Dec 09 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

Arriving in New York with a repertoire of French recipes and techniques, Jacques joined the team at Howard Johnson to learn about American food. Today, he shares his expansive knowledge of that cookery, combining it with his traditional French training. Starting with a Simple Seafood Salad, packed with a smorgasbord of marine favorites, then, continuing with the fish theme, making a Spicy Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce. He follows with some crispy, Creole inspired Blackfish Beignets with Spicy Sauce, perfect for any brunch or light supper menu.

Spicy Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

“The spicy shrimp stock is also delicious and should be drunk while eating the shrimp. I prepare a cocktail like one Craig Claiborne used to make with clam juice and vodka, substituting the spicy broth for the clam juice. For each cocktail, pour 2 tablespoons vodka into a small glass and top with 1/3 cup of the cold stock. Stir and enjoy.” —Jacques Pépin

Blackfish Beignets with Spicy Sauce

“Beignets are fritters, and I prepare them often with vegetables, fruits, meat, shellfish, or finfish. The batter can be made with beer, milk, and eggs; whipped egg whites; just flour and water; or, as in this recipe, with egg yolk, flour, baking powder, and soda water. You can prepare the batter a few hours ahead. After they are fried, it is important to keep the beignets on a wire rack so air can circulate around them and the bottoms don’t get soggy. The sooner you serve them, the better. The spicy sauce, a favorite of Gloria’s, is good with any fried fish or shellfish or with steamed or poached fish. Blackfish (tautog) is plentiful in summer on the coast in Connecticut. Firm and moist, it is excellent grilled, poached, or fried.” —Jacques Pépin