Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

I marvel at how far cookbooks have come. Gone are the days of the dense, featureless tomes of my childhood kitchen. Now, instead, we have lively, colorful, engaging albums of recipes, food, stories and photographs with helpful tips and how-tos, with shopping advice and substitutions, food pairings, meal suggestions and wine tips. And because the world has become so accessible, we're able to explore and sample regional and international foods like never before. Cooking is fun again, interesting, and delicious. My current obsession is all things Paris, so of course My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz is a must for my foodie bookshelf. May I just say we've been eating very well at my house lately? Hubs and I have been diving into these recipes with gusto.

To wit...

Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil, pg 53. This is delicious even without the Rosemary oil, and who knew it would be so easy to make? We had it on crackers or as a spread on sandwiches.

Celery Root Salad, pg 105. This is crunchy and tangy and creamy like coleslaw but without being too cabbage-y. We had it with roast chicken and it was delicious.

 Celery Root Soup , pg106. A good springtime soup! This also has leeks and is deliciously light and mild. The crumbled ham chips on top are a yummy contrast. It also calls for a dollop of creamed horseradish to stir in, which I omitted because I really just wanted the taste of the celery, leeks and ham.

Duck Terrine with Figs, pg113. Oh man. This right here? This is unbelievable. It takes some prep work, yes, but the end result is a delicate deliciousness I never thought could possibly come from my humble kitchen. Put a dab on crackers or spread (crumble) on a sandwich like David does, with pickles and mustard.

French Onion Soup, pg 117. A hearty meal in itself, this. Since I don't own oven-proof bowls (I love the set David shows in several of his soup and casserole pictures, but alas) I had to assemble the bread and cheese right into the pot I cooked the soup in and then set the whole thing in the oven to brown before ladling out the portions. It's still delicious and hearty, although my portion here was not quite as cheesy as everyone else's. 

Carrot Salad, pg 123. This makes a nice accompaniment to lamb, along with... 

...Couscous Salad, pg237. This, in fact, was so good we ate it for days with a various assortment of meats and vegetables.

Buckwheat Polenta with Braised Greens, Sausage and Poached Eggs. pg158. We made this for dinner, but with all the lovely textures and flavors going on here, you could make it a substantial brunch as well. 

Chicken Lady Chicken, pg173. The name? You'll have to read the story behind it. The only thing we changed was grilling it instead of frying it on a cast-iron frying pan and it was still the most flavorful, moist and tender chicken ever to emerge from my kitchen.

I'd say we got off to a pretty decent start, here. There are a hundred or so recipes throughout so I have lots more to look forward to. And let's not forget dessert. I understand the French know a thing or two about sweet and buttery confections. But that will have to be a whole other post. Stay tuned.

Check out David's website for all things Paris, cooking, food and life. It's the next best thing to being there.


JoAnn said...

OK, I am definitely drooling over this post!! Think I can go straight to the store and buy this one... no need to "test cook" a library copy first. I do love cookbooks with stories and anecdotes along with recipes.

Trish said...

Yes, it's a keeper, this one. I had such success with the recipes I tried, I can well imagine the rest will be delicious too.