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The Paris Cookbook

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When acclaimed cookbook author Patricia Wells moved to Paris in 1980, she had no idea it would be "for good." In the two decades since, she has become one of the world's most beloved food writers, sharing her deep passion for her adopted home and teaching millions of Americans how to cook real French food. In this new book, Patricia leads readers on a fascinating culinary e When acclaimed cookbook author Patricia Wells moved to Paris in 1980, she had no idea it would be "for good." In the two decades since, she has become one of the world's most beloved food writers, sharing her deep passion for her adopted home and teaching millions of Americans how to cook real French food. In this new book, Patricia leads readers on a fascinating culinary exploration of the City of Moveable Feasts. Both a recipe book and a gastronomic guide, The Paris Cookbook covers all facets of the city's dynamic food scene, from the three-star cuisine of France's top chefs, to traditional bistro favorites, to the prized dishes of cheese-makers, market vendors, and home cooks. Gathered over the years, the 150 recipes in this book represent the very best of Parisian cooking: a simple yet decadent creamy white bean soup from famed chef Joël Robuchon; an effortless seared veal flank steak from Patricia's neighborhood butcher; the ultimate chocolate mousse from La Maison du Chocolat; and much more. In her trademark style, Patricia explains each dish clearly and completely, providing readers with helpful cooking secrets, wine accompaniments, and métro directions to each featured restaurant, café, and market. Filled with gorgeous black-and white photographs and Patricia's own personal stories, The Paris Cookbook offers an unparalleled taste of France's culinary capital. You may not be able to visit Paris, but this book will bring its many charms home to your table.


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When acclaimed cookbook author Patricia Wells moved to Paris in 1980, she had no idea it would be "for good." In the two decades since, she has become one of the world's most beloved food writers, sharing her deep passion for her adopted home and teaching millions of Americans how to cook real French food. In this new book, Patricia leads readers on a fascinating culinary e When acclaimed cookbook author Patricia Wells moved to Paris in 1980, she had no idea it would be "for good." In the two decades since, she has become one of the world's most beloved food writers, sharing her deep passion for her adopted home and teaching millions of Americans how to cook real French food. In this new book, Patricia leads readers on a fascinating culinary exploration of the City of Moveable Feasts. Both a recipe book and a gastronomic guide, The Paris Cookbook covers all facets of the city's dynamic food scene, from the three-star cuisine of France's top chefs, to traditional bistro favorites, to the prized dishes of cheese-makers, market vendors, and home cooks. Gathered over the years, the 150 recipes in this book represent the very best of Parisian cooking: a simple yet decadent creamy white bean soup from famed chef Joël Robuchon; an effortless seared veal flank steak from Patricia's neighborhood butcher; the ultimate chocolate mousse from La Maison du Chocolat; and much more. In her trademark style, Patricia explains each dish clearly and completely, providing readers with helpful cooking secrets, wine accompaniments, and métro directions to each featured restaurant, café, and market. Filled with gorgeous black-and white photographs and Patricia's own personal stories, The Paris Cookbook offers an unparalleled taste of France's culinary capital. You may not be able to visit Paris, but this book will bring its many charms home to your table.

