My Paris Kitchen Recipes and Stories MOBI Ö Kitchen


  • Hardcover
  • 352 pages
  • My Paris Kitchen Recipes and Stories
  • David Lebovitz
  • English
  • 07 May 2016
  • 9781607742678

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My Paris Kitchen Recipes and StoriesLebovitz is known for his delicious French inspired desserts but this is of an all round cookbook with tales of how he entertains friends in his tiny Paris apartment An informative introduction sets the record straight by exploding myths about French food He also tells some amusing stories of how he as an American chef is received by the French – who expected him to be a gastronomically illiterate McDonalds munching doofusWhereas fresh local and seasonal food has enjoyed a huge upsurge in popularity in the US in recent decades the movement had been in decline in France; now French food is catching up again This book models a refreshingly simple approach based on good ingredients and cooking As the French say this is all about “ Au pif” or “with the nose” – meaning that you adjust things based on your taste your kitchen and the ingredients and euipment you have to hand Lebovitz seems to trust his reader “the best olive oil is the one you like” which is encouraging in this age of snooty celebrity chefsThe author’s warm conversational tone he’s a top notch food blogger makes this cookbook as much of a pleasure to read as the resulting dishes would be to eat Although there is a definite priority given to French and American cuisine the selection of recipes portrays Paris as a global city with cosmopolitan food influences hummus Merguez sausages baba ganoush harissa etc However Lebovitz’s roots as a pastry chef shine through in the end the most tempting recipes of all are in the dessert section After all who could resist the thought of a chocolate dulce de leche tart with a chocolate crust?Any of Lebovitz’s recipes we’ve tried in the past have invariably turned out to be delicious With a stylish design and a liberal sprinkling of full color photographs this is a beautiful cookbook to spend time browsing I skimmed it via NetGalley but will want to get hold of a copy of my own soon A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchenIt’s been ten years since David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks a well worn cast iron skillet and his laptop and moved to Paris In that time the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniues from around the world into traditional French dishes      In  My Paris Kitchen David remasters the classics introduces lesser known fare and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon Cassoulet Co au vin and Croue monsieur as well as Smoky barbecue style pork Lamb shank tagine Dukkah roasted cauliflower Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce and Wheat berry salad with radicchio root vegetables and pomegranate And of course there’s dessert Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce Duck fat cookies Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze French cheesecakeand the list goes on David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the uirks trials beauty and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world Disclaimer I was reading this for descriptions of French food and Parisian life than I was for recipes The chance that I will actually cook anything from this cookbook starts at fair and decreases Just so you knowWhy am I unlikely to actually make any of these dishes? Three reasons1 The French don't eat like I like to eat Very few fresh vegetables and what's there would to me be overcooked Lots and lots of meat and often the kinds that I would bend over backward to avoid for one reason or another Duck and plenty of duck fat lamb in weird cuts guinea hens salt cod It's a proven cuisine but not one that matches my palate2 Many of the recipes call for ingredients or kitchen tools that would be very difficult for me to find in my rural conservative community3 A great many of these recipes especially those heavenly sounding pastries are challenging and involved for cooking novices Honestly I'd rather save the money I'd undoubtedly spend on failed cooking experiments and go on a trip to Paris instead Leave the baking to the expertsWhat I did really like about this book was the author's genuine affection for Paris and for food He's encouraging doesn't talk down to the reader and gives plenty of ideas on how to adapt recipes based on available ingredients or individual palates And his descriptions of his tiny French apartment and shopping trips to French markets are exactly what I look for in books about Paris Worth the read for those sections aloneA copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley I don’t know about you but sometimes I get all excited about a book and then it arrives and I won’t touch it Am I intimidated? Procrastinating? Saving it for the perfect day and mood? I haven’t figured out that part of my psyche yet The latest victim of this “waiting game” was David Lebovitz’s cookbook My Paris Kitchen Recipes and Stories Visually it’s a gorgeous volume and Lebovitz has a way with words So why did it sit on the side table untouched for almost 5 months? That’s a mystery for another day I’d better get back to telling you how great it isIn My Paris Kitchen bloggerchefcelebrated food writer David Lebovitz invites the reader into his own kitchen As is evident from the cookbook’s title Lebovitz makes his home in Paris France and has adapted his cooking and baking to his surroundings He visits local markets and shops and is dedicated to making regional dishes with the best ingredients and then to telling the world about it His particular fusion of American and French food sensibility and the stories that go with them is fascinating mouth watering and inspiring by turns This book may well spark a desire within the reader to pack up and make an Atlantic crossing That French market rotisserie chicken sounds divineWith most cookbooks I can tell pretty uickly that either the food or the writing is the chef’s sweet spot I mean if they’ve gotten to the point of writing a cookbook I assume