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

3.8 11
by Jacques Pepin
     
 

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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

Overview


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.
 
 

 

Editorial Reviews

The Essential Pépin lives up to its title: This 700+-page hardcover cookbook and searchable DVD provides the best of the best recipes from the sixty-year career of the three-time James Beard Award winner. Hundreds of his favorite recipes are here, including Peking-Style Chicken; Roast Duck with Orange Sauce; Linguine with Clam Sauce and Vegetables; Crusty Salmon on the Skin; Five-Peppercorn Steak; and Warm Chocolate Fondue Soufflé. The DVD includes a three-hour instructional video. A must-have for serious foodies.

Publishers Weekly
One of the great cookbook masters of the world, Pepin has published 26 volumes of recipes (including one with Julia Child). In this, which might be considered his opus, he offers more than 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. Whether he's explaining how to make Escoffier quenelles with mushroom sauce; black sea bass gravlax; chicken livers sautéed with vinegar; duck cassoulet; artichoke hearts with tarragon and mushrooms; or tarte tatin, he makes it seem doable and shares tidbits of wisdom to boost confidence and kitchen knowledge. His head notes are brief but informative, warm but not cloying. Pepin's own line drawings accompany the recipes, and they are, appropriately, at once homey and sophisticated. A DVD teaching a variety of cooking techniques accompanies the book, promising to make even the more challenging recipes less intimidating. For serious cooks and beginners alike, this is an instant classic that would enhance almost any collection. (Oct.)
Christopher Kimball
Here is the thing about Jacques: His recipes work. He came up through the French restaurant apprenticeship culture, using his fingers to test whether grilled foods were done. He cooked for Charles de Gaulle. He supposedly turned down the White House chef job under Kennedy and ended up working for Howard Johnson. He is a pro, he handles a knife like nobody else, and his recipes span decades and styles but are always practical and well written. If you do not have any of his books (or if you know someone who doesn't), this would be an excellent place to start. It is not a coffee table book, to be sure, but it gives the gift of Jacques, one of the great gifts France has bestowed upon this provincial nation.
Founder and Editor, America's Test Kitchen
From the Publisher

"A must-have for any cookbook fan."
--Edward Ash Millby for USA Today

"...simple without being dumbed down; approachable yet still adventurous... Whether he's explaining how to make Escoffier quenelles with mushroom sauce, black sea bass gravlax...or tarte tatin, [Pepin] makes it seem doable and shares tidbits of wisdom to boost confidence and kitchen knowledge... For serious cooks and beginners alike, this is an instant classic that would enhance almost any collection."
-Publishers Weekly, starred

"Jacques Pépin has been a constant inspiration to me. This book is a distillation of the very best of his creations, showing both the remarkable breadth of his cooking and the beautiful continuity of his dishes over the past sixty years. He makes food the way it should be made: Simple, seasonally ripe, pure, and impossible to resist."
—Alice Waters

"Jacques Pepin is The Master. The undisputed authority on . . . well, just about everything relating to food. If Jacques Pepin tells you this is the way to make an omelet — or to roast a chicken, then for me, the matter is settled. As with all his works, this is a vital, essential volume that should live in your kitchen forever. Nobody knows more or does it better."
—Anthony Bourdain

"If there's a 'best of the best' in cookbooks, this is it--a lifetime of greatest hits from our favorite ambassador of French cuisine. These recipes are more than just mouthwatering; they are as lively, unpretentious, and appealing as the man behind them, reminding us (as if we needed reminding) why we fell in love with French food, and with Jacques Pépin, in the first place. An essential collection from an essential chef."
—Dan Barber

"Jacques Pepin is a true artist and a masterful one at that. His commitment to excellence and dedication to quality education are evident throughout his storied career. Essential Pepin reflects his incredible body of work in what feels like an important literary achievement, and we, his pupils, are ever so fortunate to benefit from the breadth of knowledge within its pages. I often find that with Jacques Pepin, whether in print or on television, I walk away from my time with him having learned a little something more, and I feel a bit richer for that."
—Lidia Bastianich

Library Journal
Pépin's 26th cookbook is a companion volume to his new TV series of the same title. In a hefty tome that represents more than 60 years of cooking know-how, the revered French chef shares simple-yet-sophisticated favorites, updated for modern kitchens and diets. Pépin balances classics, like Roast Chicken, with such distinctive fare as Fried Roe with Garlic and Parsley. This versatile collection provides enough variety for everyday use. Readers who prefer practical cooking bibles to glossy pictorials will appreciate the book's minimal narrative and Pépin's decorative illustrations in lieu of photos. Visual learners can look to the TV show or the included DVD of techniques for additional guidance. [Twelve-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 4/18/11.]
Kirkus Reviews

The world-famous chef returns withmore than 700 handpicked recipes retooled for the vicissitudes of today's kitchen and garnered from more than 60 years of experience.

