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Essential Pépin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food by Jacques Pépin

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Fromage fort

    • mfto on December 29, 2011

      This is a very good way to use up bits and pieces of cheese for an appetizer.

    • TrishaCP on November 26, 2016

      Incredible use of leftover cheeses. I made half the recipe, and it seems like a lot. I had a mix of blue, Saint Angel, and manchego, and I would say the blue is the prominent flavor (even though I had the most manchego).

  • Puerto Rican pork and beans

    • AOski on January 08, 2012

      Usually I'm leery of any recipe whose primary braising liquid is water...things have ended blandly in the past...but rest assure that isn't a problem here! The process for making this braise is dead simple and the ingredients play wonderfully together. Some thoughts and changes: 1) I omitted the cilantro. I like it...but the boyfriend doesn't. Whatda ya gonna do? 2) I added an additional jalapenos. 3) Pulled the pork. I think the presentation looks a little more grown up and country-style ribs can be pretty fatty...even with the best trimming. 4) In the absence of cilantro, I used some green onion as a garnish. 5) Be aware that while the method was easy that, like any braise, this does take some time. A lovely, simple dish I look forward to making again!

    • twoyolks on October 15, 2015

      This is easy and simple. It can also easily be made a day in advance. I do think the recipe could've used more acid and umami flavors but it was good overall.

  • Chicken in tarragon sauce

    • Breadcrumbs on January 08, 2012

      p. 262 - I added about 3/4 cup of chicken stock in addition to JP’s suggested poaching ingredients to ensure my plump (chicken) breasts cooked properly. This also meant I needed to spend a little more time reducing the cooking liquid to 1 cup however the flavours of the broth concentrated nicely and the splash of cream was just enough to take the somewhat bitter edge off the vermouth-infused stock and, soften all the flavours. We really enjoyed this dish and the gentle tarragon infused cream sauce over the tender chicken that really impressed us. A very nice dish indeed.

    • TrishaCP on March 28, 2012

      A beautiful delicately flavored chicken dish- the tarragon flavor isn't too strong for those that are only "iffy" about its flavors. (And for those that love tarragon, you may want to go a bit stronger.) I served with roasted potatoes and a salad. I followed Breadcrumb's lead and added additional chicken stock since I also had fat chicken breasts that needed covering, and that amendment works well. A final note- before the cream and tarragon are added, the poaching liquid tastes very bitter- but don't let that throw you, all will be well in the end.

  • Ziti with sausage and vegetables

    • Breadcrumbs on January 08, 2012

      p. 94 - After a very busy January Saturday I needed a quick and tasty dinner solution and I’m happy to report JP delivered, on both counts, even if I did make an omission to his recipe. Our last stop before heading home was at an Italian market where I picked up some hot Italian Sausage and some rapini w a pretty traditional pasta dish in mind. Just prior to doing this my way, I decided to do a quick EYB search and found this recipe. Since corn is neither in season or, my freezer, I decided to carry on w the recipe and, omit the corn. The sweetness of the tomatoes balanced the bitterness of rapini. We really enjoyed JP’s twist of using pecorino Romano. The earthiness of this cheese added a new and delightful flavour profile to the dish. Quick, simple and delicious, I’ll happily recommend this one and, will most definitely make it again. I definitely look forward to trying it w the corn during the summertime.

    • Queezle_Sister on June 29, 2015

      This is a simple recipe that can easily be tweaked to match your pantry & refrigerator contents. Its quick, the result tasty, and its a good dinner solution for a busy day.