that they’re freakishly talented in both areas but usually I can tell if they’re a writer who happens to be a great cookphotographer or a professional cook with a good story or restaurant to rep David Lebovitz is an eually brilliant writer and chef His writing put me right in the midst of the modern Paris cooking scene and his recipes sent me to foodie heaven Color me impressedI firmly believe that no cookbook review is complete without a taste test I had the ingredients on hand to make the individual chocolate cakes with salted dulce de leche so I made those first Verdict? Very rich and a tad too salty The salt was toned down when they were served with vanilla ice cream as the recipe suggested But I had 6 little pots of extremely rich chocolate dessert and I was NOT going to go into a sugar coma for a cookbook review so I pawned them off on the roommates and scrapped the rest I decided to host a dinner party for my next taste test and prepared chicken with mustard the photo on the cookbook cover celery root puree and winter salad HOLY GOODNESS Batman Like 5 stars across the board All of it was amazing and I impressed both my guests and myself Just so good I’m going all gooey and happy just remembering it David Lebovitz you and your Paris kitchen win all the thingsSo I hosted a successful dinner party loved the food and was all around awed by the writing BUT 10 points if you knew there was a ualifier coming I am not a fussy cook Baking is my thing and while I’m happy to follow arcane instructions for a pastry payoff I’m less likely to put in hours of prep work and while cooking It comes down to the fact that I can’t see myself pulling this book down off the shelf than once a year And a cookbook should be loved and used often than that What does that mean in real terms? I can recommend it whole heartedly to intermediate cooks especially those with a yen for international cuisine And I can appreciate its brilliance That said My Paris Kitchen won’t live on my shelf I’m not ready for it yet Maybe in 10 years In the meantime I can honestly recommend it for really marvelous food great writing and an authentic French experience I can see why it was on so many best cookbook of the year lists It’s excellentRecommended for intermediate level cooks and above anyone interested in the modern Parisian food scene and those who appreciate superb writing A must have for French cuisine enthusiasts I was so excited when I got approved for this I may have suealed Shhh don't tell anyone I have Ready for Dessert and use it regularly Actually I have cookbooks from three current or former chefs of Chez Panisse Mainly because I subscribe to their ethos of farm to market sustainability and simplicity in cooking That's not to say that I don't enjoy hi tech chefs and their foams soils liuid nitrogen and agar agar but that's not practical Well it's not practical for me I do have cookbooks that I know I'll never use; I'm looking at you Ma Gastronomie I couldn't resist for the shear decadence alone but I'm a home cook I don't mind spending hours in the kitchen but I've no desire to spend them fiddling with a foamer thus I look for cookbooks with usability What I like in a cookbook is good recipes obviously and the aesthetic I want pictures of the food What's it supposed to look like in the end? And if it's a culture specific cookbook I enjoy candid photos This cookbook delivers on all points Cooking is one of my hobbies I don't get intense or aggravated when cooking except that one Christmas when I thought it would be feasible to make 6 different baked goods in one day BY MYSELF I've never washed that stand mixer so many times in all my life But by and large cooking relaxes me It's the one place where I'm somewhat creative I rarely measure anything which according to My Paris Kitchen is very French I have a weakness for the French and their food I'm charmed by their grouchiness and general bossy no nonsense yet laissez faire attitude and I must confess I have way too many not enough French cookbooks So Mr Lebovitz plus a French cookbook? Done and done Mr Lebovitz has been living in Paris for the past 10 years He's an accomplished food blogger and In My Paris Kitchen he shares his insights on the evolution of French cuisine how it's been increasingly influenced by other cultures and its trend towards farm to market He discusses his journey and adjustment to Parisian life through various delightful anecdotal tales He doesn't get preachy about ingredients Far too many chefs only recommend what they call high uality ingredients which translates into expensive He completely agrees that some ingredients are worth the price but by the same token acknowledges his affinity for commonplace ingredients like Laughing Cow cheese My Paris Kitchen is divided largely in traditional French fashion by meal as follows 1 Basic ingredients and euipment which will be needed for the recipes Many of the reuired staples butter sigh I still think someone should make a candle that smells like melted butter cheeses mustard and some really useful tips on oils and peppers and a variety of other basic ingredients 2 Appetizers some of which sound uite daunting at first glance then I read through them and none seem all that involved; don't let the names fool you THEN I saw Beet Hummus One word SOLD I love beets I cannot wait to make this Yummers 3 First Courses which appears to have a good balance of levels of difficulty as well as ethnicity from tabbouleh to Lyonnaise salad Mr Lebovitz also provides alternate ingredients for hard to find or seasonal ingredients 4 Main Courses is egg heavy very French with a completely new take on Co au Vin that I can't wait to try and some decidedly non traditional French cuisine I can honestly say I was surprised by how much I learned about Parisian life French cooking and even French history This section is also filled with many poignant memories of how Mr Lebovitz came to learn some of these recipes from his many many interactions with friends neighbors and fellow aficionados His personality shines in this section and he truly gives of himself I appreciate that he's open to new foods and methods of cooking