– when asparagus are thick,tight, with tight head like this,i love to use asparagus, especially as a first course. and i’m here with my frienddavid shalleck. you know, he’s a chef,he’s an author, and he’s also in chargeof the back kitchens here, so that’s very important. and that little stewof asparagus, i made for you. – well, thank you so much.looks beautiful.
how’d you make it? – this is how i made it. choose tight-headed asparagus. see, this one is really tight, whereas this oneis already starting to open and it’s past its best. to ensure that it’s tender and that you can eatthe whole thing, it’s good to peel the stemwith a vegetable peeler.
hold the peeler this way and not with your fingerunderneath where they will get in the way. the peel folds backlike a flower. hold the end and break itlike this. cut the spearsinto 2-inch pieces, and add it to a panwith 1/2 a cup of boiling water, seasoned with saltand freshly ground black pepper. cover and cookfor about 2 minutes.
when the asparagusis tender and can easily be piercedwith a knife, squeeze in a little bitof lemon juice. add a couple of tablespoonsof butter, and add a drizzle of olive oil, and bring the whole thingto a rolling boil. this will help to emulsifythe butter and oil into a sauce. and there it is,a ragout of asparagus. see?nothing could be simpler.
you want to taste it? – i would love to.it smells absolutely wonderful. – i’m cooking vegetable today, from easy to elegant. this isessential pepin. [upbeat string music] â™ª female announcer: essential pepin is made possible by:
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male announcer:oxo good grips. oxo: tools you hold on to. – eating vegetables has neverbeen a problem for me. probably 80% of what we eatat home is going to be vegetableor salad or fruit, and of course potatoor a thing like this. so, in fact, everything thati like, i call a vegetable. it makes my life easier. so if i have a pieceof chocolate cake,
i can call it a vegetable. of course, i’m kidding. but todayis vegetable day. we’re going to do a zucchiniand tomato gratin like in the south of france, and a cauliflower gratin just like my mother used to dowhen i was a kid, with a white sauce on top. then artichokes hearts,
done with a puree of mushroominside and glazed. and finally, a corn tempura, you know, that you can servewith a smoked salmon or with caviaror with a lot of stuff. so this is whatwe’re going to do, and we will start with thegratin of zucchini and tomato. so what you do,try to get them firm. these are pretty firm. and small one.
you know, everything alwaysamount to what’s in season, what the best,and so forth. i can ha even longer slicefor the center here. you can have zucchinias i have here, and but you can also haveeggplant or other type of thing, you know, done in there. a juicy tomato, i should haveclose to enough here. so… that would be a gratin for,you know, four people.
depend what you serve with it,of course. i’m going to put a little bitof dash of salt on top of it. and i’m going to do a toppingwith parmesan cheese. i cut the parmesan cheesein square like this in dice, because i’m going to puteverything in that littlewonderful machine. about the same amount of breadthat i’ll do here. another way of using yourleftover bread, you know? that should be about the same.
here. since we are in the southof france, i can put some fresh thyme. in that case,here i have oregano. you know, and oregano is fine. put it in this. again, salt in there.pepper. and that will be the toppingof the gratin. it’s beautiful, easy to do.
and what you want to do here, i could put that directly on tophere. but what happen when the breadis dry like this? it may tend to burn. so what you do, you put a littlebit of olive oil in there. like you know, a teaspoon,or–i mean, 2 teaspoons maybe. and you toss it together. now what happen here,the bread is slightly moist. it’s not gooey as you can see.
you know, it’s notkind of gooey. but it’s still–and nowit’s going to brown beautifully. so in there, i’m putting that here. more of it there. and if i have a little more,if i have a little less, it’s not the end of the world. probably a dash of olive oilextra on top of it here. never hurt.
and that’s basically it. you want to put thatin your oven, like, 400 degree for, like,30 minutes, 35 minutes, and it should be great. you can check it out.that’s really tender. that’s what you want. a zucchini and tomato gratin. and now cauliflowers. i do adore cauliflowers.
you can see a head like thatreally firm. no black spot on it. so the time of the year to pickit up, you have to look at this. i think it was mark twain who said that cauliflowers was nothing but a cabbagewith an education. and i think it’s something trueto this. now you see what i’m removinghere. this, if i were doing a soupat my house today,
that would go into the soup. i wouldn’t throw it out. we’re going to cook thatin boiling water here and do a white sauceto put on top of it. so you want to separate thatinto florets, like this. you know, some bigger,some smaller. it doesn’t really matter. frankly, i like to cook the coreas well. i like that core.
you know, i cut itin a couple of piece. we need a good headof cauliflowers. the water is salted. and i want this to be tender,meaning that it has to cook. i would say bring it backto a boil about 5, 6 minutes at least. you can do that ahead as well,you know? and we’re going to doa white sauce with it. i have a skillet here.
i’m putting, like,2 tablespoons of… well, maybe 2 1/2 tablespoonsof butter. so the roux is done this way. 3 tablespoon of flour. i mean,it should be leveled… like this, yes? okay. i do that with milk. if you do that with water,it’s called a “bastard” sauce.