  • Stewed crinkled kale

    • Breadcrumbs on January 08, 2012

      p. 436 - The ingredients in this dish are pretty common however the preparation method was new to me. Kale is washed and trimmed, garlic is chopped then oil is placed in a pan over medium heat along with the chopped garlic and hot pepper flakes. Once the garlic sizzles and starts to brown, the kale is tossed in along w 1.5 cups of water. The mixture is then brought to a boil over medium-high heat until the water has almost evaporated. JP indicates it can be served hot or, at room temp.We opted to serve it at room temp alongside our NY Strip Roast (an Epi recipe). This was a tasty dish and I can’t honestly say I noticed anything particularly different in terms of flavour vs other kale dishes I’ve made without stewing the greens. I will say that the greens were much softer for the boiling process - a feature that appealed to mr bc (who’s not a lover of anything green unless it’s furniture or paint). I wouldn’t repeat this recipe as I prefer a simpler prep and crisper greens.

  • Chicken African-style with couscous

    • Sally on January 08, 2012

      The crispy chicken was succulent and enhanced by the caramelized onions and the flavors of marinade (some acidity, sweetness and a little heat from the red pepper flakes). The next time I might make the whole marinade so we have more of the sauce and onions. The couscous (made with a touch of melted butter) made this a complete meal. We served this with Glazed Carrots with Olives – not sure if it was the perfect pairing, but delicious nonetheless.

  • Chicken chasseur

    • Breadcrumbs on January 29, 2012

      p. 264 With some boneless, skinless chicken thighs defrosting in the fridge and some fresh pasta to use up, an EYB search of Pepin's recipes didn't really produce a pasta dish that inspired me. I remembered Goblin's post on Chowhound and thought I'd adapt this dish and use it as a pasta sauce vs a stew-like meal. To make this dish pasta friendly, I chopped my chicken thighs and, substituted chopped canned tomatoes for whole ones. Other ingredients worth noting...I used Vidalia onions which imparted a lovely sweetness to the sauce that balance the acidity of the tomatoes and wine. My mushrooms were cremini so the sauce also had an earthy flavour. I opted to garnish with fresh tarragon since we love all things anise flavoured! This is quite a "saucy" dish so it really did lend itself well to pasta. Everyone really enjoyed the dish and there were no leftovers at all. Happy to recommend this quick and tasty recipe.

    • chawkins on September 21, 2012

      The leek and tarragon made this a very nice variation of the more familiar chicken cacciatore. I had to use all dried herbs as my herb garden is in sad shape this year, even the rosemary is not doing well. Did not add mushrooms either, as my husband is allergic to them. Will definitely make again with fresh herbs, or even dried herbs.

  • Broccoli velvet puree

    • Breadcrumbs on January 29, 2012

      p. 417 - The rich and creamy results achieved with only 2 tbsp of butter came as quite a surprise and transformed this dish from good to great! I added 1 heaped tbsp of jalapeno vs the 1tsp suggested by JP and, wouldn't change that at all next time around. The subtle heat and freshness of the pepper really balanced the pungency of the broccoli and brightened the puree. Thoroughly enjoyed by all and the big shocker was the the broccoli-hating mr bc LOVED this dish! Definitely a keeper. Happy to recommend.

  • "Cream puff" potato fritters

    • marthadumptruck on February 14, 2012

      Deelightful! Would benefit from the addition of some chives.

  • Chicken legs with wine and yams

    • BlytheSpirit on February 27, 2012

      This is an easy and homey weeknight meal - very satisfying and inexpensive.

    • okcook on March 26, 2012

      I agree. Very easy and fast to make and a little different with the yams.

    • chawkins on April 15, 2013

      Together with a green salad, this is a quick weeknight meal. Unusual but tasty combination of ingredients, I left out the mushrooms as my husband has an aversion to them, I also halved the recipe.

  • Broccoli and rice stew

    • Cheri on April 11, 2012

      This was excellent! Be careful with the stock amt, 3 cups is plenty, I had to cook a bit of the liquid off with the pan lid off at the end, before adding the cheese. I substituted a combination of grated swiss/gruyere, and used more like a cup of grated cheese. It was yummy, and quite filling. Served with grilled pork chops.

