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The January 2012 Cookbook of the Month will be Essential Pepin

The winner of the January 2012 Cookbook of the Month vote is ESSENTIAL PEPIN by Jacques Pepin. If you’ve been lurking, please join us, we’re a welcoming bunch. If you're new to Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how it all works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Please use this thread to discuss techniques, ingredients, meal planning, along with interesting tidbits about these books and recipes.

If you discover any online sources for recipes from these books, please feel free to post them.

On January 1 I will post the official threads for reporting.

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    1. re: pikawicca

      Thanks, LulusMom, for all your efforts! I can't wait to cook from the Essential Monsieur Pepin. There's nothing like a COTM connection to open up the possibilities and encourage one to explore a book.

      1. re: Goblin

        I know just what you mean. I can have a book sitting on my shelf for ages and somehow not pick it up unless it becomes COTM. Then suddenly it is the only book I want to cook from for a month.

    2. Though I abstained from the process this month since my participation has been limited, I'm delighted with this outcome. I just purchased this book at Costco a couple of weeks ago . . . my first Pepin cookbook (how has that happened?!!). I sincerely hope I have some time to cook along in January, it looks like we're in for a good one!! Thanks LM!

      1. Thanks LulusMom for all your work! I've only cooked a few dishes from this month's book (not for lack of interest, just lack of time), I love Pepin and I'm hoping for more time and more involvement in January!

        1. Thanks so much for being the queen of the COTM, Lulusmom! Your reign has been glorious!

          1 Reply
          1. re: roxlet

            I would like to add my thanks for all your superb COTM efforts, LulusMom. And I'm also looking forward to delving into the Pepin book.

          2. Wow, I am feeling the love and it is wonderful! I haven't had the best day, and to come down to my computer and find such happy thoughts is really brightening me up. You're the best. I hope it is a great month of cooking.

              1. I don't have this book, and don't know if I will get it from the library in time to use in January, so I'd love to have a companion thread for other Pepin books (and would be happy to begin one if others are interested, too).

                6 Replies
                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  The two books that I have (and would enjoy cooking more from) are:
                  Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home
                  Jaques Pepin Simple and Healthy Cooking

                  1. re: Goblin

                    I also have these two books.
                    Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (as well as the DVD's which would be helpful to me, as the techniques and skills are way over my head)
                    Jaques Pepin Simple and Healthy Cooking

                    1. re: Goblin

                      Cooking with Claudine just showed up in my bookcase, too! My goodness, I'm not going to be able to complain about too-few recipes to try. Thank heavens there will be some guidance from you COTM folks!

                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      I like this idea. My library copy is not due in until the second week of January, but I have at least three other Pepin books.

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Great idea Caitlin, I'd be all for it.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          Great idea. It'll be a month of Happy Cooking with Pepin!

                        2. Wonderful...! Thank you LLM. We certainly can't say that you're not earning your pay. Glad you're agreeable to the companion thread too. I'll be posting on that thread as well as the main threads. The other Pepin books I have are Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home and Fast Food My Way.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Gio

                            Those are the two books I have too. I'm always for opening up the conversation (as it is) so that more people can play along.

                          2. I have this book, too, so I hope to be able to participate, at least a little. I echo all of the sentiments about your hard work, LLM, thank you!


                            1. Nicely done LulusMom! Enjoy your holidays knowing you have once again corralled the group towards success.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: smtucker

                                Which is a little akin to herding cats! An accomplishment. I'm chuffed because I put it out there first.

                              2. I understand that M. Pepin had to curtail the book tour because needed hip surgery could not be delayed any longer. Perhaps someone more internet-savvy than I can find a way of letting him know that this is happening. Reading this thread might be something entertaining for him to do while he recuperates. I'm sure we all wish him a speedy and thorough recovery!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: greygarious

                                  I'm "friends" with him on that giant morass and timesuck that shall remain nameless, should I post this?

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Oddly, buttertart, I think your notice there was deleted. I saw it yesterday, seems to be gone today. I wonder why.

                                2. Here are some recipes from Essential Pepin for those that do not have the book. http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/...

                                  Thanks LLM!!

