Jacques Pépin’s Salade à la Crème
His Limited-Edition Signed Print Called
In another one of his ever-charming Facebook videos taped in the kitchen of his Connecticut home, Jacques Pépin prepares a simple salad in the style of his maman, using cream instead of oil for the dressing. In it he makes the point that many are alarmed by using cream, but he notes that oil is actually much higher in calories… It reminded me of a hilarious and now famous quote by his meilleure amie, Julia Child, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
The salad is delightful in an old-fashioned French way, and since the dressing is very simple, I like to serve interesting salad greens with it. These were Radicchio, Petite Red Oak, Green Tango, Green and Red Little Gem.
Jacques began painting in the 1960s when he moved to New York City to work in the restaurant business. He enrolled at Columbia University to improve his language skills and also signed up for an elective in painting.
On The Artistry of Jacques Pépin, he offers some of his original artwork and signed, fine-art prints for sale. A portion of sales go to support culinary education and sustainability.
Inspired by the Chef/Artist, I decided to photograph the salad in the style of a still life painting with roses, including one of his pieces from my growing collection.
Jacques’s Salade à la Crème Recipe
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White King Salmon
Lobster Butter Sauce
Gnocchi, Edamame, Roasted Maitake
White King Salmon Sashimi: Nobu-Style
Jalapeño, Garlic, Cilantro, Lemon Ponzu
White king salmon are special, and rare. About 5% of king salmon do not have the ability to metabolize and store the red-orange pigment, carotene, in their muscle cells.
In the past it was believed that white and red king salmon consumed notably different diets, leading to their flesh color distinction. Scientists now believe that variation in flesh color is controlled by genetics. White king salmon cannot metabolize these pigments from their food sources, leaving their flesh white. (from Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game).
There is no way for the Alaskan fishermen to know if their catch is white until it is sliced open. Because of its precious nature, much of this treasure doesn’t make it to the lower 48. Who could blame them for keeping it and enjoying on the spot?
The white kings that do make it to the lower 48 are highly prized for their flavor, texture, and unique color – and are often offered as a pricey nightly special in many high-end restaurants.
It is not only the pure ivory color that is extraordinary. These fillets taste very different than red-orange flesh king salmon. The cooked flesh is silky, and tastes fine and delicate, more mild in an elegant way. It is curiously soft and buttery.
Sashimi style white king has even more appealingly complex qualities – it is simply luscious with sweet, clean, buttery, and moist characteristics.
White King Salmon Recipes
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Cauliflower and Aged Gouda Soufflé
These delightful soufflés are perfect for a springtime luncheon! 36 month-aged Gouda from the Netherlands adds nutty, butterscotch flavors and an interesting salt crystal crunchy texture. This flavorful cheese pairs well with a full-bodied complex Alsatian Pinot Gris.
The soufflés are super easy to prepare, and bake up to a puffed golden brown in 35 minutes. Served with a pretty side salad, they make a lovely light lunch…or easily double the recipe and serve them on a platter as part of a buffet because, as a bonus, the soufflés hardly deflate so they are excellent for entertaining.
Cauliflower Soufflé Recipe
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Maman’s Cheese Soufflé by Jacques Pépin
A little while back, I came across the most charming video of Jacques Pépin with Kristen Milgore demonstrating his mother’s easy cheese soufflé recipe. Their camaraderie was endearing, the unstuffy homey cooking style was refreshing, the rustic soufflé was mouthwatering…and they enjoyed the finished product with a tumbler of chilled white wine. I simply could not, not try it!
Jacques tells the story of Maman’s Cheese Soufflé:
“When my mother got married, she was 17 and my father was 22. She did not know how to cook, except for a few simple dishes that she had learned from her mother. Yet she was willing and fearless.
My father liked cheese soufflé, so my mother graciously obliged. She had never made a soufflé before, but a friend told her that it consisted of a white sauce (bechamel), grated cheese and eggs — a cinch!
To the bechamel, that staple of the French home cook, she added her grated Swiss cheese and then cracked and added one egg after another to the mixture, stirred it well, poured it into a gratin dish, and baked it in the oven.
Viola! No one had told her that the eggs should be separated, with the yolks added to the base sauce and the whites whipped to a firm consistency and then gently folded into the mixture.
Ignorance is bliss, and in this case it was indeed: The soufflé rose to a golden height and become a family favorite. This is a great recipe; it can be assembled hours or even a day ahead, and although it is slightly less airy than a standard soufflé, it is delicious.”
Maman’s Cheese Soufflé by Jacques Pépin
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