Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Let's Cook French Cookbook Review

When contacted to review Let's Cook French, A Family Cookbook by Claudine Pépin, I knew it would be exciting for both myself and my granddaughter, Keri. This almost 13-year old is super excited about cooking as well as everything French!

 Claudine is the daughter of world-renowned chef, Jacques Pépin and has partnered with her father preparing delicious meals and sharing cooking techniques in various venues. 

This book is the result of a family project with all members having a part. Claudine's husband, Rollie helped choose the recipes. Jacques and Claudine's daughter, Shorey did the lovely artwork. Inspiration and love of home and family came from Claudine's mom, Gloria.

These favorite foods of the Pépin family give young cooks a delicious introduction to cooking French while providing cooks of all ages a classic collection the whole family will enjoy.

Thirty good-food recipes from start, entree, sides and finish including a seasonal menu suggesting the time of year you might enjoy these dishes.
I am always thrilled to have a grandchild in the kitchen with me. The little ones sit on the counter and like to pour and stir (and taste, of course) and the bigger ones often surprise me with how quickly they learn and their capabilities. But it is the memories and conversation that makes this time so special. If you have a budding chef, boy or girl, I recommend Let's Cook French. The recipes aren't difficult, the flavors not too sophisticated for kids and the time together is priceless.    
Keri spent the Memorial Day weekend with us. She enjoyed reading through the cookbook and then preparing two of the recipes with me. 

We made Gratin Dauphinois (Potato and Cheese Gratin) and while it was baking, Keri whisked together the Vinaigrette. In addition to dressing a green salad it is delicious on fresh green beans making them extra tasty and special.  Make it up and it will last for a week in the fridge, ready for a whole week of meals.
 
Keri peeled and buttered

 
 washed and poured
heated
 
 measured and sprinkled
The house filled with a wonderful aroma as the dish baked and then this fabulous-ness came from the oven

Making the Vinaigrette
 
Keri wanted to chop the shallots not realizing just how potent they are ~ ouch!
 
After adding all of the ingredients to a canning jar, a vigorous shake was all it took to finish.
Then Keri and I dined together on the patio enjoying the fruit of her labor.

Keri's Cookbook review:

This cookbook, titled, Let's Cook French, a Family Cookbook, by Claudine Pépin is very interesting. I like how, if it is on a book shelf, you definitely want to take a look. The illustration's are eye-popping. I also love the way they have a special note for kids. The recipes are written in both English and French. I was very excited to start dancing in the kitchen making dishes from my favorite city of Paris. There are many recipes that I think are cool, like the Salad Nicoise.

When I tried to cook, the recipe was easy and fun to make. I enjoyed the cookbook and the results were delicious.

I would definitely recommend Let's Cook French a Family Cookbook to anyone who loves tasty French food to eat and make.

Potato and Cheese Gratin
Source: Let's Cook French by Claudine Pepin



serves 8

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 pounds potatoes (Yukon Gold are the best; be sure it is a boiling potato)
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cups heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and minced (about 1 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. picked fresh thyme leaves (about 7 sprigs)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated (about 1 cup)


PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190C)

Coat a 9 x 13-inch glass dish with the butter.

Peel the potatoes and wash in cold water. Do not let the potatoes soak in the water; it will remove the starch needed to thicken the milk. Slice the potatoes 1/4-inch thick into an 8-quart saucepan.

Add the milk, cream, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir often to prevent scorching.

Pour the potato and milk mixture into the buttered roasting dish. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Set on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
 
Vinaigrette 
Source: Let's Cook French by Claudine Pepin

PRINT RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
6 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup olive oil

PREPARATION:
Mince the shallots and place in a mason jar. Add the vinegar and let sit for 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Add the rest of the ingredients, seal tightly, and shake vigorously; serve.

Store in the refrigerator and take out 20-30  minutes before serving.

10 comments:

Ann said...

Excellent review. How wonderful to have time in the kitchen with Keri. She looks like she really knows her way around the kitchen. That food looks really good.

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

A hard day's work has its rewards. How sweet to have this time together in the kitchen.

Catherine said...

These are the days that Keri will always remember. It is so beautiful to make memories with your granddaughter.
The cooking results look wonderful as I am sure everything was. xo

Cheryl said...

You certainly have a beautiful chef in your kitchen!! (And she looks so grown-up these days.)

Thanks for sharing your review(s) of the book. I may add this to my Birthday Idea List for Grandgirls! :)

Maggie Ann said...

Your beautiful post made me smile! I love to watch the kids cook on 'Chopped'. I couldn't use the heavy cream....and it wouldn't be near as good with just soy milk. Alas. Loved your post though, and your grand daughter is a doll. Aren't you blessed =) to have each other so close. My daughter is way down south!

Susan said...

Oh, LDH, it sounds great. You and Keri also made some yummy dishes. Mmmm. The vinegarette sounds good! And the potatoes gratin with heavy cream! Oooooo lah lah Thanks so much for sharing it all with us. You are a PERFECT cookbook reviewer but now I'm waiting for YOUR cookbook to come out in print. It would be a winner. Susan

My Recent Favorite Books said...

Everything sounds delicious! The cookbook sounds so interesting!

Loved the Review! =)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love Keri's review :) What a wonderful bonding time in the kitchen creating a meal and memories together ♥ The gratin looks wonderful!

Wendy @ The contented Cavern said...

Hi just found your blog I love how you cook with your granddaughter. I have two granddaughters at the mo and another one on the way but it's mostly playdough and cupcakes we make in the kitchen as they only 3 and 5 however I'm looking forward to cooking and baking with them. That cookbook looks fab will give it a go although I have way too many.

handmade by amalia said...

Sounds like a great book. Must have been fun to share it with your pretty granddaughter, she seems to have inherited your talent in the kitchen.
Amalia
xo

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