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The Ethnic Paris Cookbook Hardcover – March 19, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT (March 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756626455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756626457
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Charlotte Puckette and Olivia Kiang-Snaije's The Ethnic Paris Cookbook is a colorful and lively guide to the best French cooking that's not traditional French cooking, with over 100 recipes inspired by Paris's international chefs, many from the former French colonies, and tips for the best ethnic restaurants and corner shops and ethnic markets in Paris. For a taste of what's inside, the authors have provided us with an exclusive recipe and guide to a restaurant that's not included in the book.

Le Coin des Gourmets

Right Bank
38, rue du Mont Thabor
75001 Paris
Tel. 01 42 60 79 79
Left Bank
5, rue Dante
75005 Paris
Tel. 01 43 26 12 92

Indochina was France's crown jewel during colonial times. As a reminder of the past, the streets of Paris are dotted with Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian restaurants ranging from holes-in-the-wall to trendy and upscale establishments, but finding a restaurant that serves authentic cuisine from the region can be difficult. When the Ta family opened Le Coin des Gourmets in 1981, they made it their mission to introduce Parisians to their culinary culture. Back then, Vietnamese immigrant Mrs. Ta manned the kitchen with two of her eight children: her son Khim and daughter Barbara, recreating the mouth-watering dishes from Vietnam and Cambodia--her husband's native country--that the family ate at home.

Two years later, British-born New York restaurateur Brian McNally recruited Barbara and her husband to come help him launch Indochine, a fixture on New York's Lafayette Street since 1984, and one of the first restaurants to adopt the glamorous "French colonial" style. After a few years in New York, Barbara returned to Paris to open her own restaurant, also called Indochine, on the right bank. Last year, the Ta family decided to merge both restaurants, entirely renovating Indochine and renaming it Le Coin des Gourmets, like the original Left Bank locale. Both Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes are served in each restaurant, with an emphasis on freshness and authenticity. The Vietnamese dishes are light and clean tasting, while the Cambodian cooking is slightly richer, resembling Thai cuisine with less spice. The Cambodian specialty, Amok, a fish and coconut milk curry seasoned with lemongrass paste and steamed inside a banana leaf, is among the menu's many highlights.

Khim now oversees both kitchens while another brother, Chhim, a wine aficionado, acts as sommelier. Chhim recommends Chardonnays or white Burgundies to accompany Southeast Asian fare; these wines are powerful enough to complement the cuisine's spices without drowning them, and are fruity and well-suited to herbs like lemongrass or cilantro.

For other authentic specialties from Southeast Asia, the Ta family recommends two restaurants in Paris' Chinatown:

La Lune
36, Avenue de Choisy
75013 Paris
Tel. 08 99 78 26 95
Melinda
30, Avenue Porte de Choisy
75013 Paris
Tel. 01 45 85 56 64

Amok: Steamed Fish and Coconut Milk Curry

Amok is a classic Khmer dish and a staple eaten throughout Cambodia. As is often the case with popular dishes, recipes vary, depending upon who is in the kitchen. This is the version the Ta family serves at their restaurant:

Serves 4

Leftover lemongrass paste can also be used to marinate beef or chicken before grilling.

Lemongrass Paste:
6 stalks fresh lemongrass
1 2-inch (5 cm) piece galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
6 shallots
6 cloves garlic
¾ teaspoon saffron

1.1 lb (500 g) white, firm-fleshed fish such as cod, catfish or snapper divided into 4 portions

Marinade:
4 tablespoons Nuoc Mam
2 teaspoons sugar
2 eggs
7 oz can coconut milk
2-3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced (or more to taste)
3 tablespoons lemongrass paste

½ white cabbage sliced into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
1 fresh banana leaf
1. Prepare the lemongrass for the paste by cutting off the bottom of the bulb and trimming the stalk to leave 8-10 inches. Remove the tough outer leaves then chop lengthwise into 4 pieces.

2. Put the lemongrass along with the other ingredients for the paste into a food processor and blend until smooth. This mixture will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Makes 1 cup.

3. Cut each portion of fish into 2 to 3 pieces and put all of the pieces into a medium-sized bowl. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the fish, turning the pieces evenly to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but not more than 2.

4. Meanwhile bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and blanch the cabbage leaves 8-10 minutes or until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain; pat dry with paper towels.

5. Spread the banana leaf out on a work surface and wipe clean with a wet cloth. Using a sharp knife or scissors, remove the thick spine that runs along the edge of the leaf then cut out four 10-inch (25 cm) squares. Soften the squares to make them pliable by quickly dipping in boiling water or running over the flame of a gas burner.

