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Aug 26 2017

Alone In The Kitchen With An Old Frenchman

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

Catch O’ The Day

Jacques’ summer itinerary always includes friends, fishing and cooking the wonderful bounty from the sea. He begins with a Grilled Snapper with Olive Topping and then, as he loves all mollusks, he takes the time to demonstrate shucking clams two ways…the result, Top Neck Clam with Vinegar and Scallion Sauce, a tasty appetizer and Gloria’s Linguine with Clam Sauce direct from his wife’s preferred list. For the final seafood selection, he masterfully fillets and poaches fish for a delectable Cod in Light Cream Sauce.

Grilled Snapper with Olive Topping

“I like to grill thick fillets of snapper cut from the back, as opposed to the belly. Adjust the grilling time if your fillets are thinner or thicker, or if you like your fish well-cooked instead of medium-rare, as we prefer it. The topping is made with an array of pitted olives that I get at my supermarket—kalamata, green, oil-cured black, spicy green—the more the better.” —Jacques Pépin“I like to grill thick fillets of snapper cut from the back, as opposed to the belly. Adjust the grilling time if your fillets are thinner or thicker, or if you like your fish well-cooked instead of medium-rare, as we prefer it. The topping is made with an array of pitted olives that I get at my supermarket—kalamata, green, oil-cured black, spicy green—the more the better.” —Jacques Pépin

Top Neck Clams with Vinegar and Scallion SauceTop Neck Clams with Vinegar and Scallion Sauce

“I open clams with a paring knife, which can be difficult and dangerous; a good alternative is to put the clams on a baking sheet and place them in a 350-degree oven. After 7 or 8 minutes, they will pop slightly open but will still be completely raw. Then it is easy to slide a knife inside, sever the adductor muscle, and open the clams. (Another way to open clams is to place them in the freezer on a baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes. They will not be frozen inside, but it will be easier to slide the knife between the shells.)

“After chilling the clams in the refrigerator, we often enjoy them cold on the half-shell with horseradish sauce or fresh lemon juice. Other times, we eat them lukewarm with pesto or garlic butter or, as in this recipe, scallions and balsamic vinegar.” —Jacques Pépin