|Jacques Pépin Celebrates!: Episodes|
Episode 101 -- Elegant Country Dinner
Cuisine bourgeoise -- homestyle cooking -- meets haute cuisine in this sophisticated French-country dinner. There's hardly a more classic beginning than ONION SOUP GRATINÉE LYONNAISE under a golden, bubbly crust of melted cheese. PAN-BROILED VENISON STEAKS with a TART BLACK CURRANT SAUCE make a hearty entrée, and a creamy CHESTNUT PURÉE and homemade CRANBERRY RELISH add just the right touch of special-occasion sparkle. In honor of his brother, Jacques prepares his favorite dessert: dense, creamy CHEESECAKE ROLAND WITH BLUEBERRY-CURRANT SAUCE.
Episode 102 -- Labor Day Farewell
The Pépins mark the end of summer with a last hurrah Labor Day feast -- Jacques' take on a New England shore dinner. For openers, he prepares a family favorite: POACHED EGGS IN ASPIC served with a simple CELERIAC AND CARROT SALAD. Then, it's the greatest of all summertime treats, Broiled Lobster, served with CARAMELIZED CORN and crispy, golden POTATO FLATS. And for the perfect end to this farewell to the fair-season: SUMMER CORNETS SUSIE -- crunchy cookie cones filled with chocolate and summer fruit.
Episode 103 -- The Choux Maker
Jacques' approach to classic French cooking techniques often revolves around the idea of demonstrating a single basic recipe that can open up a world of possibilities. In this episode, he shows Claudine how to make pâte à choux -- the simple cream puff dough that is the basis for a variety of sweet and savory surprises. It becomes PROFITEROLES FILLED WITH PASTRY CREAM IN BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE SAUCE as well as fanciful "SWIMMING SWANS" WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE IN A CARAMEL CAGE -- a stunning restaurant-style dessert that's surprisingly easy to make. Jacques' CREAM PUFF FRITTERS are wonderful on their own or filled with ice cream. And his version of PARIS-BREST CAKE is topped with a light dusting of almond praline. On the savory side, there are PARISIENNE GNOCCHI -- a wonderful make-ahead first course -- and the delicate CHEESE PUFF HORS D'OEUVRE known as Gougère. And POTATOES DAUPHINE turn pâte à choux into fluffy, golden mashed potato puffs. In other words, Claudine concludes, if the choux fits, let’s eat it!
Episode 104 -- Tribute to Jean-Claude
Jacques and Claudine pull out all the stops and prepare a special dinner for their beloved family friend, featuring all his favorite dishes. Spicy, LOUISIANA-STYLE "ANGRY" TROUT IN A HOT PECAN SAUCE with deep-fried HUSH PUPPIES start the meal off on a lively note. Named for the guest of honor, CHICKEN JEAN-CLAUDE is cooked two ways -- the thighs roasted with almond stuffing, and the breasts sautéed with shallots -- and served with elegant WAFFLE POTATOES. A light COFFEE-RUM CARAMEL CUSTARD with LIME TUILE COOKIES finishes off this festive tribute to old friends and the lasting pleasures of the table.
Episode 105 -- Artistic Banquet
Jacques has taught millions of home cooks that the simplest foods taste better when you present them with a sense of art and style. This delightful menu is a feast for the eyes, starting with shrimp -- and mushroom -- STUFFED SALMON IN FLAKY DOUGH that's equal parts appetizer and sculptural tour de force. CHICKEN SALAD DANNY turns succulent poached chicken into a witty little presentation that always brings smiles to the table. And a rich, creamy PRALINE -- CHOCOLATE PARADIS, wreathed in delicate chocolate leaves is like a sweet still life from heaven. It all adds up to one tasty conclusion: when the artist's palette meets the chef's palate, the results are beautiful to behold.
Episode 106 -- Tea for Ten
If tea for two is cozy, then tea for ten's a party -- especially when you serve a menu of sophisticated tea-time treats, like "ZIMFOUR" PETIT FOURS with a cookie dough crust and almond butter topping; or easy-to-make CANDIED LIME AND ORANGE PEELS dipped in white and dark chocolate. Jacques and Claudine take the mystery out of homemade CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES with three fillings: orange, coffee-rum and cognac-almond. And they also try their hand at two quick puff-pastry confections: flaky PARMESAN CHEESE STRAWS and CARAMELIZED PUFF PASTRY STICKS. There's even a demonstration of the proper English way to make tea.
