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Joined: November 14th, 2009


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July 14th, 2019

Clafouti (Cherry Flan) from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One (1) (Vol 1)

It is a delicious baked custard, but I found my cherries lacking in flavor. I wish I'd taken the step to soak them in a liqueur (like the next recipe in the book states). Or maybe just a little cinnamon... read more >


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hipcook's Reviews


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9 recipe(s) reviewed. Showing 1 to 9Sort by: Title | Date | Rating

Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food

By Jacques Pepin
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - 2011

26th March 2012

Broiled Herbed Lamb Chops : page 345

I like this recipe because it says that sometimes, you just let the meat speak for itself. Everything doesn't need a fancy-schmancy preparation; this 5-ingredient preparation is perfectly capable of standing next to the 10-ingredient dish on the same page.

I also appreciated being introduced to savory, not an herb I'd cooked with before. I couldn't get fresh savory in our supermarket, but the dried herb tastes a little like a lot of things - a peppery note, a rosemary-like flavor, a hint of a warm herb like thyme. I want to play with that particular ingredient more.

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29th December 2013

Cream of Tomato Soup with Basil Oil : page 8

A nice rich tomato soup in just about an hour, all told. At my house, the first question was whether we could make enough of it to can, and just stop buying canned tomato soup all together. (The butter is added just before serving, so it looks like the answer is yes.)

I don't buy "fresh" tomatoes in the winter if I can help it, so I used two 28-oz. cans of whole stewed tomatoes, drained, and it worked just fine. I must admit I'm looking forward to tomato season to see how it turns out with fresh.

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13th November 2011

Fromage Fort : page 85

This is my absolute favorite party recipe. It's invariably a hit, and it has a classy French name and comes from a famous chef. Little does anyone suspect that the whole recipe is "throw all the dairy in your fridge into the food processor, with a splash of wine and some garlic." Voila, cheese dip - simple and bulletproof.

The recipe will change slightly every time you make it, based on the combination of cheese you have on hand. If it seems too sharp, you can add butter or sour cream to gain sweetness without sharpness. And someday, I will remember that my food processor takes ages to break down a solid brick of old Parmesan cheese, and anything that hard should be grated first.

I first saw Jacques Pepin do this recipe years ago on PBS - I remember it as the series with Julia Child, but perhaps it was the one with his daughter Claudine. Either way, I'm thrilled to have a copy in his cookbook.

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12th April 2013

Grilled Thyme Pork Chops : page 359

Another simple approach from the master. Searing the chops over high heat and then allowing to finish in a barely-warm oven (instead of rest on a table) is a smart technique which should save a lot of people from leathery pork chops. Unfortunately, making this inside in a pan instead of outside on a grill, I got occasional tastes of burnt oil. I wonder if I could have avoided that by putting them on a rack in the oven instead of in the pan.

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14th April 2013

Pork and Potato Hash : page 363

Hash is comfort food; it turns stretching the meat or using up the leftovers from an act of necessity to an act of love. Pepin hits that note just fine with this recipe.

That said, I found this recipe under-spiced. It wanted more Worcestershire sauce, and for my taste, more Tabasco. Of course, this will vary depending on how the pork roast was prepared. (I also suspect that I'd prefer the more mild flavors if I'd had it for breakfast instead of dinner.)

I had trouble getting mine to brown, even going a little longer on the time than stated. Perhaps my "medium" heat wasn't high enough. I wonder, though, if I over-worked the potatoes and caused them to steam more than saute, or if this is a problem with the thin slices of potato called for.

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25th May 2015

Pumpkin Au Gratin : page 451

Not at all what I was expecting, this is a delicate European savory custard flavored with pumpkin, not a pumpkin-forward American side dish. Tasty, but IMO in need of tweaking. I'm imagining using a lot more than 15 ounces of pumpkin, and an herbal note like rosemary. (On the other hand, I used a smoked gruyere, which some people found dominating - I'll go with unsmoked next time.)

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12th January 2012

Sautéed Shallots and Haricot Verts : page 412

Another entry in my collection of "Pepin recipes which look more complicated than they are." This would be a great vegetable for when company comes over... it looks classy but requires only a hair more time and attention than boiled green beans.

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30th November 2013 (edited: 30th November 2013)

Skillet Sweet Potatoes : page 124

A fast, basic preparation of sweet potatoes. Pepin treats it as a side dish, but you could also imagine it as a base for something like a hash.

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25th August 2012

Stewed Navy Beans : page 413

Straightforward to be sure, but a satisfying base for plenty of experiments. Alone, they'd work as a side dish. Pepin himself suggests that you could add sausage and chicken and call it cassoulet. Americans might be thinking of white bean chili. My wife added a quart of chicken stock and turned it to soup. I'm sure we'll be returning to this versatile base.

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