6. Position a banana leaf square over a small bowl, shiny side down, and press into the bottom to form a well. Place 3 cabbage leaves in the well. Add one portion of the marinated fish, then a quarter of the marinade liquid. Bring up the sides of the banana leaf and fold over the ingredients to form a packet. Secure the edges with toothpicks. Continue with the rest of the ingredients to form 4 packets.

7. Place the packets in a steamer and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce the temperature to low and continue steaming for another 10–12 minutes. When cooked, the packets should feel firm to the touch.

8. Transfer the packets to a warm platter and serve with sticky rice.

From Publishers Weekly

Taking a detour from the bistros and brasseries of Paris, this cookbook explores another side of the city's cuisine: its Moroccan cafes, phô kitchens and sushi bars. Exploring the culinary heritage of decades of immigrants, London-based journalist Kiang-Snaije and Cordon Bleu chef Puckette have solicited recipes from their favorite restaurants, along with the family favorites of Parisians from North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Each chapter focuses on a particular country, beginning with a history of the region as well as an overview of its cuisine. The dishes here are earthy, simple and relatively inexpensive to make, like a Moroccan lamb tagine with canned artichokes and frozen peas, and a Warm Laotian Beef Salad with crisp vegetable garnishes. For the most part these are authentic recipes, and the authors assist in locating obscure ingredients—Argan oil, for example, can be obtained from a company in Michigan. The layout can be confusing, as recipe directions sometimes precede the ingredients list, but the book charms with quirky illustrations, literary quotes and personal vignettes. With listings for restaurants (including the best place to get couscous) and sidebars describing Tunisian greengrocers, Puckette and Kiang-Snaije have assembled an informative book that broadens the discussion of Parisian food while offering the Francophile home chef some alternatives to the standard croques monsieur. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Grimball on March 30, 2008
A fabulous cookbook and Paris guide all in one! The recipes are authentic yet not intimidating. There are some that the most novice cook could make and more complicated ones for the more adventurous cook. All are easy to read and the descriptions make you want to try every single one. Make sure and read every word because the more you read the more addictive it becomes. You begin to smell it and feel it, and can't wait to cook it and taste it. I have loved sharing this with my friends and family - a great gift for anyone who loves ethnic food. It has it all!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth K. Buckley on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've ordered this as a gift for the food lovers I know, and of course, myself. Excellent layout, robust historical background in clear, economic writing and simple, tasty recipes I've never seen the likes of. This one stays out for use in the kitchen, and is beginning to show the signs of love with sticky rings and dog-eared pages.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ella A. Dubose on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Charlotte Puckette and Olivia Kiang-Snaije have produced the most unusual and fasinating cookbook. They have focused on the many and varied ethnic restaurants in Paris, met the internationally famed chefs and culled more than 100 of their best recipes which are presented in this remarlkable, wonderfully readable and beautiful book. The recipes are easy and delicious! Bon Appetit!
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By Bruce on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are probably as many French cookbooks as there are ingredients, but Charlotte Puckette and Olivia Kiang-Snaije have created a category all of their own: a virtual tasting menu for Paris' restaurants that Parisians are likely use as a field guide when they tire of French cuisine.

Anybody can find their way to Notre Dame or the Louvre, but this is a must for anyone who wants to let their palate be their guide to Paris. And if you're not able to go, you can experience Paris' ethnic cuisine in your own kitchen -- assuming that you can find all of the ingredients you need to recreate the flavors that flow from the kitchens that are featured here.

This will this change the way you see, think about and taste Paris. Moreover, Puckette and Kiang-Snaije have created a new category that will force bookstores to create a new shelf in their cooking sections.

But since not all cities offer what Paris does, this is clearly the one to start with.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely adore this cookbook/guidebook! I have given it as gifts to several of my friends who love food because the recipes are wonderful in how they taste and in the variety of offerings the authors provide. I love when a cookbook goes beyond recipes, though, and this one succeeds in every respect. The authors provide fascinating information about the food and about where and how to find the ingredients in Paris and elsewhere. I am delighted to have been introduced to harissa and arcan oil and use both now as staples in my cooking. The beet salad has now so impressed many of my dinner guests that they have refused to go home without the recipe. My husband and I have had the good fortune to try out some of the authors' restaurant recommendations and we have been delighted. I wish there were a similar book written for Seattle.
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