Monday, October 12, 2009

Jacques Pepin Profile and Recipes

The great french chef has educated many on PBS, cooking alongside Julia Child. Author of nineteen cookbooks, he was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon. His first exposure to cooking was as a child in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pelican. At thirteen years of age, he began his formal apprenticeship at the distinguished Grand Hotel de L’Europe in his hometown. He subsequently worked in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the famed Plaza Athenee. From 1956 to 1958, Mr. Pepin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. Here are a few of his classic dishes:

Scalloped Potatoes With Garlic and Cream

* 3-4 lbs boiling potatoes (such as Yukon Gold or red waxy potatoes)
* 1 quart 35% cream or heavy cream or whipping cream
* 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
* 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
* pepper

Peel and thinly slice enough potatoes to almost fill a 6 quart covered heat proof caserole. Do not immerse the sliced potatoes in water as this will remove the surface starch needed to thicken the dish.
Bury the crushed garlic in the sliced potatoes. Add enough cream so that you can see the cream near the surface and through the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring slowly to a simmer on top of the stove, cover and place in a 350 degree oven for approx 1.5 hours (1 and 1/2 hours)or until done uncovering the dish for the last 1/2 hour.
The top should be nicely browned and a knife should pierce the potatoes easily. Most of the liquid should have been absorbed by the potatoes and the remainder be fairly thick.
Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.
Crusted Red Snapper

4 Servings
* 4 Red Snapper Fillets
* 3 sl Bread, Day Old, (1-2C)
* 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
* Green Onion Tops, Or Fresh
* 1 ts Olive Oil,
* 1 tb Icbinb-Light

Melt the lowfat margarine and mix the olive oil with it. (He originally used butter)(The original recipe also called for 1 T olive oil..I cut it back) Sprinkle a bit of salt over the tops of the red snapper fillets. Place them on a foil covered broiler pan. Make bread crumbs in the food processor using 3 slices of day old bread. Put in a bowl. Add the minced garlic, and the melted margarine and olive oil into the bread crumbs so that the crumbs are moistened. Pat part of the mixture on each fillet. Place 4 - 5 " from the broiler and broil 2 min. Remove and gently turn the fillets over. Pat the rest of the mixture on the second side. Broil for an additional 2 min. Remove and plate.
Yield: 16 to 18 servings

1 fully cooked ham (16 to 17 pounds)

Peach-Mustard Glaze:
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1 cup water for deglazing drippings from baked ham
3 cups demi-glace [Demi-glace can be bought at gourmet markets; otherwise boil homemade meat stock over high heat until reduced by half; it should be highly gelatinous, slightly syrupy, and have a beautiful reddish-brown color.]

Peach Sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 pounds large ripe peaches (about 10), each pitted (but not peeled) and cut into 8 wedges
1/3 cup sugar
4 ounces dried peaches, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 cups combined demi-glace and deglazed ham drippings (see above)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon potato starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water (for thickening, if needed)
1 cup julienned basil leaves

Put the ham in a large stockpot, and fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the ham. Bring the water to 170° F to 180° F (below the boil; if boiled, the ham will crack open at the joint). Cook at that temperature for 3 hours, then let cool in the cooking water.

When ready to proceed with the recipe, remove the ham from the water. With a knife, remove the skin from the ham, and trim the surface of the meat where it is brown and skin-like around the shank bone. To make carving easier later on, remove the pelvis or hipbone by running a knife around it. When the skin has been removed, trim off all but a thin layer of white fat from the surface of the ham.

Run the point of your knife in a criscrosss pattern through the remaining fat on the top of the ham, cutting slightly into the surface of the meat. This scoring will help the glaze adhere to the meat while it cooks. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

For the peach-mustard glaze: In a small bowl, mix together the preserves, pepper, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and allspice. Spread this coating on the top surface of the ham, place it in a roasting pan, and bake in the 350° F oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° F, and continue cooking the ham for 1 hour. Sprinkle the powdered sugar on top, and cook for another 30 minutes, until nicely glazed. Transfer the ham to a platter, and set it aside in a warm place while you make the peach sauce. Discard the accumulated fat in the roasting pan, and add the 1 cup of water to the drippings in the pan, stirring to loosen and mix in the solidified juices. Add the demi-glace and bring to a boil. Reserve for use in the peach sauce.

For the peach sauce: Heat the butter in two large skillets, 2 tablespoons of butter per skillet. When it is hot, add half the peach wedges to each skillet, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar, dividing it between the skillets, and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add the dried peach julienne and the vinegar, half to each skillet, and stir to mix. Combine the contents of both skillets in one saucepan. Strain the reserved demi-glace mixture over the peaches, and stir in the salt. if the sauce is thinner than you would like, add the dissolved potato starch, and bring to a boil. Boil 1 or 2 minutes. At serving time, stir in the basil.

To serve: To make carving easier, make a vertical cut down into the ham approximately 1 inch above the shank bone. The object is to make a guard that your knife will not go beyond when you slice the ham; this will give a clean bottom edge to the slices and also protect your hand from the knife in case it happens to slide while you are slicing the meat. Slice the ham on the bias, stopping at the cut edge, and arrange the meat on a warm platter. Serve three or four slices of ham per person with a few slices of the peaches and the sauce spooned around and over the meat.
Oysters Rockefeller

10 ounces fresh spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 dozen medium to large oysters
4 slices bacon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped shallots

1. Clean the fresh spinach, removing and discarding the larger stems. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the spinach to the pan. Cover with a lid; the spinach will start softening and reducing in volume. When it becomes soft, turn it in the pan and add the chopped garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, tossing and mixing the spinach, for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes, until it is wilted and just tender. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Open oysters. Drain off the juice, reserving it for other uses.

3. Preheat the oven to 190°F (87°C).

4. On each of four ovenproof plates, spoon 6 small mounds of spinach inches apart, and press down on the tops gently to make an indentation or “nest” in the center of each mound. Place a raw oyster in each of these indentations and put the plates in the oven to warm while you cook the bacon and the shallots and butter.

5. Arrange the bacon side by side on a ridged microwave tray. Microwave for about 5 minutes, until nicely crisped, and then cut or break the slices into 1/4-inch pieces.

6. To finish, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook it until it starts changing color, becoming light brown. Add the shallots, stir, and cook for about 30 seconds longer, so the butter continues to cook along with the shallots.

7. Remove the hot plates of spinach and oysters from the oven, spoon a little shallot butter on top of each, and sprinkle on some bacon pieces. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. the man is a legend. As a chef, i would give my left arm to train where he has, thanks for this page and recipes!