Pepin's latest (Jacques Pepin More Fast Food My Way, 2008, etc.)reflects the insouciant grandeur of a man whose phenomenal influence and success in modern cooking can hardly be exaggerated: the author of 18 bestselling books; winner of an Emmy Award for his syndicated PBS series; recipient of the Légion d'Honneur; etc. Yet he miraculously manages to convey with freshness and excitement his life's passion to equip home cooks of every stripe with something to please every palate. Soups, salads, puddings, soufflés and crepes are all on display, as well as recipes for charcuterie and offal in addition to standard fare like poultry and game. The author organizes this wealth of information into a harmonious and fascinating read. Pepin's roots run deep and true, and he fittingly closes with a recipe for Mulled Wine and a tribute to his boyhood home: "On cold winter nights, this is the drink of choice for farmers in the Beaujolais area of Burgundy, where I come from."

Showcases a lifetime of remarkable achievements by the ambassador of French cuisine.

Corby Kummer
…showcases a lifetime's worth of [Pepin's] cooking…Though the base is French home cooking, this is an omnibus cooking ­encyclopedia.
—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547232799
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/18/2011
Pages:
704
Sales rank:
53,596
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.90(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Tomato Chowder
with Mollet Eggs and Croutons
Serves 4

A French favorite, mollet (moll-ay) eggs are similar to poached eggs in texture, with runny yolks and soft whites. The eggs are cooked in their shells in barely boiling water for about 6 minutes, then thoroughly cooled and carefully shelled. This basic tomato soup, topped with the eggs and large croutons made from country-style bread, can be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock or water.

 2  tablespoons olive oil
 1  medium onion, coarsely chopped
(1 1/4 cups)
 6  scallions, trimmed (leaving some green) and chopped (3/4 cup)
 1  carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
(1/2 cup)
 3  garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
 2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
 3  cups homemade chicken stock
(page 612) or low-salt canned
chicken broth
 12  ounces cherry tomatoes
 1  teaspoon salt, or to taste
 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 1  teaspoon dried thyme
 1/4  teaspoon dried sage
 1  28-ounce can plum tomatoes
GARNISHES
 4   slices country-style bread, preferably stale, for croutons
 2  teaspoons olive oil
 1  small garlic clove
 4  large eggs
 1/4   cup grated Gruyère or Emmenthaler cheese

 Heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel saucepan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion, scallions, carrot, and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top of the mixture, stir thoroughly, and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring. Mix in the stock.
 Add the cherry tomatoes to the soup, along with the salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Process the can of plum tomatoes for 5 seconds, and add to the soup. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.
 Using a hand blender, blend the soup for 15 to 20 seconds (or process in a food processor and return to the pan).
 
MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE GARNISHES: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
 Brush the bread slices with the olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until nicely browned. Rub one side of the croutons with the garlic clove, and set them aside.
 Using a thumbtack or pushpin, make a hole in the rounded end of each egg. Gently lower the eggs into a pan containing enough boiling water to cover them and cook for about 6 minutes in barely boiling water. Drain the hot water from the pan and shake the pan to crack the shells of the eggs on all sides. Fill the pan with ice and water and set the eggs aside to cool completely.
 When the eggs are cool, peel them carefully (so as not to damage the yolks, which are still runny) under cool running water. Keep the eggs in cold water until just before serving. (The eggs can be cooked up to a few hours ahead and refrigerated in the cold water.)
 At serving time, drain the cold water from the eggs and replace it with hot tap water. Let stand for 5 minutes, so the eggs are lukewarm inside.
 Bring the soup to a strong boil, and ladle it into four bowls. Place an egg in the center of each bowl, and wait for a couple of minutes for the eggs to warm in the center. Place a crouton in each bowl and serve, sprinkled with the cheese.

Grilled Veal Chops
with Caper and Sage Sauce
Serves 4

This is a good summer recipe. I sear the chops briefly on a very hot grill and then transfer them to a warm oven, where they continue to cook slowly in their own residual heat. The sauce, a simple mixture of onion, capers, lemon juice, and olive oil, is made separately and the chops are coated with it before they are served.
 Be sure you don’t overcook the chops. Although veal is not served rare, as beef is, it should be slightly pink inside and juicy throughout.
 Chicken or even a piece of fish also goes well with the caper and sage sauce.