Episode 107 -- A Festive New Year's Eve
It's December 31st chez -- Pépin, and Jacques and Claudine are in the mood to break out the bubbly and ring in the new year with a menu that's all about luxury and style. They start with an OYSTER AND CORN CHOWDER that's rich, elegant and easy to put together at the last moment, with individual cornbreads served on the side. Jacques' traditional RIB ROAST makes a dramatic presentation, especially when paired with fluffy, golden YORKSHIRE PUDDING AND A MUSTARD AND HORSERADISH SAUCE. A festive SALADE TULIPE, with pecans, goat cheese, pears and walnut dressing captures the sweet and savory flavors of the season. And for dessert, Jacques shows Claudine how to dress up homemade FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM by serving it in TULIP COOKIE CUPS, topped with SPICY CHERRIES IN WINE.
Episode 108 -- Happy Anniversary
In honor of her parents' wedding anniversary, Claudine helps Jacques whip up a lavish family dinner, starting with a hearty BLACK BEAN SOUP AUGIER, a tribute to Gloria Pépin's Cuban roots. Then, there's a simple, sophisticated FILLET OF SOLE MISTRAL poached with shallots and vermouth. CREAM PUFF CASES and CUCUMBER "FOOTBALLS" are a festive yet surprisingly simple accompaniment. And a fluffy CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO SOUFFLÉ WITH AN ARMAGNAC CRÈME ANGLAISE SAUCE rounds out this special dinner that's a happy marriage of festive food and family ties.
Episode 109 -- A Picnic of Pies
It's a crash course in crusts and fillings as Jacques presents a "pie intensive," starting with a classic TARTE TATIN, the upside-down French apple pie with a simple pâte brisée crust. Even a beginning baker can make a CUSTARD FRUIT GALETTE that's not much harder than cutting up perfectly ripe fruit. And Jacques shows us his version of LINZERTORTE, made with fresh raspberries instead of jam, so it's moister and softer than the traditional version.
Episode 110 -- Ski Chalet Supper
It's hard to imagine a better way to warm up after a day in the snow than a cozy French "soul food" supper. For Jacques, that means country-style favorites like a Frisée Salad with Chicken Cracklings and Innards. And CASSOULET, the ultimate one-pot winter warmer -- a classic southern French stew of white beans, reinvented with Jacques own PUMPKIN SEED SAUSAGE. For dessert, there's an icy GRAPEFRUIT GRANITÉ, spiked with a bracing splash of vodka.
Episode 111 -- Cold Snap Comfort
On a crisp winter afternoon, Jacques and Claudine get inspired to make a comforting, stay-at-home menu -- the kind that steams up the kitchen windows and fills the whole house with appetizing aromas. They start with POACHED RAY VALERIE IN BROWN BUTTER -- a wonderfully succulent fish that's much loved in France, virtually unknown to American home cooks and remarkably easy to prepare. A succulent BEEF SHELL ROAST NAPA in a rich Cabernet Sauvignon sauce comes together in less than an hour. And to accompany it, Jacques creates a CREAMY ONION CUSTARD WITH TOMATO COULIS that's as soothing as it is sophisticated. Finally, a simple blackberry sauce transforms winter-time oranges into a satisfying dessert.
Episode 112 -- Bridal Shower Confection
When Claudine is asked to make fluffy white desserts for a fancy bridal shower, Jacques has one word for her: meringue. "Just whip up a few egg whites," he assures her, "and you'll be amazed at all the elegant confections you can create." And so saying, he prepares elegant ALMOND FLOATING ISLANDS in a pool of Rum Custard Sauce and Buttery Caramel. Then it's on to an ORANGE VACHERIN JEANNETTE -- layers of meringue with a frozen orange-cream filling -- that's as easy as it is spectacular; it's made with just six ingredients. VOLCANO SURPRISE WITH LEMON MOUSSELINE CAKE is Jacques' whimsical take on Baked Alaska -- a little lighter, and a lot more dramatic. And his foolproof MOCHA SUCCESS CAKE is made with a rich buttercream, sandwiched between layers of crunchy hazelnut meringue. It's a master class in meringue -- and a fabulous shower of elegant desserts.
Episode 113 -- Valentine Surprise
In honor of Valentine's Day, Jacques helps Claudine concoct a candlelight dinner for two, starting with individual SOUFFLÉS OF MUSSELS AND BASIL. Tender CHÂTEAUBRIANDS WITH A MADEIRA TRUFFLE SAUCE make a rich and indulgent choice for lovers -- and lovers of beef -- especially when they're paired with sophisticated MUSHROOM TIMBALES AND CRÊPE SHELLS WITH CORN PURÉE. And homemade RASPBERRY SHERBET WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE and a little surprise of more raspberries hidden inside is like an edible love note -- a fitting finale for this romantic menu.
Episode 114 -- Country Luncheon
Jacques and Claudine revive a classic country tradition: the relaxed, sit-down midday luncheon. For starters, there's a classic PARSLEYED HAM, served with a tangy Remoulade Sauce. LINGUINE WITH FRESH CLAMS is an ideal choice for entertaining, and Jacques dresses it up with a rainbow of colorful spring vegetables. And for dessert, PLUMS POACHED IN CABERNET SAUVIGNON and homemade PLUM SHERBET are served over a surprisingly easy CINNAMON LEMON CAKE. Who says "country" can't be elegant? -- especially when it's luncheon time.
