Jacques Pepin


Between April and October of 2015 we cooked with Chef Jacques Pepin.  Now we are visiting with Pepin again as our chef of the month.

I was in need of a dessert this week and this apple tart from Pepin hit the spot.

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Pepin says his classic dough is suitable for any baking need.

Dough:  

  • 3 Tbl unsalted butter, cold
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbl ice-cold water

Place the flour, butter – cut into  1/4″ pieces – and sugar in a food processor.  Process for 5 seconds and add the water.  Process another 5 seconds.  Remove he dough from the processor and work it until all the dry pieces are incorporated.  Roll into a 10″ circle and refrigerate.

Filling:

  • 2 large Golden Delicious apples {I used three medium}
  • 2 Tbl apricot jam {Not a fan so I used some homemade Pear Honey}
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1/2 Tbl unsalted butter

Peel the apples, cut in half and scoop out the core.  Remove a little more apple from the center and chop fine.  {I used the third apple for this}.  Fill each core with 1/2 Tbl {I used a little more} jam and arrange the apples in the center of the dough cut side down. Sprinkle the chopped apple around the apple halves.  

This is a galette so bring the edges of the dough up over the apples with a 1″ – 2″ border.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and butter pieces.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hour {Mine took about 50 minutes.}  until well browned.  

Mine did not get as brown as I would like.  I brushed the top of the whole tart additional Pear Honey.  It added a lot of flavor.  {Plus it made it look pretty!}

The recipe is from Jacques Pepin’s Table page 357.

For more of Pepin’s dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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This was the last week to cook with Chef Jacques Pepin. It has been quite a fun 6 months trying so many of his wonderful recipes. Some of the dishes I made included:

Looking back I see that most of the dishes I made were sides. And that is usually what I have the most trouble deciding on with meals. Pepin made it easy. So I decided to say goodbye with just one more.

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    Risotto with Vegetables

Which was delicious. So full of vegetables it is almost a meal in itself.

    1 cup of chopped peeled asparagus
    1 cup of frozen peas
    1 cup of julienned mushrooms
    1 cup of diced red (or orange) bell pepper
    2/3 cup chopped fennel

all mixed into a creamy risotto.

Pepin does his risotto a different way than I am used to. Usually one adds some broth a bit at a time and stir, stir, stir, stir until the rice is creamy. But Pepin sautees the cup of Arborio rice in butter and olive oil then adds 2 1/2 cups of the broth cooking only about 12 minutes and only stirring 2 or 3 times while keeping it on covered over medium heat. The last cup of broth is added with ALL the veggies {except the fennel which he added earlier} and cooks uncovered for another 5 minutes. This means of course that you aren’t completely tied to the stove cooking the risotto. And then, right before you serve it – add about 1/4 cup grated Parm. Perfect risotto!! And perfectly DELICIOUS.

The recipe is from Pepin’s Jacques Pepin’s Table on page 163. Also, there is a VIDEO where he makes this risotto along with some other dishes.

Stop by the IHCC webpage for more Au Revoir Chef Pepin Dishes.

The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs is “Plate of the Day” or Le Plat du Jour. It means we can make just about anything special that we could serve. While special is not the word that comes to mind I did choose something I don’t think I would make everyday.

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Darphin Potatoes are what Americans could call Hash Browns. But better! Mixed with green onions/scallions they are delicious, but not so easy to make. Pepin’s were nice and flat and crispy and brown. Mine – not so much. The first time I made them they were more blackish than brown, but crispy, and stuck in my non-stick pan!! :\

The next time they were not brown enough but tasty. I made 1/2 of the recipe in an 8″ black skillet. I will keep trying!

    3 baking (Idaho) potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
    2 tablespoons corn oil
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    4 scallions, trimmed (leaving some green) and minced (1/2 cup)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

After peeling the potatoes shred them on the large holes of your grater.
Squeeze as much liquid out as you can. Mix the potatoes with the scallions, salt, and pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in your skillet {He used 10″/12″}until hot. Add in the potatoe mix. Press the mixture into the skillet to compact it.
Cook for about 12 minutes (more or less depending on your heat, but check them) over medium heat. Flip the ‘cake’ over {I did this by inverting onto a plate and then sliding back into the pan.} and cook for another 10 minutes or so until crisp and brown.
Invert it onto a serving plate, cut into wedges, and serve.

These were very good but harder to make than I thought. I needed to cook them a little longer. NOT as long as the first time, but longer. Every stove is different. Mine is just hateful!

What other plates are on the Daily Buffet?

There is no rule out there that says French cooking must be elegant or complex. It can be simple and rustic as well. Which is a good thing for this week’s I Heart Cooking ClubFrench Dish. This recipe from Jacques is one of his mother’s. And it is quite simple.

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Pepin says his mother added cheese but he doesn’t always. I made mine without cheese but Gruyère would have been really good here.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes {I used basic russet potatoes}
2 cups milk
2–3 garlic cloves, crushed, and finely chopped (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick Do NOT rinse the slices.

Place the potato slices, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to separate the slices and prevent the mixture from scorching. It will thicken as it reaches a boil.

Pour the potato mixture into a 6-cup gratin dish, and pour the cream on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
(Original Recipe)

While simple to make they were creamy and comforting. Definitely added to our rotation of potato dishes. Sometimes with cheese, sometimes not.

{BTW – reheat them in the oven and they are just as good as freshly made. DON”T nuke them!!}

Maintenant! Cliquez sur Plus d’IHCC et de vérifier plus d’une cuisine française de M. Pepin. Now! {Now! Click on over to IHCC and check out more of Pepin’s French Cuisine.}

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