Sep 23 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

Cuisine De Ma Cherie

In honor of their love, Jacques prepares a meal of his wife Gloria’s favorites. First he creates a tasty Herbed Omelet with Shrimp. He then goes on to combine cilantro with Gloria’s favorite ingredient, rice, to make Cilantro Rice which pairs perfectly with a Calamari Stew with Saffron and Cucumber, Onion and Mint Salad. The whole meal is followed with a Pépin spin on a classic dessert, Rice Pudding with Dried Cherries and Blueberry Sauce.

Calamari Stew with Saffron and Cilantro Rice

“The calamari stew and the saffron rice go well together, but each could also be served on its own. Saffron (the dried pistils of crocuses) is very expensive but worth it. Make certain that you buy real saffron, the best of which comes from Spain or Iran.

“Fresh or frozen calamari can be used in this dish. I often use frozen cilantro in the rice: When I get a bunch of fresh cilantro, I usually use the leaves and freeze the stems. Then, when I need cilantro, I chop the frozen stems, which break easily into small pieces.” —Jacques Pépin

Cucumber, Onion, and Mint Salad

“For this wonderfully refreshing summer salad, diced cucumber and onion are cured with salt for about 30 minutes, which draws moisture from the cucumber and makes it crunchy. I like to use mild white Vidalia or Maui onions, which give a good crunch but not a strong, sharp taste. I season the salad with sour cream and Tabasco, but it can also be dressed with oil and vinegar.” —Jacques Pépin