30 review for The Paris Cookbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    When you have spent more than twenty years living in Paris, you get to know the city. Patricia Wells knows Paris. And, more, Patricia Wells knows Paris food. In this cookbook, Wells shares recipes of top chefs, little bistros, plus market sellers and home cooks. Of course, I had to try out a few of the recipes. My favorites were the breads, especially Parmesan Bread and Brioche. I also loved David Van Laer’s Potatoes Anna.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    There hasn't been one recipe that has not appealed to us. And we love the short evocative paragraphs about living in Paris that are placed before each recipe. (Particularly fabulous: apple tarts) Champagne, always champagne. Make mine Veuve-Clicquot. - Patricia Wells, The Paris Cookbook -August 2009 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ What a wonderful look at Paris! You may not be able to spend a day or a week, a month or a year, in this remarkable city, but in opening my kitchen to you I hope that you can stroll through the m There hasn't been one recipe that has not appealed to us. And we love the short evocative paragraphs about living in Paris that are placed before each recipe. (Particularly fabulous: apple tarts) Champagne, always champagne. Make mine Veuve-Clicquot. - Patricia Wells, The Paris Cookbook -August 2009 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ What a wonderful look at Paris! You may not be able to spend a day or a week, a month or a year, in this remarkable city, but in opening my kitchen to you I hope that you can stroll through the markets with me, walk from one end of town to the next, [...] and let Paris live in your soul, in your kitchen, and in your home every day of the year. (Introduction: A Life of Moveable Feasts, p.xv) Almost every recipe includes a wine suggestion at the end. And Patricia Wells does love her champagne! And her truffles. It's impossible not to laugh a little hysterically at her suggestion for what wine to have with The Astor's Warm Potato, Truffle, and Parmesan Salad (that she says to microwave!!) on p.105: "Why not a Chateauneuf-du-Pape Beaucastel Cru du Coudelet Côtes-du-Rhône?" Champagne, always champagne. (Appetizers, Starters, and First Courses: Taillevent Goat Cheese and Dried Tomato Appetizer, p.7) ~ ~ ~ Champagne, always champagne. Make mine Veuve-Cliquot. (Appetizers, Starters, and First Courses: JR's Parmesan chips, p.25) ~ ~ ~ While eggs can spoil the flavor of good wines and clash with others, one will rarely miss with a glass of bubbly champagne. (Appetizers, Starters, and First Courses: Scrambled Eggs with Truffles, p.31) Happily, Wells also loves and recommends simple good food that IS accessible to most of us common folk. It's impossible to resist "Something wonderful happens to young, fresh goat cheese when it is warmed and melted, especially when it is wrapped in a fragrant bundle of smoky bacon. (Appetizers, Starters, and First Courses: Molard's Ham and Goat Cheese Wrap, p.6)" With the exception of bread recipes in the book, in keeping with a rather odd editors' tradition, even if it is integral to the dish, water is NOT included in any of the non-bread recipes' ingredients lists. This is particularly remarkable in the case of "Brasserie Balzar's Midnight Onion Soup" on p.158, where 4 qts of water are called for in the instructions but water does not appear in the list of ingredients! After browning chicken for fricassees, Wells also says to "Pour off and discard the fat in the skillet". She then goes on to say, "Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter". Why discard the fat from the chicken?! ....Crazy. Use it. It has to be delicious! Another strange idea appears in "Benoît Guichard's Macaroni Gratin" on p119-120: to cook the macaroni in milk and then to discard the milk! This bizarre instruction to discard the milk after cooking garlic until tender appears again in the instructions for "Ledoyen's Fresh Garlic and Lemon Purée" on p290. This really seems to go against the notion of the frugal French cook who uses absolutely everything. Each recipe's title is in English, with the original French name below. Some of the names lose their romance. Some of them are downright unnecessary. "Choucroute" is translated as "Sauerkraut, Pork, and Sausages"; "Crème Brûlée" is translated as "Burnt Cream"; "Coeur à la Crème" is translated as "The Heart of Paris". But the strangest translation is "Raspberry Pride" for "Tarte aux framboises et à la Vanille"! There are wonderful "trucs" (tips) dotted throughout the book. For instance, she makes her mayonnaise with grapeseed oil rather than olive oil, and for making "The Bistrot du Dôme's Clams with Fresh Thyme" on p173, she advises the reader, "Do not try to make this dish with low fat cream" because the clam juice will not emulsify properly if there isn't enough fat. Here are a few more of my favourite trucs: While I am a firm believer in chopping as many ingredients as I can by hand (for better control and authenticity of flavor as well as texture), there are some items that do better chopped or minced by mechanical means. Rosemary is one of those. I love the flavor the pungent, aromatic herb emits when it is chopped very very fine. (Pasta, Rice Beans and Grains: Truc, p.127) ~ ~ ~ Plain old "button" mushrooms, which the French call champignons de Paris, tend to get ignored in this world of exotic wild and domesticated mushrooms. During Napoleon's reign the mushrooms were cultivated in the quarried-out rock of Paris's 15th arrondissement-thus the name "Paris Mushroom." (Appetizers, Starters, and First Courses: Marinated Paris Mushrooms, p.29) ~ ~ ~ The chicken was particularly small, and so rather than putting a whole lemon in the cavity as is my custom, I had quartered the citrus lengthwise. As Walter carved the chicken, he squeezed the juices from the lemons over the meat. The juice itself have become a rich, complex confit-thick, dense, and fragrant. We swooned over that little touch of genius. (Lemon Chicken, p190) I confess that we're afraid to try the Mustard Ice Cream on p148, in spite of Wells' introduction: "Wacky you say? Try it-you will be an instant convert! The rich creaminess of the ice cream, with the tang of mustard, melting into the cool and smooth gazpacho is a marriage you will never forget." But there are several other recipes that we neeeeeed to try: p6 Molard's Ham and Goat Cheese Wrap p9 Toasty Salted Almonds p10 Domain Saint Luc's Cake aux Olives p12 Rue Saint-Dominique "Caviar" "This simple blend of coarsely ground black pepper, white pepper, and allspice combined with the precious fleur de sel makes for a palate-opening accent that is particularly delicious spread on tangy sourdough bread." p46 Charpentiers' Mesculun Salad with Roquefort "Vinaigrette", p52 Rue Jacob Walnut Bread p47 Salad of Curly Endive, Bacon, and Roquefort p74 Sautéed Asparagus with Spring Herbs p78 Rich and Poor: Asparagus and Baby Leeks p84 Morel Sauce p86 Frédéric Anton's Twice-Cooked Mushrooms p91 Alain Passard's Turnip Gratin p97 David Van Laer's Potatoes Anna p110 William's Salad of Fresh White Beans, Mushrooms, Mimonlette, Arugula, and Pistachio Oil p118 Ambassade d'auvergne's Lentil Salad with Walnut Oil p142 Boulevard Raspail Cream of Mushroom Soup p150 Tante Louise's Caramelized Cauliflower Soup with Foie Gras "You can, of course, prepare it without the foie gras garnish, but why deprive yourself?" p154 Les Bookinistes's Cream of Corn Soup p158 Brasserie Balzar's Midnight Onion Soup p160 Potato, Leek, and Oyster Soup Le Maxence p172 Chef Frank Graux's Tips for Perfect Panfried Flatfish p178 The Taxi Driver's Wife's Secret Mussels p192 Benoît's Fricassee of Chicken with Morels p194 Chicken Fricassee with Two Vinegars "a culinary triumph" p199 Grilled Chicken with Mustard and Red Pepper p266 Fresh Honey-Rosemary-Ginger Ice Cream -November 2018