  • Asparagus in mustard sauce

    • kath on April 23, 2012

      The Mustard Sauce is super quick and easy and is absolutely phenomenal. It was very good with the asparagus, but my family all added it to the Easter ham as well, and everyone was thinking of all of the delicious ways it could be used. This could be a staple in my refrigerator!!

  • Carrot and celery root salad in mustard dressing

    • Cheri on April 25, 2012

      This was ok. Would be a decent BBQ side. I cheated and just used the suggested mayo/dijon mustard combo for dressing, which was a little too rich. Mr. C did not like this. Served with roasted chicken, but would like it with grilled sausage better. Very quick to put together. A little goes a long way on this one, don't over dress.

  • Caramelized mushrooms with shallots

    • okcook on June 21, 2012

      The mushroom flavor gets concentrated with the sautéing over 25 minutes. Excellent with steak.

  • Grilled pork tenderloin paillards with rosemary

    • Thredbende on July 18, 2012

      Page 361. This recipe calls for fresh rosemary leaves (needles) ground with salt and pepper, then rubbed on raw tenderloin. I used the pork chops I had and made a major new find in grilling deliousness. This fresh rub would be great on everything from catfish to sliced, oiled potatoes.

  • Duck liver pâté

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I had a couple duck livers left from roasting two ducks, so made this pâté. It's very similar to my regular chicken liver pâté, but, oh what a difference those ducks make! The recipe calls for the use of duck fat, which I hadn't reserved. I had, however, reserved and frozen the fat rendered when I had seared some foie gras. So that is what I used. I served this on an inappropriate bun, sliced and toasted, with slivers of apple. Easy and delicious!

  • Glazed carrots with olives

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I made this dish as part of a dinner for a largish group, so I doubled the recipe. I don't always like the baby carrots sold in bags, but I couldn't find any bundled carrots, so I bought a couple bags of organic babies. They were very tasty, as it turned out, even just for raw munching. I used oil cured Moroccan olives, and pitting the olives was the only real labor involved in this easy dish. I think perhaps I should have halved the olives, just for a more even distribution. I didn't really get a glaze as described, just a trace of a buttery coat. I thought this dish was quite good, and very colorful. I'm happy to have some leftover, as they still taste quite nice the next day.

  • Piquant steamed broccoli with lemon sauce

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I steamed my broccoli on a plate in a bamboo steamer, then added the mix of lemon juice, olive oil, Cholula (same ingredients as Tabasco), and salt. Easy, tasty, healthy.

    • chawkins on March 19, 2014

      Just like the previous reviewer said, quick, easy, tasty and healthy.

  • Braised pork roast with sweet potatoes

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      This dish is made with a boneless pork roast. It starts out on the stovetop for an hour with a liquid composed of water, soy sauce, Tabasco, red wine vinegar, honey, and cumin. Then sliced sweet potatoes and wedges of onion are added. After 15 more minutes on the stove, it goes into the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes. The meat was cooked, the vegetables were tender, but the sauce never became "dark and caramelized" as written. Nothing horribly wrong with the dish, but nothing great either. And having recently cooked a Vietnamese caramelized pork dish, this one was pale in comparison. Edible, but no second helpings and not too excited about the leftovers. P.S. The pan was a mess to clean up.

  • Sausage and potato ragout

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I was looking for something cozy and easy, and this fit the bill. I deviated from the recipe by using unpeeled baby red potatoes instead of the peeled fingerlings that were called for. I had hot Italian sausage in large links. In spite of pulling all the sausage meat out, reworking it, and shaping it into balls, they kept turning back into little cylinders. Something in their DNA, I guess. The sausage balls are cooked first in a small amount of water, then the water is cooked off, the sausage is removed, and the drippings are made into a roux. Then more water is added along with sausage, potatoes, onions, garlic, bay, thyme, and jalapeno. When it is all cooked, and the sauce is nicely reduced, parsley goes on top. This was perfect for a snowy evening. My sausage was pretty hot, so that plus the jalapeno made it spicy and warming. Not a company dish, but easy, homey, and comforting. I served the zucchini and tomato fans as a side dish.

