Like Julia Child, Jacques Pépin offers readers delectable French-based recipes while teaching vital, confidence-building techniques. Jacques Pépin Celebrates
is another winning signature venture that offers 200 recipes with terrific color-photo-illustrated techniques. Containing largely updated recipes from Pépin's out-of-print Art of Cooking
, and the companion to his eponymous public television series, the book provides formulas for a wide range of celebratory as well as everyday dining occasions. This is not a resource for last-minute cooking, but one that rewards cooks not only with great food, but with the tools they need to expand their repertoires gloriously.
Organized in chapters from soups to sweets, "Celebrations" offers both single-dish recipes, such as Salmon in Sorrel Sauce, and "multi-dish" main-course specialties, including Venison Steaks with Black Current Sauce, Chestnut Purée in Zucchini Boats, and Cranberry Relish. Homey dishes abound, and readers will want to make the likes of Cocotte Veal Shanks, Gratin of Butternut Squash, and Ham Georgia with Peach Garnish. A detailed section on bread making yields such treasures as Black Pepper Bread with Walnuts, while two dessert chapters offer such delights as Chocolate-Orange Tart with Candied Orange Peels, Caramel Snow Eggs, and Mocha Success Cake. With the step-by-step photos, which treat subjects as diverse as pan lining and pepper peeling; useful asides by Pépin's daughter and colleague, Claudine; and instructive commentary throughout, the book is another Pépin hit. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
In this companion to a new PBS series, Pepin builds on a broad definition of celebrations encompassing holidays, special occasions, and simply nice weather to present a collection of typically solid French recipes and numerous useful tips and techniques. As on his television series, Ppin's daughter, Claudine, pipes up with the comments of a novice, although these tend to the banal, as when, to accompany recipes for Velvet of Carrot with Browned Almonds and Farmer'sStyle Soup, she gushes, "Soup soup soup! I love making any and all kinds of soup." Recipes for French classics such as Cold Mousse of Chicken and Pistachios and Parsleyed Ham with Rmoulade Sauce, and for more untraditional fare like Broiled Lobster Benjamin with Caramelized Corn and Potato Flats and Chateaubriands with Madeira-Truffle Sauce, Mushroom Timbales, and Crpe Shells with Corn Puree are complex, but broken down into more manageable components. More valuable than the recipes, however, are the many notes on chopping, garnishing, carving and so forth. Pepin provides step-by-step instructions and often illustrative photographs for everything from how to make a melon swan with a cunning peppercorn eye to how (and why) to rinse chopped onions. (Sept.)Forecast: Pepin is a deservedly successful television host, and his easy manner and impressive skills are well represented here. Although at $40 this is a pricey book, the full-color instructional photos lend much value. This is likely to be a solid seller.
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