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Dec 31, 2011 10:24 PM

January 2012 COTM Jacques Pepin Companion Thread

Please use this thread to post about recipes from any and all Jacques Pepin cookbooks EXCEPT Essential Pepin, and about recipes found online. Remember to include the name of the book or the link to an online recipe in your post, as this thread covers lots of works.

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  1. Wondering...

    Would "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" be considered for a companion 'Jacques Pepin Companion Thread. This book has companion DVDs, too.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Rella

      Absolutely it should be considered a companion, at least in my opinion. I know a lot of us mentioned we have the book, so that'll make it fun.

    2. I have made Jacque's mother's cheese souffle several times. It's quick and easy to make as he uses whole eggs rather than whipped egg whites. While not quite as airy as an egg white souffle, the texture is smooth and lovely and it puffs up beautifully. It's delicious, not a bit fussy, and because there aren't beaten egg whites to consider it can be assembled and ignored for a while before baking. It's baked in a gratin dish which means there's plenty of the delicious browned top to go around.
      A great recipe from "The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen"

      I learned to make Fromage Fort from Jacques' "Cuisine Economique".
      Great way to use clean out the cheese drawer in the fridge and use up those odds and ends. Cheese, wine, and garlic spread on bread and popped under the broiler. What's not to love here? Possible variations seem endless.

      I'm excited to dig out his books and get going, though I won't be ready for the recipes I just mentioned for a while. Need to lighten up a bit after way too much rich food over the holidays. And I do mean *way* too much. It was glorious. :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Georgia Sommers

        Jacques' Pepin's maman's cheese souffle is a constant repeat for us.

        If we don't have Gruyère or 'swiss cheese,' we substitute. It's still good.

        Left-over is 'really-really' good served cold the next day.

        We've used a souffle dish each time; next time I'll try a gratin dish - thanks.

        1. re: Rella

          It is a wonderful recipe! I hope you like it in the gratin dish, we enjoy the extra crust.

      2. Lobster Salad with Tarragon – p. 31 – Fast Food My Way

        Happy happy joy joy . . . I found this recipe on-line so I’ll skip the ins & outs of the prep and rely on the link below from Google books:

        We had originally planned this as a starter for our New Year’s Day dinner however our roast hadn’t defrosted so we moved to plan B yesterday and, put this on tonight’s menu. Nothing new or innovative here, just a combination of familiar flavours and, great ingredients. I did make a couple of changes to suit our tastes. I opted to use lime juice in place of lemon. After years of visiting the Caribbean, we’ve come to prefer lime with our seafood and, I love how well it plays with tarragon. I also added just a smidge of garlic to the cream mixture.

        Unfortunately my mixer is hidden away in the depths of a storage closet as we prepare for a kitchen renovation so I wasn’t able to whip the cream as JP suggests. Instead I whisked it with all my might and after admitting defeat when no peaks, stiff or otherwise, appeared in my bowl I just carried on. Tasting as I mixed I should note that I ended up adding some additional tarragon and lime juice as I felt the sour cream was the predominant flavour.

        JP has you make a “nest” of Boston lettuce leaves in a dish and, top w the lobster. I’d note that the lettuce really adds a nice textural element to the dish and when I make this again, I’ll use 3 leaves of lettuce per plate.

        This was an elegant, rich and delicious starter that disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared on the table. We served this with a dry Prosecco that worked beautifully. With the adaptations noted above, I’d definitely make this again. I’ll be interested to see how the whipping of the cream plays into this as well.

        ETA: Oh, and just btw, is JP wearing eye liner on the cover of this book? There was something a little odd about that pic of him IMHO.

        1. Crunchy Kale, More Fast Food My Way, p. 128

          Kale chips aren't really news anymore, but this JP recipe got people talking (and making) a couple of years ago:

          Essentially, toss trimmed, torn curly kale leaves with olive oil and salt and bake them in a single layer on a rack over a baking sheet at 250F for 20 minutes or so, until they're crisp. I used two bunches of kale rather than the half pound he specifies, and didn't measure the olive oil or salt, just used enough olive oil to coat the leaves, a sprinkle of salt, and also a sprinkle of bittersweet smoked paprika.

          Most of those I served this to last week hadn't heard of the concept, but enjoyed munching on it, as people do with crunchy, savory snacks. I can eat a boatload, myself.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            You know, this is something I've never made, and I'm trying to add a bit of kale into our diets. Thanks for putting in the link. I'll try it.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I've been making more crunchy kale each week, just to have around as low-calorie snack when I want something. While JP wants you to use curly kale, I think this works better with the flat-leaf type or the Russian red, so I buy those if they're available. The problem with the curly kale is that the leaves curl around the slats of the rack, and once they become crisp, it's hard to remove them without the edges breaking off. I use just enough olive oil to very lightly coat the kale leaves, and I've been tossing them with a bit of shichimi togarashi before they go in the oven.

            2. My posting re Essential Pepin Side Dishes at
              Sauteed Haricots Verts and Shallots p. 412
              "I made this recipe exactly as described. As these ingredients are always good, the technique is the key in this dish. I used small string beans."

              However, I see that on p. 190 in "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" (1999) 'Jacques's Sauteed Haricots Verts" which is basically the same recipe recommends the initial cooking to be 5 to 6 minutes, not the 7 to 8 minutes as in "Essential Pepin."

              IMO 5-6 minutes would have been adequate.