    • chawkins on October 15, 2014

      Spicy, comforting and very easy. Toughest part of the recipe was to shape the sausages into balls. I guess my sausage were somewhat lean, I did not have enough dripping to make a roux, so I just added a little bit of olive oil

  • Zucchini and tomato fans

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Zucchini are sliced but left attached at the stem end. They are then fanned out and sliced tomato and garlic are placed between the slices. The fans are then brushed with oil and dusted with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. I have made zucchini fans like this before, but I liked the addition of the herbes, it really gave it that South of France feel. And although I had very wimpy winter tomatoes, roasting them rather brought out the flavor. Easy to prepare, and bright on the plate.

  • Steamed cod on tapenade

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      This was a perfectly edible dish. The tapenade was very good, I could see using it again; the small amount of fig imparted a surprisingly figgy flavor in each bite. But the cod just sat there, and the flavors didn't really marry. Yes, you could get a bite of tapenade and a bite of fish on the fork, and it was tasty. But I've done several similar recipes from other COTMs where the fish is cooked with vegetables and/or olives, and the flavors truly meld. I can think of three other dishes offhand, but the fish en papillote with tomatoes, olives, and orange zest from Gourmet Yesterday particularly springs to mind. In that dish the flavors impregnated the fish so that each bite revealed a delightful synergy of flavor. This dish is a pretty one, however that only raised my expectations, which were somewhat dashed.

  • Chicken ballottine stuffed with spinach, cheese, and bread

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Too much to say on this one. Bottom line: tasty dish with an impressive presentation. More info and photos in my review here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825942#7061701

  • Tomato, red onion, and orange salad

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Red onions are sliced, as are navel oranges. Tomatoes are chopped, parsley is tossed in. The salad is dressed with a mix of sherry vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. As tomatoes are not that great around these parts, even when they are in season, I used cherry tomatoes, which seem to maintain more flavor year around. I quartered the onion slices and halved orange sections, just for uniformity with the cherry toms. I used a sweet red onion, as the standard red onions we've been getting have been annoyingly hot lately. This is a quick and easy salad, with bright, contrasting colors and flavors. It worked well with the chicken ballottine, but would be great with beef or fish also. I'll be happy to try it again in the late summer when we have a chance at better tomatoes.

  • Egg and spinach gratin

    • twoyolks on September 18, 2012

      Very easy and quick dinner. It was very good served with toast.

  • Leek and Gruyère quiche

    • chawkins on September 18, 2012

      Served with a salad, simple and light dinner. The crust stayed crisp, did not get soggy. I did not have any cream on hand, so substituted with evaporated milk and it worked well.

  • Lamb barley soup

    • okcook on November 10, 2012

      This make a ton of soup. I had lamb stock and lamb shoulder rather than lamb bones. Cubed the lamb and combined all ingredients except 1/2 the water in a pressure cooker and simmered for 20 minutes after pressure was achieved then added the rest of the water. Excellent

  • Lentil and barley soup

    • Breadcrumbs on December 02, 2012

      p. 33 I have to say, this dish really surprised me. No pre-cooking, no sautéing, now browning of meat. Just dump every single ingredient into a pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer away. Yes, even the raw sausages, right into the pot, raw. I started it atop the stove then I ended up dumping the boiling mixture into the slow cooker and simmering on low for 3 hours. JP has you puree some of the soup to thicken it. I made this ahead so when I pulled it out of the fridge two days later, it had already thickened up quite nicely. I did put the Bamix in the pot for about 5 seconds and that was enough to put this into a stew-like consistency. We tasted this prior to deciding whether or not to top w the optional cheese and, determined it was rich and flavourful enough all on its own. This made for a wonderful weeknight meal. Mr bc, who is not a soup lover, went back for 3rds!!! Terrific recipe.