and now you do a mustard saucewith it. so here, your roux is in there. usually you put your milk coldin the hot roux. you can do the opposite also. it doesn’t matter that much. i have like a cup,1 1/2 cup of milk here. and maybe 1/4 of a cup of creamwill be enough. now, this i could do it allwith milk. some people may do it allwith cream.
some may do it withhalf and half. it’s fine. doesn’t really–it’s a questionof taste and richness, of course. i’m putting a little bitof nutmeg in this. that beautiful thing whichis easy to grate with. you don’t put too much becausethe nutmeg is really assertive, you know? you can see that in there.
okay.salt, pepper. and then i go back. as you can see in the cornerhere, that’s where it’s goingto start thickening. basically, as soon as it cometo a boil, it boil 10, 15 seconds,that’s fine. okay.let’s check this out. yeah, that’s it.this is tender. use the lid.
you can put it in a colander, but it’s perfectly finethis way. cooked cauliflowers here. nice big gratin. try to arrange themso the head more or less are facing up like this. good. i think i’ll put a bit of salton top of it. a bit of the gruyere.
this is grated gruyere,you know? i put some on top here. i have some gratedparmesan cheese as well. and now here is my sauce. it’s still pretty hot. the cream sauce. so i wantto put that on top. with a roast of veal,you know, or with a steakor anything like this.
gratin cauliflower. terrific. a bit more gruyere on top. or gruyere or jarlsbergor emmentaler, and this is it. it is ready to go into the oven. right out of the oven is my gratin. as you can see,still boiling around.
i’ll test it, but it’s reallya little hot to taste. but… i have a hot mouth. it’s okay. mmm. just like when i was a kid. terrific gratin. and now artichokes. when artichokes are in season,i love to work with artichokes.
they have beautiful artichokeshere, and usually when you cook themwhole, you cook them allby cutting the tail. and often people throw this out,but i keep that. i just peel it all around because there is that reallythick layer on the outside. and then after i cook this, it’s just as tenderas the heart, you know? each time you do that,
you have to rub a little bitof lemon juice on top; otherwise, it discolorate. and then after you go around and you have to cut all the endof those leaves here, you have the pricky thing, and you cook them wholeto get the whole artichokes as i have here. i even add a piece of lemonon the back of it, attach it to that.
that stay nice and white. you don’t really have to,but this is the old classic way. and i’m going to show you ina minute what to do with this. but first,i wanted to show you how to do the artichokes’bottom. so the first thingthat you would do, if you don’t know how to do it, i indicate to do it this way, to go all aroundand get the leaves out this way.
now, notice i havea special technique here. it’s not that i’m pulling outthe leaves. i’m very careful to break itand go down. break it and go down. and again,because when i do this, you can see the leaves here. it’s exactly like when i eatartichokes, you know. you have the artichoke leafand you eat it. that’s all of the heart–i mean, all the flesh here.
it stay right there. if i pull it here,here it is. here is what happens. all that piece here,i should have broken it, because that piece hereis the piece of flesh which belong here. so i go around like this to expose, as you can see,all of the heart. and when you are there straight,
you know now that you’re notgoing to cut into the heart. then you can trim it as i do here. that’s it. and if you have– usually you will usea vegetable– a knife like this, but even a vegetable peeler may work aroundif you’re not sure,
again, going all aroundlike that to clean up whatever is leftof the green. it is not easy to doan artichoke’s heart properly. and then i trim,i trim the end here. so this is an artichoke’s heart,you know? you cut that in half. you cut the piece of lemon,and you rub it with this so that it doesn’t discolor. and then we’re going to cook itthis way.
i have 4 cup of water here. i’m going to put salt on topof it. inside, rather. pepper. a good tablespoon or soof lemon juice. you can even leave the lemonin it if you want after. and we put in the old style. we used to put a little bitof flour. we call that ablanc,a white,and it keep them white too.
we did that with artichokes, and as well as with cauliflowerand all that. mix that in there. this is cold water. put that here, bring it to a boil, and it has to boil for about,oh, i would say, 20, 25 minutes until it’s nice and tender. now going back to this.
when you haveyour regular artichoke, you serve with a vinaigretteor with something like that. you remove your string here. this has stayed beautifullywhite, as you can see. and then you can serve itthis way. but if you want to bea bit fancier, you kind of open your artichokesa little bit so you can put your fingerinside. this has to cook, like,45 minute to be nice and tender.
and i pull it, you know. i will pull the whole centerof the artichokes here. you can see… and that’s edible too. of course,but what i have done here, i have exposed the choke inside. and with a spoon–i use a spoonor with my finger– i can remove the choke here. it just slide off becausethat artichoke is cooked.
okay, so this is the choke. and then you present yourartichokes, you know, this way, with that upside down here. you know, a little sprigof parsley on top. and you have a vinaigretteor a hollandaise sauce. that, and thisis the classic way of presentingthe whole artichokes. this is–now is going to comeback to a boil, and, as i say,cook for a while.