them from all walks of life be it a fellow blogger a renown chef or the lady who roasts chicken at the market There's no pretense or artifice just a love of food 5 Sides AND this is where I fell in love with him I dislike celery It's something that I can take a bite of and think 'Is there something I'm not getting about this stuff? Because that tastes like a wad of wet green string' Celery root however is a whole different ball game Amen brother I couldn't have said it better myself 6 He discusses a variety of cheeses but really what can you say about cheese? It's good Eat it Pair it with a wine you like The end He does advise to focus on two possibly three in a cheese course but even he admits to a propensity towards over buying I've been to Paris and I too have succumbed to the what I call 'crazy eyes' when it comes to the cheese I felt like a kid in a candy store I had to try them Some were life altering others not so much But it's all a matter of preference There is literally something for everyone 7 Desserts This really is his specialty I mean he's creative regardless of the course but he pairs the oddest ingredients in a dessert yet somehow they work He does keep it pretty simple in this cookbook which to me is the sign of a great chef in that the proof is in the simplicity brown butter instead of regular salted caramel adding coffee beans to the custard for that extra flavor boost fresh ginger to crème anglaise bay leaves to pound cake or substituting buckwheat flour for all purpose The man's just creative 8 Staples of the pantry wherein he covers some basic recipes that he uses repeatedly and are often called for in the recipes contained within this book most of which can be kept on hand such as chicken stock and harissa I must say for a renowned pastry chef I was surprised at just how diverse and accomplished the recipes were There are a few typos but nothing too egregious; but I will say in my copy there are pages labeled Index that are empty which should be rectified prior to actual publication Overall a brilliant addition to anyone who enjoys cooking andor French food's collection An ARC copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I first encountered David Lebovitz — cook ex pat extraordinaire and raconteur— on his website Imagine how delighted I was when I found his My Paris Kitchen a cookbook memoir of sorts and travelogue all rolled into one You’ll love the recipes of course; you’ll love the stories even I love David Lebovitz so much I'm working my way through this cookbook Julie Julia style and it's making me very very happy There are cookbooks that I glance through marking recipes to try Then there are the cookbooks that sit on my bedside table ready to read like a novel My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz falls in the later category This is a book you want to curl up with with a cup of tea or a glass of wine It is a lush beautiful cookbook It’s a good size with 340 pages and filled with lovely photographs The book begins with an introduction with David talking about his move to Paris and setting up his Paris kitchen He then goes on to cover ingredients in depth garlic alone takes a whole page and ingredients The book is then divided into 6 sections Appetizers First Courses Main Courses Sides Desserts and Pantry I really want to make every single thing in the book well except for the eggplant recipes but that’s me not the recipes I’ve marked several to be first tries Appetizers salted olive crisps Indian cheese bread green olive basil and almond tapenade hummus spice meatballs with sriracha sauce First Courses vegetable soup with basil puree raw vegetable slaw with creamy garlic dressing frisee salad with bacon eggs and garlic toast cherry tomato crostini with homemade herbed goat cheese and of course French onion soup Main Courses fresh herb omelet fried ham and cheese sandwich baked eggs with kale and smoked salmon chicken with mustard steak with mustard butter and French fries Sides Butternut suash crumble baked provencal vegetables herbed fresh pasta French lentil salad with goat cheese and walnuts Desserts coffee creme brûlée salted butter caramel chocolate mousse almond cakes with browned butter madeleines chocolate dulce de leche torte buttermilk ice cream with olive oil and fleur de salt tangerine champagne sorbet Pantry Creme fraiche harissa salted butter caramel sauce Really I could have marked every single recipe They all sound wonderful and very doable Scattered through the book are small essays usually a page or two To give you an idea here are a few of the titles Cheese to Almost Die For A Passage to India Via Paris Man vs Machine La Stresse du Supermarche and The Battle of the Beurres butters A wonderful cookbook One that you will not only cook from but will also read and enjoy when not in the kitchen If only My Paris Kitchen were a simple tale of a famous chef and food blogger David Lebovitz spending this past decade living entertaining and building a nest for himself in France But it isn't To me it's a treatise on how eating in Paris has changed over the years They have problems we Americans haven't even thought of There are no recipes here that I want to give even a cursory try I have a huge repertoire of American Southern New Orleans and East Coast dishes as well as the best of the best from the sunny portions of Spain France Italy Greece and Egypt I cook a mean Thai Jungle Soup and a fair Panang curry Spare meAnd what is this seemingly new trend of photographing food in a less than appitizing light? This book really made me want to return to Paris ASAP I was there in 2010 but only for 4 days The food in Paris is so delicious Anyway I doubt if I'll try and make any of these fab dishes since they seem uite elaborate but thanks for the memories


About the Author: David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz is a sought after cooking instructor with an award winning food blog davidlebovitzcom Trained as a pastry chef in France and Belgium David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley California for twelve years He now lives in Paris France where he leads culinary tours of the city