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Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen Paperback – May 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers of Dusoulier's ebullient food blog, chocolateandzucchini.com, won't be disappointed by this wonderful mélange of new creations and old favorites. Dusoulier's charm lies in her culinary curiosity and enthusiasm, and she deftly conveys both through 75-plus recipes and narrative commentary. The 27-year-old Parisian arranges her book into three sections. The first, Simplicité (Simplicity), includes salads, sandwiches, savory tarts, soups and eggs. Part two is Invitation (Entertaining) and features recipes for hors d'oeuvres, "impromptu" dinners like Hand-Cut Steak Tartare, dinner party fare such as Comté Cheese Soufflés, buffet items and sides. The final portion concerns sweets, clearly Dusoulier's favorite. With scintillating recipes for cakes (Apricot and Pistachio Ricotta), tarts (Blueberry Amandine), desserts (Chocolate Hibiscus Crème Brûlée) and "sweet bites" (Orange Flower Shuttle Cookies), this section brims with innovation. Overall, newcomers to French cuisine will learn to make some classics, like Pistou Soup and Beef Bourguignon, while those seeking to expand their repertoires will enjoy the author's idiosyncratic creations. Dishes like Broccoli and Apple Quiche (born out of a "greenmarket run one fall morning") and, of course, Chocolate & Zucchini Cake (which may sound "a little odd," but is "surprisingly successful" and features "real teamwork at play") are just some of Dusoulier's delightful and unusual offerings. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Clotilde Dusoulier, a young French woman who discovered her love for food in the United States, shares with readers her lighthearted, enthusiastic, and thoroughly modern approach to a very personal culinary passion.”
—Susan Herrmann Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin and The French Farmhouse Cookbook
"This collection of remarkably accomplished recipes, from market-fresh salads to indulgent desserts, includes a soupçon of tasty tales and tips from Clotilde’s Parisian kitchen, and is sure to inspire readers and cooks no matter where they live."
—David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop and Room For Dessert
"Is there any food lover who doesn't dream about living, cooking, and eating in Paris? This charming homage to French home cooking feeds that fantasy with a feast."
“Clotilde Dusoulier’s comfortable, homey food has just the right amount of authentic French flair, and her stories of life in Paris speak to food’s universal ability to bring people together and make them happy. Of course, being transported to Paris never hurts either.”
Top customer reviews
The oeuf cocotte is a great way to start a holiday morning; I served the Olive Tapenade at a party and everyone loved it...(and these were mid-westerners). Ditto the Gougères au cumin and Pistachio pesto. I took her advice about a dinner party and made the Mustard Chicken Stew and it disappeared. The desserts are great (savory and not overly sweet). Pain d'épice, Yogurt cake, Crème Brulée with hibiscus (be careful not to boil the milk and cream at all or it will curdle). The Mango Ricotta with Macadamia Crunch I served at a dinner party is still being raved about...so enjoy, enjoy! I bought some lavender and am looking forward to making the apricot compote...
The book is a small format paperback, which is designed fairly well. My only hesitation on the format is the irritating layout with recipes being run on. That is, a recipe can start at the bottom of a page requiring the reading to have to turn the page to follow. Publishers do this to save space thus money. It is just a no-no for cookbooks in my opinion.
The Foreword (which is really an introduction) is written in a breezy and delightful style. Clotilde's charming and infectious personality shines through. The photographs are inspiring, although I wish that she had included one or two of her kitchen.
The recipes are very good--simple and interesting. There are some chestnuts with a slight twist. For example, Boeuf Bourguignon with chocolate. The recipes are well written and clear. This is a book one could easily cook their way through. And I do not think that can be said of many cookbooks. Granted, it is a small book, but I did not find one clunker in the bunch.
This woman can write. She has found her voice and a delightful one it is. Much thought and care has gone into the recipe introductions. This is not padding but inspiration to those reading this book to actually move into the kitchen and start cooking. Bravo, Clotilde.
Part memoir, part cookbook, part shopping guide, part entertaining guide, and part inspiration comes together in what is probably one of the few books I'll keep out this year. Most of my cookbooks, and there are many, are relegated to a series of cupboards near my desk since it is the only place with room in this small apartment. Chocolate and Zucchini can stay in the kitchen :) The recipes are varied and cover every course including breakfast. There are vegetarian and meat dishes. Most dishes require few ingredients and there aren't any on my "to cook" list that require staples too exotic for my kitchen.
Long story short: there is something for nearly everyone in this fun and approachable book.