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Mar 1, 2009 09:41 AM

Why Jacques Pepin is a god...

It's not necessarily the recipes - there's always something to be learned from watching his shows. Today he emptied a thick puree out of the food processor, then replaced the lid and pulsed it a second, explaining that centrifugal force cleans off the blade so you then can get all the remnant out by using a rubber scraper on just the bowl.

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  1. I have always appreciated his simple, straight forward approach to cooking and how he simplifies cooking (much like his friend and colleague Julia Child did) for the masses. For many years, French cooking was viewed by many as something mysterious, fancy and complicated. Jacques and Julia demystified all that by introducing us to recipes and methods from the French country side. I recently viewed an interview of a contestant on the FN where the interviewer said, "It doesn't matter how well you can cook. If you can't convey your ideas to your audience in a manner that empowers them to duplicate the dish, you've failed". Jacques (and Julia) came to mind as the epitome of perfection in culinary instruction.

    1. One of the best "secrets" I learned from Jacques was something he learned from his mother -- the art of using an ordinary fork for crushing a clove of fresh garlic. No need for a specialty tool (garlic press) ... just an ordinary metal fork. It amazes people every time I demonstrate the technique and I just love it. I agree -- appreciating Jacques Pepin is far more than recipes ... I'm going to use the empty food processor pulsing technique the next time my processor has been used. It's a great new secret. Thanks.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kodozzz

        Ooh, how do you do that? I hate cleaning a garlic press. Sounds like I need to start watching this show.

        1. re: Emmmily

          You should see him make a garlic paste with a couple whacks of the back of a large knife!

          1. re: danhole

            I've seen JP's knife technique but would love to hear more about the fork. Here's a link to the former:


        2. re: Kodozzz

          Which episode is that? I often make a garlic paste with the back of a knife but I'm also interested to try out this new method.

          1. re: pearlyriver

            If memory serves, it's just pressing and dragging, using downward pressure and the back of the fork. It accomplishes the same thing as smashing with a knife but with less risk of injury if the person doing it is inexperienced or has compromised dexterity - such as when teaching a child to help with meal prep.

        3. In another episode, he notched the leg/thigh joint of a chicken to promote more even cooking. And with skinless thighs, he cut a lengthwise slit to the bone for the same purpose.

          Another nice idea is to use pastry cream (really easy to make) as a dessert custard with fruits.

          1. i get hypnotized watching him chop an onion.

            1. I loved when he boiled down the syrup in a can of peaches (in heavy syrup), added a couple spoonfuls of cream and poured it over the reserved peaches. A fabulous desert and a whole new way to appreciate a can of peaches.