  • Hot or cold leek soup

    • chawkins on December 13, 2012

      Simple and good. I used the excess vegetable broth (using CIA's the New Professional Chef recipe) I made for brining my Thanksgiving turkey a la Alton Brown and served it hot.

  • Sautéed cauliflower with bread crumbs and eggs

    • kscooley on December 17, 2012

      Everyone loves this - so yummy!

  • Pork and potato hash

    • twoyolks on January 25, 2013

      I made this with leftover pulled pork and served it with an egg on top. While eating I added some barbeque sauce which also went well (particularly since it was pulled pork).

  • Braised stuffed flank steak

    • DJM on February 03, 2013

      A impressive and delicous dinner party dish. The only stressful part is cutting the pocket in the flank steak. Using arrowroot to thicken the sauce makes a nicely thickened but not gluey texture.

  • Dark turkey fricassee

    • twoyolks on March 28, 2013

      It took about 50% longer to cook than the recipe called for (mainly to cook the rice).

  • Dried and fresh mushroom soup

    • AOski on April 21, 2013

      Delicious. Add a quarter cup of brandy to the onion sweat and some dried thyme to the dried mushroom soak.

  • Chocolate oatmeal cookies

    • jbuchman on April 28, 2013

      Page 558. These burn very quickly on the bottom, so use parchment or a silpat, and a light-colored baking sheet.

  • Bread galettes on salad greens

    • Bloominanglophile on May 25, 2013

      Making lunch for my family today ( low larder!) almost looked like an impossibility until I stumbled onto this recipe. I did use my cook's creative license and subbed ingredients: I used 1/2 cup each of diced yellow pepper and onion, and 1/3 cup thinly sliced celery for the veg. I sautéed this with 1 tsp olive oil, and toward the end added the garlic. Along with chives, I added about 1 Tbsp. freshly chopped thyme. The salad was also changed to romaine lettuce. To pad out the salad I added some cucumber, radish and tomato wedges and just used a light coating of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing. Really a nice lunch, especially for those warmer days when you don't want something rich or heavy. And it obviously is a flexible recipe! I personally would serve it as a light lunch or dinner, but not as a first course. I would also make 1 & 1/2 times the recipe to feed four people.

  • Grilled or pan-seared marinated flank steak

    • JoanN on August 07, 2013

      Very, very good; thin sauce with water so there will be more of it and consider serving with mashed potatoes or something else to soak up the sauce.

  • Buttered potatoes with parsley

    • Bloominanglophile on August 19, 2013

      This recipe is so easy that it hardly needs to be included in a cookbook--it is probably intuitive to anyone who has cooked for a bit. Regardless, I decided to follow it so I could mark it in my cookbook and rate it on this site! Easy and quick for a weeknight, I used fingerling potatoes with my Idaho potato, and all was good. I cut everything about the same size, but didn't pretty them up like it calls for in the recipe. I did add some sea salt along with kosher salt, for a nice crunch to the butter-slicked potatoes.

  • Apple tart with almond filling

    • emiliang on November 12, 2013

      A wonderfully rustic tart. Used ground hazelnuts instead of almonds. Transports you to the northern European countryside. If using a tart pan, three large apples will suffice. Great for entertaining at home, as it can be prepared well ahead of serving time. Check the oven after 50 minutes.

  • Spicy chicken breasts

    • twoyolks on November 24, 2013

      The technique produced a very juicy chicken breast. However, we did not care for the spice rub.

    • thecharlah on January 25, 2016

      Surprisingly good and so simple. The oven cooking time had to be greatly increased due to the size of chicken breasts available. I think the rub would also be good on salmon.

    • TrishaCP on August 05, 2016

      The spice rub was subtle and delicious. I also had to increase the cooking time-my rather large chicken breasts were still pink after the time specified.