                                  1. Even though I didn't vote for this one (selfishly because I had some initial trouble getting a copy) I'm excited since I now found one and am anticipating doing more cooking from the COTM in January than I managed during the crazy month of December. Thanks LulusMom for coordinating our nomination and voting process. It was fun anticipating the outcome.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: kellyts

                                      I've only made one recipe--cauliflower soup (on buttertart's rec, I think). Has anyone cooked enough from this book to point us toward some favorite recipes?

                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                        I only made one recipie too and I can't remember the name, but for some reason I think the page number is 420. It's a shreaded carrot dish that I made for Thanksgiving. It made a fan out of several carrot haters.

                                        Basically, you use a veggie peeler to get a pot full of "carrot strips", add a little butter and water, cook for a bit and add some minced garlic at the end. Very easy! Very good!

                                    2. My book came in the mail today! Yippee!!!! Now if only I could get away with sitting down and reading it instead of wrapping presents and prepping food for the weekend ...

                                      1. Hooray! Santa brought me Essential Pepin! Now I don't have to wait for the library edition to return. Happy holidays everyone!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                          The 'next' person on the list at the library will be happy, too.

                                          I'm so glad Santa was good to you. But then, of course, why not, your postings have been inspiring.

                                          Merry Christmas to everyone from "Rella."

                                          1. re: Rella

                                            Thank you Rella, for your very, very nice comment on my postings.

                                        2. My copy was delivered today! I don't know what I was expecting but wow this is quite a cookbook! I've only participated in 2 COTM threads so does anyone have advice on this? Do you just pick out recipes that appeal to you and fit them in with your meals or to you plan out the whole month? I know everyone must have different approaches to this but I'm just curious.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Boudleaux

                                            I'm sure everyone has their own way of doing it, but I just go through the book and pick out things I think sound good, and then fit them into my weekly menu. Some months obviously you get to do more than others. Just have fun with it, and let us know how things go.

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Thanks for the reply! That's how I did it last time so I guess I did it right! Looking forward to cooking along!

                                          2. I am disappointed to find that my library system does not have this book! I am wavering a bit about buying, mainly because after the excesses of Christmas I was hoping to just take a bit of a break. But I've had so much fun cooking along with everyone this month, I am tempted to make an exception for this book. But I wanted to get people's opinions. People who have this book... do you love it? Have people cooked much from it? Good for the time-pressed weekday meals as well as special occasion stuff? I would love to hear anyone's opinion who already has the book.


                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                              Your library might be able to get it through inter-library loan. I'd ask right away!

                                              1. re: Georgia Sommers

                                                Thanks for the suggestion! I just requested an interlibrary loan online through my library website-- it is so great the things you can do online now. No word yet on how long it will take. And thank you to everyone offering to possibly paraphrase as we go! I won't likely get out to a bookstore anytime soon, but I did download a "preview" on my Kindle. Not a lot of recipes in the preview, but I liked what I read of Pepin's intro and saw a lot of interesting recipe titles.
                                                Looking forward to cooking along with everyone!

                                                1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                  Have a look at EYB too - the book is indexed and you could look at recipe titles and ingredients to see what you might like. You do not have to be a member to use the site, just cann't have more than five of your books entered.

                                                2. re: greeneggsnham

                                                  I have not cooked from EP yet, but here are some recipes from the book that you can try (or look at) so you can participate without the book. http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/ I would also say all of us (or at least most) would be glad to paraphrase a recipe that you'd be interested in trying if you do not get the book.

                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                    Absolutely agree with Big Sal. Why not look at the website and see if you can find some things that interest you; you'll get an idea of what is in the book. And I'd be more than happy to paraphrase recipes if you hear about something that sounds great to you. Maybe try a quick trip to a bookstore so that you can at least get a look at what is in the book, and if you like the format.

                                                  2. re: greeneggsnham

                                                    I noticed that amazon.com has "look inside" the Pepin's book - I did not look further but usually you get the content and some recipes to look at. I think you might be able to copy and paste from there but not sure. If you see anything appealing I will be happy to paraphrase the recipe(s) for you.

