Recently French chef Jacques Pépin turned 80 and retired. Over the years, he educated viewers of Public Television on how to cook and, something that no other cooking show host has done, techniques in the kitchen with wisdom, humor and a smattering of French lessons. As Gilad Edelman wrote in a Slate article, this man will teach you how to cook
Jacques begins the step-by-step recipe with the supreme crustacean, Lobster in Artichoke Hearts. This sets the tone for a show filled with wonderful gifts from the sea. He explains that shrimp is now one of the most consumed seafood’s in the country and Shrimp Pané on Watercress is a recipe to make them shine. Jacques used to make Escoffier Quenelles when working with Pierre Franey at the Le Pavillon in New York and now makes them for us using a food processor to make light work of the task. Finally, he waxes poetic on the virtues of one of the ugliest fishes in the sea and makes Monkfish Roulade stuffed full of broccoli rabe.
Whole lobsters are messy to eat and much of the meat is wasted because many people don’t know how to remove it from the shells, so I cook the lobsters and extract the meat.
For this recipe, the tails of all the shelled shrimp, plus a few whole ones, are transformed into a mousse.
A quenelle is an oval-shaped dumpling and can be made with fish, meat, liver, or poultry. Firm and airy — moist, dense, and light at the same time — these quenelles are made with white fish, heavy cream, and egg whites.
A large monkfish fillet is butterflied, rolled up around a stuffing of broccoli rabe that has been sautéed with mushrooms and garlic, and cooked on top of the stove.