Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 27, 2009 02:53 AM

Favorite recipe from Jacques Pepin's More Fast food my way?

I just got this book after becoming enthralled with his show. So far, someone on this board has told me about the beet recipe, which was great! Any other favorites I should try first?

I did make the Tibetan bread recipe in the pan, but I think I used too much oil and did not flatten it out enough. The bread came out tasting flour-y, and I tasted the oil.

I see he uses a lot of anchovies in recipes. I have always hated them, but if I cook with them, do you think I won't notice that saltiness?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Anchovies: try to get the white, Spanish anchovies. They're mild and not salty like the canned salty crap most of us have tried on mediocre pizzas. As with a lot of things, the cheaper ones will be saltier, the mid to expensive ones more fishlike and less salty. A good anchovy should not burn the roof of your mouth with it's saltiness.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caralien

      I disagree. Boquerones (those white Spanish anchovies) are used for eating as they are, not cooking. Like tapas.

      The salted anchovies (often packed in olive oil here in the US) are completely different. As roxlet says, they impart a flavor that you can't get otherwise. If you're at all concerned about using the anchovies and chomping down on a side of fish, don't be. Anchovies used in cooking will "melt" away into almost nothing that resembles a fish.

      So short answer, use them. You will not be disappointed and your dish will not be salty.

      As for one of my favs from this show, try the mustard crust chicken.

      1. re: HaagenDazs

        SE Asian fish sauce has been mentioned as an alternative source for this salty, umami flavoring.
        I think a Thai brand like Lucky is the best choice for this since it is not too pungent.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          I should have clarified that for tasting purposes, try the boquerones, as they're not fishy and a great surprise to many who have been turned off to anchovies due to the oversalted pizza versions.

          Then, for cooking, find some better jarred or tinned anchovies in oil to cook with.

        2. re: Caralien

          Thanks for the great tip, Caralien! I never knew there were Spainish ones. I will definately try them!

          1. re: Angelina

            Caralien's "tip" was completely misguided.

            The anchovies commonly used in cooking are extremely salty by design. It's the whole point of using them. They are not intended to be eaten by themselves, though some enjoy a bite or two. They are used as seasoning, like fish sauce or salt. Jacques uses a lot of them in his recipes because they are a wonderful thing.

            Fresh, marinated anchovies eaten as tapas are a completely different thing, not to be used as a condiment but as a main ingredient.

        3. My feeling is that even people who do not like anchovies per se, like the flavor they impart -- particularly when they don't know that're in something! We always make Green Goddess Dressing from an old Craig Clairborn recipe, and it is delicious. Several friends I know who would never touch a naked anchovy have been surprised to learn that it is anchovies that give it this wonderful depth of flavor. I feel that there is a huge difference between anchovies that are a garnish for something -- like Caesar salad for example -- and anchovies that melt into a dish just leaving a salty brininess behind. To me, anchovies are like Asian fish sauce of Mediterranean cooking.

          1. I haven't done much so far, and I have to confess that I usually use him more for ideas than for explicit following of the recipes. I made his mustard glaze, which he uses on a whole bird, but I used it on chicken thighs. The flavor was wonderful. If I recall correctly, I added honey for a bit of sweetness. But you can play around with the flavors as you are mixing it, to suit your taste.

            1. What I get out of the show is technique rather than recipes - the idea of melting butter on a Silpat, adding sugar and pressing a tortilla into it to create a tart base is a keeper, as is the one-pot bread. Some of his new dishes are a little TOO basic for my tastes; e.g., improvised vegetable soup using water instead of stock or broth. I make "wing it" soups all the time but to my mind he was making boiled vegetables, not soup.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                I have to admit, I had been very skeptical about the tortilla as tart crust, and dismissed it as Pepin going the way of Semi-Homemade. But, this past weekend, I was looking for a dessert that would be just right for the two of us so we didn't have an entire cake to polish off. I decided to bite the bullet and go for the pear/tortilla tart. I have to say, I was shocked. The tortilla flaked nicely and became very caramelly on the bottom. I don't know if I'd do it for a special company dinner, but it turned out nicely, was much healthier than a typical tart crust, and took only a few minutes.

              2. In an earlier book, 'The short-cut cook' (1990) Jacques has a clafoutis that uses almonds. He grinds unskinned almonds in the food processor; I use preground ones from Traders. There is no flour; just a bit of cornstarch (in addition to the usual eggs etc). It's a denser dish than the classic, but good in its own way.