  • Braised lamb chops and potatoes

    • chawkins on January 23, 2014

      Great flavor with simple ingredients. The top layer of potatoes in the gratin dish also got crisp after an hour and a quarter in the oven, a bonus.

  • Pumpkin and pastina soup

    • twoyolks on March 30, 2014

      I garnished this with olive oil and piment d'esplette which complemented the soup nicely.

  • Blender Hollandaise

    • TrishaCP on May 12, 2014

      This was very light tasting, but the consistency was too thin for the sauce to coat the vegetables that I served.

  • Mussels in cream sauce

    • emiliang on May 30, 2014

      Exquisite even without the thyme, especially if served with good French bread. I'm not sure if I would call this a main course, though. It's more like a light supper.

  • Brown rice and onion pilaf

    • TrishaCP on September 14, 2014

      This made a fragrant and tasty brown rice dish. The star to me was the chile powder- the minimum amount called for added such flavor and pop to the rice. This is a definite keeper.

  • Skillet sweet potatoes

    • twoyolks on November 09, 2014

      The sweet potatoes will burn very quickly so be aware. The texture of the cooked potatoes seemed unusual to me; they were fully cooked but not as soft as I prefer.

  • Roast woodcock with cabbage in bread cases

    • Barb_N on January 26, 2015

      We were treated to the cabbage portion of this recipe (p 303-304) to accompany braised pork shoulder. The prosciutto added a savory note without overpowering; skipped the caraway seeds. Will keep this on the list.

  • Turkey cutlets in anchovy-lemon sauce

    • chawkins on February 06, 2015

      Quick and easy and quite tasty. I used chicken cutlets and halved the recipe, used two anchovy fillets and about 1/2 tbs of anchovy oil. The cutlets were pan-fried in a mixture of butter and anchovy oil, I was worried that the whole dish would taste fishy, but it turned out fine.

  • "Caesar" salad with blue cheese

    • twoyolks on October 15, 2015

      The creaminess of the blue cheese goes well in this salad which helps with the lack of creaminess from the dressing. As the recipe is written, it's a pretty small salad (not enough for a main course).

  • Cod à l'Espagnole

    • vickster on February 10, 2016

      Very good fish dish, but I made a few changes. I added Aleppo pepper flakes, regular onion instead of scallions, 14.5 oz. can tomatoes instead of fresh, and added 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup water.

  • Baked Swiss chard

    • twoyolks on April 05, 2016

      Just basic baked Swiss chard with some cheese. The cheese melts in clumps which means there are bites with either no cheese or a lot of cheese.

  • Braised sweet-and-sour red cabbage

    • imaluckyducky on April 25, 2016

      Pg 417. Remarkably good! The sweetness comes from the caramelization, which also provides a good depth of flavor and balance to the sour. My batch took an extra 20 minutes to braise all the liquid away, but that's because I used double the cabbage (nothing else doubled). Made a batch using dried cranberries, added a nice touch and a bit more tang. Will make again.

  • Sautéed potato slices

    • TrishaCP on May 24, 2016

      Solid easy side when you just want a basic potato dish. We used a cast iron skillet so these got nice and browned and crispy.

  • Tomato, basil, and cheese soufflés

    • twoyolks on July 10, 2016

      The actual souffle was nice but the tomato shells, while pretty, didn't work with the rest of the dish. I did find the souffle to be weirdly reminiscent of a crab dip.

  • Collard greens and grits soup

    • Larkspur on October 15, 2016

      I substituted Kale for the collards (and omitted the stems) with great results.

  • Cauliflower au gratin

    • chawkins on November 19, 2016

      Solid recipe, very creamy, not very cheesy but crispy topping. Liked the addition of nutmeg and white pepper in the bechamel.

  • Banana bread pudding

    • twoyolks on December 10, 2016

      This took a long time to set and the ratio of liquid to bread didn't seem to be correct. It also didn't taste particularly good.