so during that time, we’re going to do the stuffingof the artichokes, and i’m going to do itwith mushroom. so slice a mushroom. i’ll put a little dash of oilin there. and i’m going to saute this and flambe itwith a little cognac. that recipe is quite elegant. it’s a recipe that we usedto do–or close to–
at the pavilion in new yorkwhen i worked there. ooh. in the end of the ’50s,early ’60s, you know? so here i’m going to put saltand pepper on top of it. now, those artichokes haven’teven come to a boil, so i have some herewhich are done. so i have six artichokes here. as you can see here,i have some of different size. in a professional kitchen,
you try to get themof all the same size. so i’m going to put themin that gratin dish. now i can hearmy mushrooms sizzling, so i will deglaze themwith a little bit of cognac. [sizzling] and that gives a wonderful tasteto my mushroom here. and i’ll put the restof the cream. i’m going to bring it to a boil, and i will thicken it witha little bit of potato starch
or corn starch. dilute itwith a little bit of water. stir it. i have my herb in there. and a thickening agent. you can seethat it thickened here. this–well, let me taste it. delicious. dash of salt.
i could really use it this way, but there in that recipeto make it just as we didat the plaza athenee in paris, we add a little bitof that at the end, whip cream. this is a rich dish, but beautiful. that’s that. maybe a dash of pecorinoor parmesan.
a little dash,and that’s it. that’s going to go intothe broiler. and here is my stuffed artichokewith a sliced mushroom, deglazed with cognac– a beautiful old classic dish. full and tender. can’t wait to taste it. mmm.absolutely wonderful. from a real classicfrench dishes,
now let’s do a real americandish with corn, you know? i love corn. and i’m going to do a typeof corn tempura here. i’ll start with the dough. and i’m doing 2/3 of a cup–that’s 1/3–of flour. one egg. and maybe 1/2 teaspoon or soof baking powder. and soda water. you know, when you do a batter,
and if you want it without lump, whatever liquid you put in it, just put a little bit of itat the beginning so that as you stir it,as i’m doing here, the batter is still thick enough so that the thread of the whiskcan go through like this and liquefy any lump. what i’m saying is, that ifi put all of the liquid in it, then it turned around and youhave nice little dumpling
all over the place whichyou really don’t want to. so i will put more… i like it pretty liquid here. yeah. let’s look. it’s about right. and now the corn. there’s a way of cuttingthe corn. see, i tend to cut my cornthis way with a knife.
people tend to use the knifehere flat, and it’s hard to cut, and it’s not because peopleare using one inch right here from the center of the knife. from that position,if you turn here, and if you start hereand finish there, then you’re using the knife the way you should beusing the knife. just like when you’re slicinga piece of bread,
you don’t crush it. you slice it. so that’s one way of doing it. of course, the fresher the cornjust out of the field, when they are really sweetand all that is the best. another maybe easier way to do, you can cut it in half,yeah, that or break it in half,actually, like this, and put your–using on the tablelike this,
and cutting this way. all of that goes in there. so here… see, you do quite a bunchof different fritter with that. i can probably do three. maybe–maybe even fourat a time. so this will takea couple of minute on each side. okay, so let’s see this now. we can see that they arereally crisp.
there we are. so they hold togetherquite well. you don’t really have to worryabout them breaking. and then again, a good2, 3 minutes on each side, and then you can put themon your wire rack. you can hear it,you know, really nice and hard and crisp, and that’s what you want. if you really want to be fancy,we can serve it with caviar.
i have five different typeof american caviar here. this is a white fish caviar. this is a salmon caviar. and if you could lookvery close to it, you would see that insideeach of those grain of caviar, there is a red dot. that’s one of the best,the red dot, is the chum caviarand considered the best. this is a trout caviar, whichis very, very elegant too.
it’s kind of newer. and i have two caviar. the only thing which canreally be called caviar has to be from the sturgeon. and here,i have a paddlefish that’s fromthe mississippi river, and this is a white sturgeon. and this is raised. so, you know, one way of doingthat, we can use this one here.
i think i would take this one because that’s probablythe best for me, and maybe a bitof sour cream first. take a little bit of sour creamin the center of this. now, and right away of coursethat’s going to change certainly the priceof your corn tempura here. another way of doing itwhich is really nice, too, is maybe with a nice pieceof smoke salmon on top of it like this.
and this would be very eleganttype of hors d’oeuvres that you would serve withyour corn tempura, you know? we had a vegetable feast today,and i always love it. you know, go to your localmarket or your farmer’s market, supermarket, buy what’s in season. it’s always less expensive,it always has more taste, and nutritionallyit’s better for you. often with very simpleingredient,
you can do great dish thatthe family is going to love. and sometime, you know, adding abit of caviar or something else, you can bring itto something very, very elegant. cook the thing you love. mmm.happy cooking. female announcer:visit the website at kqed.org/jacquespepinto learn more about jacques. you can watch the shows online, view clips of jacquesin the kitchen,
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