This cookbook has a copyright of 2014. I bought this cookbook off of Amazon. I have never cooked from this cookbook before.
I had the pleasure of meeting (briefly) David Lebovitz at a food blog function many years ago. Okay, I met him briefly and then realized at one point he was seated eating at a table next to mine. Took everything I had not to stare. Because...DAVID LEBOVITZ! Back then there were only a handful of "superstar food bloggers" (Ree Drummond, Jaden Hair and Elsie Bauer were also there). I was a fan of Davids blog and he was definitely a celebrity in my world. Though I do own it, I have not yet read Davids "Sweet Life In
Paris" (I have his ice cream book too which I haven't cooked from, yet either).
When David's My Paris Kitchen came out in April, I immediately added it to my collection. He has a huge following and though I haven't followed his blog in a while, anytime I come across his writing, I admit to being enamored.
Amazon describes this cookbook as " David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today." The concept sounded great, but when I first got the cookbook and went through some of the recipes, not many of them appealed to me. Not sure what I thought they were lacking or where the disconnect was, but I didn't bookmark anything. And My Paris Kitchen went back into the piles of cookbooks litering stacked neatly around my home. It wasn't until I picked the book up again to participate in @rainydaybites cookbook challenge (you can find it at #rainydaybitescookbookclub on Instagram) that I found recipes that I thought worked with my palate and cooking challenges (which these days means something simple to make after work or limited time on weekends). But I think it was actually "reading" this cookbook that made me want to make the dishes David presents us.
This cookbook is subtitled "Recipes and Stories" and David definitely tells stories. Each chapter, each recipe is filled with memories of an ingredient used, when a dish was first encountered, shopped for, or served. Those that like to read cookbooks will enjoy this cookbook as most of it is written in narrative form. It took me a while to even think about making a recipe as there was so much interesting stuff to read.
There is a nice long introduction (10 pages) with cute little photos of either David, Paris or food. It gives you a sense of David and the recipes he offers here. There is an ingredients section which is wonderful to read. It's not about strange ingredients...David tells about how he shops for eggs in the market or gives you a tip that mustard loses it's "oomph" after a jar is opened. There is also an equipment section which again, reads more like David is talking to you about what pans he uses and why than just spouting basic info. Standard chapters (titles given in French as is every recipe title). There might be some hard to find items for folks not near a gourmet grocery store. Recipes seem easy to follow. There is a Sources section. 100 recipes, 352 pages. There are lots of photos though not a photo of every recipe (the photos are not the slick glossy magazine type, more homey, mouthwatering type).
Recipes to Try (chapter titles in italics):
Appetizers: India Cheese Bread; Hummus; Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce; Egyptian Spiced Nut Mix
First Courses: Leeks with Mustard Bacon Vinaigrette; Raw Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing; Frisee Salad with Bacon, Egg, and Garlic Toasts; French Onion Soup
Main Courses: Parisian Gnocchi; Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwich; Potato, Feta, and Basil Tortilla; Chicken Pot Parmentier; Chicken with Mustard; Chicken Lady Chicken; Chicken in Red Wine Sauce; Caramel Pork Ribs; Smoky Barbecue-Style Pork; Belgian Beef Stew with Beer and Spice Bread; Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries
Sides: Butternut Squash Crumble; Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat; Green Beans with Snail Butter; Dukkah-Roasted Cauliflower; Lemon-Pistachio Israeli CousCous; Panisse Puffs
Desserts: Coffee Creme Brulee; Spiced Speculoos Flan; Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse; Warm Chocolate Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce; Madeleines; Chocolate-Dulce De Leche Tart; Duck Fat Cookies; Apricot Crumble Tart
Pantry: Poached Eggs; Mayonnaise; Vinaigrette
This is one of those cookbooks that you don't just flip through looking for recipes to try. You take it to bed and get lost in Davids world of cooking. You might even find yourself thinking you might need to make a trip to Paris. I'd recommend this book for that reason alone to those that like to delve into how and why someone cooks. The recipes are just a bonus.