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"Les Halles Cookbook" by Anthony Bourdain


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Here is an easy one (I call it the French version of "fast food"): Moules marinières.

Cook some sliced shallots in butter for a couple of minutes, add a generous amount of wine, crank up the heat, add salt and pepper to the boiling wine, dump the mussels in the pot, cover with the lid and cook for a few minutes until the mussels are open (~ 8 min in my case for 3 pounds of mussels). Finish with more butter (optional) and sliced parsley. Serve with a slice of rustic bread.

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  • 6 months later...

Carré d'agneau à la moutarde

1) Season the rack of lamb with salt and pepper

2) Fry in olive oil and butter

2) Sprinkle with fresh herbs (thyme & rosemary), cover with Dijon mustard and breadcrumbs

3) Roast in the oven @ 375F

4) Rest for 10 min before slicing

For the sauce:

Throw away the fat from step 1), deglaze with red wine, reduce, add stock (I cheated and used demi-glace), add a smashed garlic clove and a bouquet garni, reduce to coating consistency, strain, add butter before serving.

The only tricky part is the cooking time which is highly dependent on the size of the rack of lamb. Mine was quite thick so it took much longer than the 17 minutes recommended in the recipe. I used a meat thermometer to cook to medium rare. The chops look very rare on the left side of the last photo, but it's from the sauce which is bright red. Probably best not to spoon it over the meat unlike what I did.

Overall this is a recipe that is quite easy - after maybe 15 min or so of "active time" you can just do something else white the rack is roasting in the oven and later resting.

I served it with parboiled rattes potatoes that are roasted under the lamb to catch all the juices and seasoning.

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Who else is still cooking from this book?

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His method for au gratin potatoes is foolproof and tasty (not like they are so tough to make, but still...). I use yukon gold (i like a firmer potato) more garlic (though still not much) and no nutmeg. Onglet and onion soup are fine too. A particularly good book for beginners because the instructions are more than explicit.

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  • 2 years later...

It looks like I forgot to post this beauty 2 years ago. I make it regularly in the fall/winter.

 

Gratin Dauphinois

 

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The little touches that make a difference:

  • Pre-boiling the potatoes in cream with fresh herbs
  • Rubbing a garlic clove inside the baking dish for added flavor
  • A touch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Using real Gruyere... of course

Recipe on google books.

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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The Charlotte aux marrons which is a great dessert for the holidays. My mom would always make something like that when I was a kid. This version feels relatively light.

The biggest challenge is always finding the chesnut puree. I use the Faugier one because that's what I used in France too.

 

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Recipe on google books.

Edited by FrogPrincesse
minor clarification (log)
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  • 1 year later...

It's fall and a great occasion to make stews again...

 

I had a lamb neck in the freezer that I had bought from a butcher shop and that they had prepared especially for me. I decided to put into good use in a Daube Provençale.

 

The recipe is very straight-forward. First, you brown the meat (I really took my time, making sure that each piece was well browned on all sides). Then you render some lardons that you set aside (I used homecured (non smoked) pork belly). The aromatics go in next: onions, celery, garlic, tomato paste. A white wine is used to deglaze and is reduced. For the braising liquid, I used water mixed with demi glace as I didn't have any stock.  The bacon is added back with a carrot, a bouquet garni, and an orange zest, and the stew is cooked over low heat.

 

Daube Provencale

 

A couple of hours later...

 

Daube Provencale

 

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I bought the book when it first came out.

Followed some of h recipes to the letter.

The rabbit dish was terrible IMO.

The 'BB' was WAY too complicated IMO.

ATK has a far superior recipe for making 'frites'.

Tony's fiction books are really good reads.

'Bobby Gold', Bone In The Throat' etc.

All worth the time.

 

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I've tried a lot of recipes from the book, and haven't had a bad one yet. Some I make regularly, like the short ribs, because they are truly fantastic and require very little effort.

But I haven't tried the rabbit! I will make sure to stay away from that one. :D I prefer my rabbit a la moutarde anyway.

 

Edited by FrogPrincesse
typo (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had this cookbook forever but I never cooked from it. I'm glad I found this thread to motivate me.