Episode 115 -- Brick Oven Bonanza
It's step-by-step introduction to the fine art of bread baking as Jacques takes a "knead-to-know" approach to classic French Bread that can be shaped either as baguettes or as a crusty round loaf. Having prepared both, he and Claudine fill the loaf with a mélange of shrimp, scallops, salmon and mushrooms to create SEAFOOD BREAD. Then, for contrast, they bake a dark, dense BLACK PEPPER BREAD WITH WALNUTS and a comforting WHOLE WHEAT BREAD WITH RAISINS. There's also a CHEDDAR CHEESE BREAD enlivened with sweet bits of dried pear, and a light, golden BRIOCHE MOUSSELINE. And because even a master baker cannot live by bread alone, Jacques rounds out the menu with an easy, soulful farmer's-style soup.
Episode 116 -- Dinner Party al Fresco
Jacques and Claudine create their midsummer night's dream dinner al fresco starting with crispy FRIED SOFT-SHELL CLAMS WITH DEEP-FRIED ZUCCHINI, served with a savory anchovy dipping sauce. The main attraction is a RABBIT BLANQUETTE, a homey stew with pearl onions, mushrooms and cream, with golden sweet CORN FRITTERS served on the side to sop up the sauce. And FRUIT SALAD AMBROSIA gets a smashing presentation when Jacques serves it in a carved melon swan. It's all tasty proof that the flavors of summer take on a whole new dimension when you dress them up and take them out -- to the patio!
Episode 117 -- Mother's Day Brunch
In honor of Mother's Day, Jacques shows Claudine how to turn the mother of all foods, the egg, into eight imaginative brunch entrées. First, there's a GRATIN OF EGGS made with hard-cooked eggs and sautéed mushrooms with a creamy onion SOUBISE SAUCE on top. Then, it's on to POACHED EGGS CLAMART, served on a buttered crouton with fresh peas and hollandaise, and MOLLET EGGS WITH STEWED ASPARAGUS. Next, Jacques finishes easy MOLDED EGGS two ways -- with truffles and carrots, and with herbs and radishes. Two omelets give Jacques a chance to show Claudine how to crack one of the great French cooking techniques: A classic FINES-HERBES OMELET and an "open-faced" FARMER'S STYLE FLAT OMELET. And finally, DEEP FRIED EGGS with peppers, eggplant and garlic round out this brunch "egg-stravaganza" with a splash of provençale color.
Episode 118 -- Fresh Catch Mélange
Jacques and Claudine conjure up happy memories of family vacations at the beach with a fresh, informal seafood supper. Inspired by the catch of the day, they start with moist, delicate STEAMED SCROD NORMA in an easy lemon dressing. Then Jacques recreates a classic BOUILLABAISSE, Long Island-style, brimming with fresh local fish, mussels and shrimp, and a lusty, garlicky rouille sauce to ladle on top at the table. APRICOT SAVARIN WITH FRUIT, a delicate liqueur-soaked yeast cake, finishes the feast on a light and colorful note.
Episode 119 -- Puff Pastry Showcase
Most home cooks think of puff pastry as the province of professional chefs and bakers. But Jacques is on a mission to demystify flaky pastry once and for all -- and Claudine is ready to roll as he shows her how a single basic puff pastry dough can be turned into everything from hors d'oeuvres to desserts. After creating an elegant first course of OYSTERS AND ASPARAGUS IN PUFF PASTRY SHELLS, Jacques prepares a fancy main -- dish VOL-AU-VENT filled with Spicy Chicken and Mushrooms. Turning to the sweet side, Jacques and Claudine make a spectacular STRAWBERRY NAPOLEON -- the French answer to Strawberry shortcake -- as well as two super-easy pastries: a DARTOIS TART WITH A BLACK RASPBERRY JAM FILLING, and a FLAKY RASPBERRY STRIP.
Episode 120 -- Feast Fit for a King
Jacques was a chef to three French heads of state, and in this episode, he creates a menu worthy of the haute cuisine of the Palais Royale. It begins with elegant FILLETS OF SOLE with a FRESH HERB STUFFING and a bright, creamy Purée of Peas presented in a sweet pepper cup. Succulent GRILLED LEG OF LAMB ROBERT, marinated with garlic, ginger and honey, is paired with a PURÉE OF SPINACH, served in the French country style with croutons and eggs. And an elegant ORANGE SOUFFLÉ reveals a spectacular surprise: a hidden treasure of homemade ORANGE SHERBET. A man's home is his castle, and with Jacques' step-by-step instructions, any home cook can create a feast fit for a king.