This is the third and final post in my Essential Pépin series. To celebrate the release of Jacques Pépin’s new cookbook, Essential Pépin, Thomas Allen challenged Canadian home chefs and bloggers to cook up their own French meals with recipes from the book with the chance to win a KitchenAid® Artisan Series Stand Mixer, courtesy of KitchenAid® Canada!
In his more than sixty years as a chef, Jacques Pépin has earned a reputation as a champion of simplicity. His recipes are classics. They find the shortest, surest route to flavour, avoiding complicated techniques. Now, in a book that celebrates his life in food, the world’s most famous cooking teacher winnows his favourite recipes from the thousands he has created, streamlining them even further. Essential Pépin spans the many styles of Jacques’s cooking: homey country French, haute cuisine, fast food Jacques-style, and fresh contemporary American dishes. Many of the recipes are globally inspired, from Mexico, across Europe, or the Far East. This truly is the essential Pépin.
I was already impressed with the composed salad with goat cheese, greens and caramelized pecans and the chicken in tarragon sauce. In fact, we served these three dishes as a complete meal to guests a few weeks ago and they were super impressed – as was I at not only the taste but ease of preparation of all three dishes. The mousse was no exception in the “simple” department – I whipped this up in a little under 30 minutes late one Thursday night. The hardest part is waiting for the chocolate to cool down so you can mix it into the egg yolk emulsion without it breaking. Ahem. Some of us had to melt a second batch of chocolate and wait even longer because they were so impatient.
Unlike Julia Child’s mousse this one does include cream so it’s a little lighter than Julia’s but still substantial enough that you can only have a tiny amount. We enjoyed it with a little grated orange zest and it was fabulous just like that. No whipped cream, nothing needed. Jacques, you did it again!
In the meantime, you can read more about the contest (and find the salad, chicken and mousse recipes) on Facebook.