 

Tonight I made Steak Au Poivre, p. 130. It was very easy, just a task of coating the steak with a thick layer of black pepper (the Kirkland brand worked great), fried up the steak, then reduced it with cognac and added butter. Entire dish didn't take more than 30 mins. I used a cheap sirloin (AB wrote this was standard) and the demi-glace and butter forgave the stringiness of the meat.

 

My personal opinion, it was too much pepper! Next time I'm going to reduce it by half. However Mr. Smokey says that is how Steak Au Poivre is suppose to taste. It was too spicy for me, but the combination of the sauce and potatoes made it tolerable. The taste is delicious.

Sorry for the crappy photo, these were taken before dinner was gobbled up.

 

steak au poivre.JPG

Edited by Smokeydoke (log)
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I purchased the book when it was released, cooked maybe 20% of the recipes, then left it behind for newer books and other projects.

I  think it's time to go back and take a fresh look.

 

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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1 hour ago, Wayne said:

 

I purchased the book when it was released, cooked maybe 20% of the recipes, then left it behind for newer books and other projects.

I  think it's time to go back and take a fresh look.

 

 

 

 So many recipes and so little time!   I no longer recall if it is in the book but Anthony's Coquilles St.-Jacques is my go to for that dish. I know it's on Epicurious  and if I remember correctly has a moving headnote.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Just now, Anna N said:

 So many recipes and so little time!   I no longer recall if it is in the book but Anthony's Coquilles St.-Jacques is my go to for that dish. I know it's on Epicurious  and if I remember correctly has a moving headnote.

I love the coquilles St Jacques with Champagne. Great dish! Now I need some asap! :)

 

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I also love the booze-heavy chocolate mousse. Two ounces of Grand Marnier for 6 portions, that is my kind of recipe. :D

I often make it to conclude a classic French meal. It's simple and can be made in advance. Of course as he explains it's all about the chocolate. Here I used Valrhona Noir Caraibe 66%.

 

Chocolate mousse

 

Chocolate mousse

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

I love the coquilles St Jacques with Champagne. Great dish! Now I need some asap! :)

 

Looks delicious. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

 So many recipes and so little time!   I no longer recall if it is in the book but Anthony's Coquilles St.-Jacques is my go to for that dish. I know it's on Epicurious  and if I remember correctly has a moving headnote.

 

A quick google gave me this Epicurious recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/coquilles-st-jacques-109410

Is this the one?

If so it's not the recipe from the book. The book recipe is seared scallops served with a fish fumet, champagne and heavy cream reduction and not a roux based dish although that looks good as well.

It is GOOD although, at least for me, needs some greens on the side and good bread for balance.

 

 

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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55 minutes ago, Wayne said:

 

A quick google gave me this Epicurious recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/coquilles-st-jacques-109410

Is this the one?

If so it's not the recipe from the book. The book recipe is seared scallops served with a fish fumet, champagne and heavy cream reduction and not a roux based dish although that looks good as well.

It is GOOD although, at least for me, needs some greens on the side and good bread for balance.

 

 

 

55 minutes ago, Wayne said:

 

A quick google gave me this Epicurious recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/coquilles-st-jacques-109410

Is this the one?

If so it's not the recipe from the book. The book recipe is seared scallops served with a fish fumet, champagne and heavy cream reduction and not a roux based dish although that looks good as well.

It is GOOD although, at least for me, needs some greens on the side and good bread for balance.

 

 

 That is the one.   Epicurious was acting up when I tried to find it and link to it this morning.   I have no idea why they chose the photo they did as it has little relationship to the dish.  I did not think it would be in the book as I recall him discussing it as one of his mother's dishes. I made it many many times when my husband was alive and we'd enjoy Friday night dinners together.  I still have the ceramic scallop shells that I used to serve it in. It's a winner. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The famous les halles fries (yep, that's what they call them). Labor intensive but I ended up with a good plate of fries. It's a three-part process of soaking them in cold water, blanching them in low temp oil (280F) then frying them briefly at higher temp (375F) oil. Best in New York? I doubt it, they must do something else to them to make them the "best". They taste a lot like In-N-Out fries. But I love how you can control the width and doneness of the fries, so our fries came out crunchy and soft and just slightly thicker than most.

 

Served with steak au poivre, it was a perfect combination.

 

 

frites.JPG

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