My Master Recipes – Patricia Wells

My Master Recipes: 165 Recipes to Inspire Confidence in the Kitchen with Dozens of Variations by Patricia Wells was written by the beloved cooking instructor and author to build confidence in home cooks.

She begins with breaking down the basics – the importance of ingredients, keeping an organized and clean kitchen, tips for what kitchen items you really need and more. In the first few pages, I learned a wonderful tip – make your stock in a pot with a strainer – pull up the strainer and all the aromatics and proteins come out easily. All these years of making stock and you would have thought I would have come up with that one – instead I scoop out ingredients with a spider usually splattering broth as I go. 

My Master Recipes is organized by technique – Blanch, Steam, Simmer and so forth with well thought out and detailed instructions so we may perfect each cooking method. The recipes span the range of classic dishes and those with international flair – Charred Green Bean and Almond Salad with Smoky Baba Ghanoush, Mushroom, Seafood and Shiso Tempura, Lemon Curd and Candied Lemon Brioche Cake and Ginger and Enoki Mushroom “Egg Drop” Soup. The recipes in this collection aren’t basic by any means but Wells’ master recipes that she has chosen from her cooking schools in France to hone our skills.

This is a truly beautiful book with lovely photographs and a quality feel even to the paper used for the pages. Everything rings class in this title, the information on basics like infused salts, oils and techniques is worth the price of the book – but add in the 165 recipes (with variations) and the magic that is Patricia Wells and you have gold.

Special thanks to William Morrow, the publisher and Patricia for sharing the recipe for this tasty treat below. Enter our contest to win one of two copies of My Master Recipes open to US members. 

Ginger and Almond Bars
I’ve been making for years, always to rave reviews from my students and friends. Here, fresh and candied ginger team up to make an uplifting, zesty treat that can be prepared in any season. This quick yet impressive dessert lends itself to endless reincarnations, using various dried fruits and citrus zests, or even cocoa for chocolate lovers-see the recipes that follow for ideas!
Makes 16 bars
EQUIPMENT: A 9-1/2-inch (24 cm) square baking pan; baking parchment; a 2-quart (2 l) saucepan; a baking rack.

3 tablespoons (45 g) unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups (165 g) almond meal (also called almond flour or almond powder)
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons mild honey, such as clover
1 large egg, free-range and organic, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon Homemade Vanilla Extract (page 439) or pure vanilla extract


4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (80 g) sliced almonds
1/3 cup (45 g) minced candied ginger
1/3 cup (80 ml) mild honey, such as clover
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon Homemade Vanilla Extract (page 439) or pure vanilla extract
Fresh Thyme Sorbet (page 92) or Rosemary Sorbet (page 491), for serving (optional)
1. Center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the pan with baking parchment, letting the parchment hang over the sides. (This will make it easier to remove the dessert once baked.)
2. PREPARE THE BASE: In the saucepan, melt the butter. Add the almond meal, fresh ginger, honey, egg, salt, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. The mixture should be thick and sticky.

3. Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. To help make a level and even base, place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the base. Using a flat-bottomed glass (or your fingers), smooth out the base by pressing gently to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Remove and discard the plastic wrap. Bake until the base is slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE TOPPING: In the same saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the almonds, candied ginger, honey, salt, and vanilla. Stir just until the ingredients are incorporated.

5. When the base is baked, spread the topping evenly over the base and bake until the topping is dark and sizzling, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not underbake.

6. Transfer the pan to the baking rack to cool. When the dessert is completely cool, remove it from the pan using the overhanging parchment as handles and cut it into 16 even squares. Serve with fresh thyme or rosemary sorbet.

MAKE-AHEAD NOTE: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

For the base, replace 1 cup (90g) almond meal with 3/4 cup (120 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour and use a strong honey, such as chestnut, in place of the mild honey. For the topping, replace the candied ginger with organic candied orange or lemon peel, cut into tiny cubes.
From My Master Recipes by Patricia Wells. Copyright © 2017 by Patricia Wells. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Post a comment


  • lebarron2001  on  March 9, 2017

    No, I don't have any of her books. Yet.

  • nadiam1000  on  March 10, 2017

    These bars sound right up my alley. The book looks very appealing and not just classic french, which one might expect, but with international flavors. I like that it is organized by technique and allows for many variations.

  • gjelizabeth  on  March 10, 2017

    I loved Wells' Bistro Recipes and this looks really interesting.

  • amandacooks  on  March 10, 2017

    These bars look great. I like that they don't have white flour and refined sugar like so many treat recipes but also don't look like they would taste "healthy."

  • HelenB  on  March 11, 2017

    I adore Patricia Wells. Food Lovers Guide to Paris and FLG to France were the first two of hers that I bought. I would first make the Lemon Curd and Lemon Brioche recipe from this new book.

  • hippiechick1955  on  March 12, 2017

    *red faced ….I have never heard of her until today and now kicking myself for it. There are so many cookbook authors around and I would be lying if I said I had time to try each and every one of their books. But I will admit that I wouldn't enter the giveaway of I weren't interested in her food.

  • hillsboroks  on  March 13, 2017

    I have several of her other books and they are great. This one looks fascinating.

  • fiarose  on  March 19, 2017

    i don't have any, i have to resort to stealing my mom's! food lovers guide to paris was definitely used a lot in planning my paris trip.

  • Siegal  on  March 22, 2017

    I don't have any of this author’s books yet

  • kristinthiel  on  March 22, 2017

    I can't wait to make the magic cepe mushroom soup!

  • JenE  on  March 23, 2017

    I don't have any of her books, but know I know of her and can add them to my collection

  • tangaloor  on  March 24, 2017

    Don't own any Patricia wells books. Yet!

  • Mariarosa  on  March 24, 2017

    I don't have any Patricia Wells books.

  • debbielovesbooks  on  March 25, 2017

    I don't have any of Ms Wells' books yet, but two are already on my wishlist and this one is joining them!

  • edyenicole  on  March 25, 2017

    I don't have any of her books.

  • Nancith  on  March 25, 2017

    I am not familiar with Wells' books.

  • betsyp  on  March 27, 2017

    I have some of her newer books, The Paris Cookbook, The Provence Cookbook, and The French Kitchen Cookbook. I love French cooking!

  • anastasiiap  on  March 30, 2017

    No, I don't have any yet, but this one is amazing according to recipe index

  • PennyG  on  April 2, 2017

    I have hundreds of cookbooks but have to say I don't have any by this author!

  • t.t  on  April 8, 2017

    I don't own any of her books yet.

  • ejsimpson  on  April 10, 2017

    Though I have closely followed Patricia Wells I don't believe I have any of her cookbooks. I need to rectify this situation!

  • thecharlah  on  April 10, 2017

    I don't own any of this author's books but she comes highly recommended

  • lgroom  on  April 11, 2017

    I don't have any of this author's books yet but will get this one for sure/

  • AnnaZed  on  April 13, 2017

    I don't have any books by by Patricia Wells. but I feel now that i really should.

  • imaluckyducky  on  April 13, 2017

    Nope, I do not own a book by Patricia Wells

  • Uhmandanicole  on  April 14, 2017

    i do not have any books by Patricia Wells, but this might be a good first one to own!

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!