  • Paillasson potatoes

    • Cubro on December 12, 2016

      From the show?

  • Gratin Parmentier

    • twoyolks on January 16, 2017

      A good way to use up leftover braised beef. It tastes like a French version of shepherd's pie.

    • vickster on February 17, 2017

      Shepherd's pie French-ified and taken up a notch -- delicious! Great way to use up leftover roast beef, and I will definitely make this comfort dish again. (Note to self - halve recipe next time for husband and I)..

  • Eggs Jeannette

    • twoyolks on February 21, 2017

      I made this after reading about it in Jacques Pépin's biography. The eggs are nice with a simple filling. Make sure to distribute the garlic well. I liked the sauce that was served with it a lot.

  • Potatoes savonnettes

    • twoyolks on February 21, 2017

      These were pretty bland. They do look a lot like seared scallops.

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Reviews about this book

  • Kate Cooks the Books

    The good and the great far outweigh the mediocre and disappointing, however, I don’t hesitate recommending that you add this cookbook to your collection.

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    In addition to the stories, the techniques..., and the recipes, there are hundreds of Pépin’s own whimsical line drawings, which bring a homey humbleness to this epic volume.

    Full review
  • Publishers Weekly

    ...700 of his best French and French-accented dishes from decades of cooking and teaching. They're simple without being dumbed down; approachable yet still adventurous.

    Full review
  • Seattle Weekly

    There he is--thick French accent and all--showing you how to truss a chicken, hold a knife and chop properly, make butter roses, mayonnaise, and Melba toast. He even shows you how to tie your apron!

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Tagliatelle and peas

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I think my favorite thing about this recipe is that the peas were “cooked” by just running them under hot tap water. Seriously, who can’t do that? And they were perfect.

      Full review
  • Sausage and potato ragout

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      Well of course sausage and potatoes cooked in sausage fat is going to be good. You don’t need me to tell you that. So I’ll shut up about how good this was (and it was really good).

      Full review
  • Beef daube Arlésienne

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I love beef stew and am always happy to find something new. This recipe is not without its head-scratching mysteries though...

      Full review
  • Asparagus in mustard sauce

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      This recipe could not be simpler. Looks pretty, tastes great, easy – it’s got it all. I’ve now made it twice and will certainly make it more.

      Full review
  • Beef tournedos in mushroom, mustard, and red wine sauce

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      If you don’t already have a good recipe for something elegant, quick and delicious like this then…what is the matter with you??? Get on it! It’s rich and complex and full of umami.

      Full review
  • Sautéed haricots verts and shallots

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      Simple and delicious, this will take you about 10 minutes, tops. You can pre-cook the beans way ahead and finish them at the last mintue. ...I used frozen haricots verts...and they were perfect.

      Full review
  • Spinach salad with lemon dressing

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I wish this salad were as interesting to look at as it is delicious. It’s just spinach with a lovely, easy lemon vinaigrette. ...it’s a recipe you will use many, many times.

      Full review
  • Oven-roasted potatoes and onions

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      ...I tried to think of a way to improve this recipe...I quickly came to the same conclusion: there are already plenty of functional recipes out there. I don’t need to re-invent the roasted potato.

      Full review
  • Crepes Suzette

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      As you can see, they looked lovely and were not bad by any means. Just underwhelming for all their trouble. Crepes should be easier than this and most are. Skip this one.

      Full review
  • Chicken with Cognac sauce

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I’d like to have Cognac Sauce on everything I eat from now on for the rest of my life. Thank you. This is a very simple roast chicken... but obviously the sauce makes it worth eating. Weekly.

      Full review
  • Pasta shells with ricotta filling

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      Who doesn’t love pasta shells? ...kind of a lazy-man’s, deconstructed lasagne, there’s even more to love about it. This version is quite simple and delicious.