 4  veal rib chops trimmed of excess fat (about 10 ounces each), and 1 inch thick
 1  teaspoon canola oil
 1/4  teaspoon salt
 1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE
 1/2  cup diced (1/4-inch) red onion
 2  tablespoons drained capers
 1  tablespoon minced fresh sage
 2  teaspoons julienned lemon zest
 1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
 2  tablespoons olive oil
 2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
 1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 1/4  teaspoon salt, or to taste
 2  tablespoons homemade chicken
stock (page 612) or low-salt canned chicken broth

 Heat a grill until it is very hot. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
 Rub the chops with the oil and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper. Put the chops on the clean grill rack and cook for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer them to the oven and let them rest and finish cooking for at least 10 minutes (the chops can be kept in the oven for up to 30 minutes).
 
MEANWHILE FOR THE SAUCE: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
 At serving time, place a chop on each of four plates and coat with the sauce.

Iced Grand Marnier Soufflé
Serves 6 to 8

Iced soufflés are not real soufflés that cook and inflate in the oven, but look-alike frozen desserts. A collar of aluminum foil or parchment paper 3 to 4 inches higher than the rim of the soufflé dish is attached to the dish, so the mixture can be molded higher than the sides. When the collar is removed, the soufflé looks as though it has just emerged from the oven. It’s a perfect dessert for a party, and it must be made ahead. After the soufflé is prepared and its collar secured, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil so it doesn’t pick up tastes from the freezer.

 1  cup sugar
 1/3  cup water
 1  tablespoon grated orange rind
 6  large egg yolks
 1/2  cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
 2 1/2  cups heavy cream
 6-8  ladyfingers or the same amount of sliced génoise or pound cake
 1  tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

 Combine the sugar, water, and orange rind in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, until it turns into a light syrup.
 Meanwhile, put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer.
 While beating at high speed, pour the hot syrup in a steady stream over the yolks and continue beating for 12 to 15 minutes. The mixture should be thick, smooth, and pale yellow. Add 1/4 cup of the Grand Marnier or Cointreau and beat for another 30 seconds on high speed.
 Whip the cream in a large bowl to a soft peak. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the soufflé mixture. Cover the bottom of a 1-quart soufflé dish with a thick layer of the mixture (about 2 inches thick). Arrange the ladyfingers or cake slices on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Grand Marnier. Fill the mold right to the top with the cream mixture; refrigerate the remainder.
 Using a doubled long sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, make a collar around the mold, extending 2 to 3 inches above the rim, and tie securely with a string. Place the mold in the freezer for 1 hour, or until it is firm.
 When the frozen soufflé mixture is firm, add the remainder of the mixture, which should bring the soufflé to at least 2 inches above the rim of the mold. Return to the freezer until frozen.
 Transfer the soufflé to the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.
 Just before serving, sprinkle the top with the cocoa. Remove the collar and serve.

Meet the Author

JACQUES PEPIN  has written twenty-five cookbooks, including the best-selling Jacques Pépin Fast Food My Way, More Fast Food My Way, and his memoir, The Apprentice. He has also starred in numerous acclaimed cooking series on public television. He has won multiple James Beard Awards, several IACP Cookbook Awards, and the Legion of Honor, France's highest distinction.

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Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
kimwad More than 1 year ago
I was surprised by how much I like this cookbook. I expected it to be interesting, but didn't expect it to be as accessible for the ordinary cook. Sure there are some "exotic" recipes, but there are many down-to-earth ones, too. Also, if you have an interest in recipes for wild game you might want to check out Essential Pepin. Even if you don't end up trying any of the recipes, the book makes a great read for a foodie.
PabloMartin More than 1 year ago
What a great cookbook! Jacques not only cooks and writes, he does the quirky little drawings throughout the book. Who knew he worked for the home of fried clam strips, Howard Johnson's? Directions are easy to follow and he gives explanations when there is some difficulty involved. Cooking a smoked ham in hot water and then baking it the next day caught my attention and I'm looking forward to trying it. He even has recipes for sausages and salami! Even if you don't cook a lot, this is a good read.
TheEdDoolittle More than 1 year ago
Over 700 recipes by a classic chef is reason enough to buy this book, but it's the generous number of personal comments Pepin includes with the recipes that make it plain these are the foods Jacques Pepin has eaten and cooked all his life. It's fun to read; I spent a couple of hours reading the egg recipes and discussing them with friends. I haven't even tried the DVD yet, and this is already my favorite cookbook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed to find out that this is not available to to read except on the web nook. My nook and nook app on my iPad will not read it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Jacque Pepin's shows, but this book has little to offer that feels like Jacque Pepin. 700 recipes--way too many. Quantity, not quality. And speaking of quality, the book has NONE. It is CHEAP. The cover is just formed from paper, the pages are cheap paper (probablyi recylced material). There are NO color plates. Nothing. I paid $4 for it, plusabout $6 for shipping. I got what I paid for. Maybe the recipes will be good.
hannah-0605 More than 1 year ago
Love Jacque Pepin, All his cookbooks are great, who better to to help you with good cooking than a man who worked with Julia Child and was the chef for a French president, Charles De Gaulle.
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