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diana Suddreth

    I added this book to my last Better World Books order so I could get the discount for six books and so I got a really good deal on this delightful cookbook complete with commentary on Paris. When I bought the book I thought there would be a little more commentary, yet really what this is is a cookbook. I have yet to try any of the recipes, but look forward to a day soon when I will be able to try the brioche, the creme brulee, and some of the main dishes. Better yet, I may just have to see if I I added this book to my last Better World Books order so I could get the discount for six books and so I got a really good deal on this delightful cookbook complete with commentary on Paris. When I bought the book I thought there would be a little more commentary, yet really what this is is a cookbook. I have yet to try any of the recipes, but look forward to a day soon when I will be able to try the brioche, the creme brulee, and some of the main dishes. Better yet, I may just have to see if I can find any of the originals on my next trip to France!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    Expensive and a little boring.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Micah Saccomanno

    Patricia Wells butts into every famous restaurant in Paris and steals one recipe. My favorie so far: Twice -cooked mushrooms

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Cregor

    I READ cookbooks like novels. Nigella Lawson "rules" in my mind.

  7. 4 out of 5

    September Dee

    Patricia wells shares some delicious recipes. This is well written and a great gift for any Francophile cook.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Lots of regional Parisian recipes. Love the Hangar Steak recipe--have made it several times.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Lovely. Mixture of involved recipes and the simple. Roquefort "Vinaigrette" will become a staple.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cass

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nezka

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ljstubbs

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ron

  14. 4 out of 5

    Timanthony Demarco Montinez Oliver

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tia

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jean

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard Ellis

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marleene

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Batey

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Farrell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stina

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julie Webb

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Barton

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