We’re back! That’s right – after a hiatus in July and through most of August (despite best laid plans to Skype a meal together as we were in different countries), it’s time for another instalment of the Cookbook Book Club! This month, we went with the French theme we had planned on covering during the summer and cooked from Jacques Pépin recipes. In case you are new to the blog, the Cookbook Book Club is my once a month “cooking from the same cookbook” meal with Jan from Family Bites and Jenn from Chocolate Shavings. We’ve already had dinner with Marcella, dinner with Nigella, dinner with Ottolenghi, dinner with Maria Speck, dinner with Naomi Duguid’s book, Burma. lunch with Jamie Oliver then in June we had a dessert party with Butter Baked Goods!
I have to say that while all the food was seriously good, the emphasis of this month’s gathering was catching up on each others’ news from the past couple of months! Lots of chatting and, as usual – iPhone photos only (too busy chatting to use real cameras at these evenings!)
We started out with garlicky tomato and bread gratin made by Jenn:
This was a tasty dish although next time I might cut the bread chunks smaller and halve the cherry tomatoes. As it turns out, it was perfect as one of us is not a huge tomato fan so in this (whole) format, they were easy to avoid ;) LOVED the strong garlicky flavour of this and the leftovers made a fine addition to scrambled eggs the next morning!
Get the recipe for Jacques Pépin’s garlicky cherry tomato and bread gratin here.
I had planned on making Chicken Tarragon (which I have made before) but I couldn’t find tarragon anywhere so I went with the ingredients I happened to have on hand and chose Chicken, African-style with couscous.
With notes of lime and ginger, this was a really tasty dish but it didn’t have enough sauce for me. Admittedly I used chicken breast (as I had been planning on making a different dish) but even with whole pieces of chicken, I am not sure the sauce situation would have been any different. In any case, I loved the flavours of this and would definitely make it again. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what an African-style recipe is doing in a French cookbook, this recipe was inspired by his brother who used to live in Senegal….
Get the recipe for Jacques Pépin’s garlicky chicken, African-style here.
For dessert, Jan brought the pièce de résistance - a peach version of Pépin’s plum galette with his vanilla bean ice cream.
Oh my. This was so, so good. The crust was lovely and crisp (it had a high ratio of butter/ water to the flour, maybe this contributed to the excellent flaky texture) with just a hint of salt. Went well with local peaches and, of course, topped with the creamy vanilla bean ice cream, it was perfect. The next day, Neil and I enjoyed a slice that even stood up to being re-heated in the microwave pretty well!
Get the recipe for Jacques Pépin’s plum galette here.
All in all, a lovely meal with even better company. It’s good to be back
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