      Full review
  • Roasted eggplant sandwiches

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      This one is a delicious combination of sauteed eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, cheddar cheese and basil on a crusty roll. All assembled and then baked for 10 minutes or so.

      Full review
  • Tomato and herbes de Provence pita pizza

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I was tempted to hate on this “recipe” a little bit because it is so simple. ...there is a lot of value in a cookbook containing very challenging recipes as well as easy ...they were both delicious.

      Full review
  • Yellow pepper, Gruyère, and pine nut pita pizza

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I was tempted to hate on this “recipe” a little bit because it is so simple. ...there is a lot of value in a cookbook containing very challenging recipes as well as easy ...they were both delicious.

      Full review
  • Poached salmon in ravigote sauce

    • Fine Cooking

      Masterful in its simplicity, salmon is poached in water and topped with a raw tomato sauce loaded with scallions, lemon, and capers.

      Full review
  • Cucumbers with tarragon

    • Fine Cooking

      Cooked cucumbers? Absolutely. This easy, surprisingly elegant side dish is buttery and undeniably good.

      Full review
  • Roast duck with orange sauce

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      There is really nothing too difficult to this dish. Duck is so fatty it’s hard to over-cook, so in that sense it’s much easier than, say, a turkey.

      Full review
  • Sandwich assortment: cheese sandwich

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I love sandwiches for dinner and I’m always looking for new combinations. Why I can’t think them up on my own...I would never, in a million years, put salsa, pecans and cucumber together like this.

      Full review
  • Red snapper fillets in potato jackets

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      ...this is quick and the potato jackets protect the fish from over-cooking and drying and seriously, when are potatoes not welcome?

      Full review
  • Carrot and sunflower seed salad on red leaf lettuce

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      So good. Make it now. I love these kinds of salads. Crunchy, sweet, tangy and nutty. I probably ate three servings worth in the form of pre-dinner nibbling.

      Full review
  • Crab cakes with avocado salsa

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      ...absolutely delicious, ready in less than 30 minutes (including cooking time), and use ingredients readily available to mere mortals at ordinary stores right here in North America...What a guy.

      Full review
  • Risotto with vegetables

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      ...eating a huge bowl of creamy, buttery, cheesy rice seems like something that will eventually end in ones’ skirts doing an intervention on one. Adding lots of vegetables makes one feel virtuous...

      Full review
  • Chicken with saffron rice

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I just love recipes like this: saute some chicken, remove and saute some aromatics, throw the chicken back in with some other lovely things including rice and liquid, and cook for a while.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0547232799
  • ISBN 13 9780547232799
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 18 2011
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 704
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

For the first time ever, the legendary chef collects and updates the best recipes from his six-decade career. With a searchable DVD demonstrating every technique a cook will ever need.

In his more than sixty years as a chef, Jacques Pépin has earned a reputation as a champion of simplicity. His recipes are classics. They find the shortest, surest route to flavor, avoiding complicated techniques.

Now, in a book that celebrates his life in food, the world’s most famous cooking teacher winnows his favorite recipes from the thousands he has created, streamlining them even further. They include Onion Soup Lyonnaise-Style, which Jacques enjoyed as a young chef while bar-crawling in Paris; Linguine with Clam Sauce and Vegetables, a frequent dinner chez Jacques; Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Butter, which he makes indoors in winter and outdoors in summer; Five-Peppercorn Steak, his spin on a bistro classic; Mémé’s Apple Tart, which his mother made every day in her Lyon restaurant; and Warm Chocolate Fondue Soufflé, part cake, part pudding, part soufflé, and pure bliss.

Essential Pépin spans the many styles of Jacques’s cooking: homey country French, haute cuisine, fast food Jacques-style, and fresh contemporary American dishes. Many of the recipes are globally inspired, from Mexico, across Europe, or the Far East.

In the accompanying searchable DVD, Jacques shines as a teacher, as he demonstrates all the techniques a cook needs to know. This truly is the essential Pépin.



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