                                                    1. re: herby

                                                      You can't copy and paste from Amazon's "look inside" feature since it's copyrighted material. What I've done, on rare occasion, is to open my word processing document side-by-side with the recipe I'm interested in and type it out. It's a bit of a pain, but I'll do it if I'm only interested in one or two recipes and really don't want to buy the book.

                                                      Another option is to just do an online search for the title of the recipe you want. It's surprising how many recipes you can find online. I'll then do a quick check against the original recipe in the book just to made sure the blogger, or whomever it was who posted the recipe, didn't make any significant changes to it or didn't add a lagniappe that I consider of particular interest. I do the same with books I've taken out of the library that I've decided did not need to be on my shelves.

                                                  3. Taking a peek inside the "Essential Pepin," I was noticing all of the drawings/illustrations whence I came upon page 297 (stuffed quail with grape sauce) what looked like a drop of turkey gravy on the page. This amused me and when I looked at the reverse page, I see that the drop came through to the other side. Leafing through quickly, I see no other 'drop.' Very clever, I'd say.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                      Is it a used copy? Or a printing glitch? Mine does not have that.

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          I bought it October 21 this year, Costco, Winchester, VA $23.49.

                                                          I've seen paper that is inferior paper with little pieces bas relief, but this is not the case here. And it is yellow oche.

                                                          Perhaps someone took it home and made some quail and this is a drip


                                                          I tried to post a picture of my page 297, but I have to post pics by changing to Firefox. Sometimes Firefox will not even do it (I have asked Engineering, but I guess it is impossible to post with my Internet Explorer - no problems posting to anywhere else, though.) .

                                                          1. re: Rella

                                                            CH is a little strange for posting pics. I post from Chrome, but I usually have to quit Chrome and restart it before it will allow me to upload a photo on CH.

                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                              I always have to stop and think, is it worth the effort? But I do like to post photos.

                                                              I have a huge website where I've posted a hundred, if not hundreds of pics, with no problem. Yes, there must be something strange goin' on here.

                                                      1. I got my copy for Christmas, have bookmarked a bunch of recipes with eatyourbooks.com, and have jumped the gun by making two of them already! I haven't been cooking COTM for the last couple months for various reasons, but now I'm ready for January.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                          I'll be waiting for your first posting. Only a few more hours to go :-))

                                                          I, too, looked through EP and found a few that I will be making, but they will all be versions of my standard fare/style of eating. You know, beans, bread, shrimp. Funny thing, I didn't find brussel sprouts :-))

                                                          Looking through the book on a more serious note to cooking some of the recipes, I find it a little too French (in a lot of ways.) Seriously, how many times can I continue to gather together a bouuet garni.

                                                          I recall Batali in a TV show when asked if one would add some parsley for garnish. Paraphrasing, he said, 'that's a little too French.' This still amuses me.

                                                          1. re: Rella

                                                            I may have already done some cooking, but we have a big NYE party, so I suspect it will be a few days before I get around to posting! Don't hold your breath.

                                                            I've been watching bits of the DVD and enjoying them. I know he has said a lot of the same things on his show and in his Techniques book, but it's nice to have this quick video reference.

                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                              Interesting, Rella, your description of EP as "a little too French." For myself, I'm OK with this approach, but I agree that there is a definite slant. It will be fascinating to discuss this approach over the next month as we cook and review the recipes.
                                                              For instance, I made the Crab Cakes with Avocado Salsa tonight (report going up when the ball drops) and I agree that even with the presence of a salsa, there was something indefinably French about it. What this means exactly perhaps we will clarify more as the month progresses.

                                                              1. re: Goblin

                                                                Can't wait to here more about that! Hard to imagine crab cakes and salsa feeling French. Eagerly awaiting more dishes and experiences with this French slant, myself.

                                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                                  Agreed, this is a very interesting way to look at the recipes, and a fun thing to discuss.

                                                                  Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and delicious 2012!

                                                            2. The master thread is now up (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825948) as is a companion thread, thanks to Caitlin (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825929).

                                                              1. Just to let you know that the nominating thread for February is now up at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/827937