore her Salade frisée aus lardons aux Lyonnais, although, hmm, I realize I make changes, like usually having a poached egg instead of sausages and using olive oil instead of peanut, and never making croutons. Guess I use it more as inspiration. It was her description in her Food Lovers Guide to Paris that turned me into a frisee lover.

          The Salade Dauphinoise is divine too, though how can it not be with that list of ingredients? (Escarole, ham, Gruyere, and walnuts) The Salades des lentilles vertes is a nice, basic recipe too; I usually add some chopped herbs.

          I always make Crepes aux courgettes la Mere Poulard (zucchini crepes) at least once a summer. They're not an assertive flavor, yet somehow delicious and satisfying.

          I just made the Bouillabaisse de poulet (chicken buoillabaisse) last week, and we loved it. A friend of mine is devoted to the Petit sale de canard (salt-cured duck). The Daube de boeuf with mushrooms and orange is a wonderful flavor combination. The Seven hour leg of lamb is fabulous too,

          Gosh, looking through for the book reminds of me of how many more I'd like to try. I can't believe I haven't made any of the rabbit recipes yet!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

            I also adapted the Salade frisee aux lardons Lyonnais by adding cubed little fried crispy potatoes instead of croutons. It is like breakfast in a salad and is DIVINE.

            I know she also has a potato salad with shallots, and I think I've adapted that one too - just very good fruity olive oil, finely minced shallots and fresh minced thyme, salt & pepper, mixed into just boiled potatoes and then smashed together. Hot or cold, everyone loves this dish.

          2. Angela, this cookbook happens to be my bible! I entertain a lot, and I have made most of the recipes in this book- a few so many times I can make them in my sleep. Patricia's recipes are fantastic!
            My favorites from the book are the provencal beef stew, roasted tomatoes, chicken with wine vinegar, and the fresh lemon tart. None are complicated at all, and experienced cooks will find this cookbook very easy. The provencal beef stew is my favorite make-ahead for a dinner party dish, and not only it is perfect every time, but your guests will think you went through a lot of trouble, and it's a breeze! The only adjustment I make to the recipe is that I add a strip of orange zest for the final ten minutes or so when I re-heat the stew, but I remove it before serving because orange is very pervasive. I just want that little whiff of orange, and it's just enough.
            Have fun :-) Patricia

            3 Replies
            1. re: patgal56

              Hey guys! Bistro Cooking is the cookbook of the month this month here on Chowhound. Check it out.

              Trattoria is also cookbook of the month in combo with Bistro.

              1. re: oakjoan

                I have a few of her books and use the Provence one most of all - the cauliflower gratin is so popular that I am actually sick of making it - but I do because it makes people so happy.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Echoing oakjoan, here's a link to the COTM (cookbook of the month) thread for this month. Please join us!



              2. I am about to make the provencal beef stew, so I can't comment on that (yet), but my family LOVES Mistral's Chicken (with 40 cloves of garlic) that is in Bistro Cooking (and reprinted in the New York Times by Alex Witchell).