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Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen [Anglais] [Broché]

Clotilde Dusoulier

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Description de l'ouvrage

15 mai 2007

Clotilde Dusoulier is a twenty-seven-year-old Parisian who adores sharing her love of all things food-related—recipes, inspirations, restaurant experiences, and above all the pleasure of cooking with the fresh ingredients found in her local Montmartre shops. But her infatuation with food was born not in her mother’s Parisian kitchen, but in San Francisco, where she moved after college and discovered a new world of tastes. When she returned to her beloved France, her culinary exploits inspired her popular and critically acclaimed blog, ChocolateandZucchini.com.

In her first book, Dusoulier provides a glimpse into the life of a young Parisian as she savors all that the city has to offer and shares her cooking philosophy in the form of more than 75 recipes that call for healthy ingredients (such as zucchini) and more indulgent tastes (such as chocolate). The Los Angeles Times calls her recipes "simple, charming, and fun."

Appetizers such as Cumin Cheese Puffs, sandwiches and tarts like Tomato Tatin, soups like Chestnut and Mushroom, main dishes including Mustard Chicken Stew, and desserts like Chocolate and Caramel Tart can all be found alongside menus for entertaining, as well as tips for throwing cocktail or dinner parties with French flair. Chocolate & Zucchini is the book for anyone who has journeyed to Paris and can still recall the delicious flavors and aromas—or for those of us who only dream about them.


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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Simplicité
SIMPLICITY


You know how it is. Whenever you’re at a party with people you don’t know, someone is bound to pop the question, “So, what do you do?” I have to say I expand upon the subject with infinitely more animation now that my work matches my inner wants and needs, and when I do, my interlocutor unfailingly turns to Maxence with twinkling eyes to exclaim,“Wow, it must be an endless display of gastronomic prowess at your place!”

Full disclosure: not really. We eat well, that much is true, fresh vegetables from the greenmarket and quality goods from the shops around us, but the day–to–day menus are simple, and on weeknights we rely heavily on what we call picnic dinners: a bit of cheese from the cheese shop, a modest selection from the charcuterie, or leftover bits and pieces from the previous day’s cooking. Add a hunk of bread from the bakery, a green salad or a bowl of soup, and you’ve got yourself a quickly assembled and heartily enjoyed meal.

And on other nights, when inspiration propels me into the kitchen, it’s with an ample measure of improvisation that I cook, rummaging through the contents of the fridge, and putting together dishes that capture the day's mood and weather. This section holds a few favorites for simple meals, around which I’ll weave variations to use what’s on hand.


SALADE DE POULET, PÊCHES & NOISETTES
Chicken Salad with Peaches and Hazelnuts


When I still worked in an office — before I joined the pajama workforce — I often brought my own lunch. It was a habit I had formed when I lived in the States and this was a widespread custom: I would join my coworkers in the bright orange company kitchen, and we would munch on our respective meals over a game of Boggle (I never once won, but it did enrich my English vocabulary with three– and four–letter words).

At my French office it was less common, and most of my colleagues walked to a nearby bistro for the plat du jour. This was quite pleasant and I joined them from time to time to catch up on office gossip, but for reasons of nutrition, cost, and variety, I still enjoyed putting together my little picnic in the morning.

In the summer, I liked to pack colorful salads and escape to the nearby Parc Montsouris at lunchtime. As I entered the park I would pass by a gastronomic restaurant set in a handsome pavilion and pore over the daily menu in lieu of an appetizer. I would walk on to sit by the little lake, where a handful of ducks swam about, in the vague hope that someone might throw stale bits of baguette their way.

A fork in my right hand, a book in the left, and the container of salad propped up against me with my left wrist — a technique that took years to refine — I would dig in happily, comfortable in my delicious solitude. And after a little post–lunch walk I would return to the office, refreshed and sated.

This salad is a staple from those days, and I still prepare it now for quick lunches, simple dinners, or party buffets. It is an excellent use for leftover roasted chicken, which I like to buy at a rotisserie on rue des Abbesses, where the farm-raised chickens are plump and delectable, and where the lady looks strikingly like the famous French actress Marie–Anne Chazel.

• 3 ripe yellow peaches, about 7 ounces each (substitute yellow nectarines)
• 3 tablespoons hazlenut oil (substitute walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 pound cooked chicken meat cut into strips, from a store-bought rotisserie chicken or a home-roasted chicken, about 3 cups
• 2/3 cup shelled hazlenuts, toasted, husked, and roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves (substitute fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves)
• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• 8 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves, about 8 ounces

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 to 8 as a starter


1. Peel the peaches: this is easier if you blanch them first by putting them in a pan of simmering water for a minute. (If you use nectarines, it is unnecessary to peel them.)

2. In a medium salad bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add the chicken, peaches, hazelnuts, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add the spinach leaves and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to a day; it gets better as it sits. Remove from the fridge half an hour before eating.

NOTE If you prepare the salad in advance, the vinegar will wilt the greens a little. It will still taste good, but may not look as presentable: if you make it ahead for company, add the spinach at the last minute.

VARIATION Use fresh (or dried) apricots and almonds instead of peaches and hazelnuts.

WINE WEIN & SEKTGUT THIELEN MERLEN FETTGARTEN 2003 RIESLING SPATLESE (Germany, Mosel–Saar–Ruwer, white) A light–bodied wine with stone fruit flavors that reinforce the peach in the salad. Excellent balance between sweetness, to complement the slightly bitter nuts, and acidity, to stand up to the balsamic vinegar.


Invitation
ENTERTAINING

While I love eating out with friends, having them at home is something else entirely: the atmosphere is more intimate, you get to choose your own musical ambiance, and you're free to partake in the kind of conversation you wouldn’t dream of letting anyone overhear in a crowded bistro. Of course, that means no eavesdropping for you, either, but you can't win on all counts.

Whether you are inviting friends for a simple apéritif, putting together an impromptu dinner, planning a more elaborate menu, or throwing a party, this section offers tips and recipes to make the occasion stress–free and successful.


GOUGÈRES AU CUMIN
Cumin Cheese Puffs


The classic version calls for cheese as the only flavoring, but I like to use cumin in mine: this complements the fruitiness of the cheese remarkably well and adds a welcome piquancy. Serve with an apértif drink, or use the same batter to make large gougères (about 3 inches in diameter) and serve as a first course, with a salad.

• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1 cup flour, sifted
• 4 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Comté or Gruyère, about 5 ounces (substitute a good Swiss cheese)

Makes about 40 gougères
Chilling time: 30 minutes


1. Measure all the ingredients before you start. Combine the butter, salt, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium–low heat. Remove from heat, add the flour all at once, and stir quickly with a wooden spoon unitl well blended. Return the pan to medium–low heat and keep stirring until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

2. Let cool for 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, stirring well between each addition, until incorporated. (What you have just made is a pâte à choux.) Sprinkle with cumin and pepper and fold in the cheese. The batter will be thick. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to a day.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the batter from the fridge, and use two teaspoons to shape small balls of batter (about 1 inch in diameter) that you will plop onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each. If you have to work in batches, cover the batter and return it to the fridge.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffy and golden — however much you want to peek inside, do not open the oven door during the first 10 minutes of baking, or the gougères will not rise well. Turn off the oven, open the door just a crack, and leave the gougères in for another 5 minutes. (This helps prevent an abrupt temperature change, which would cause the gougères to deflate and nobody wants that.) Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes and serve warm, or let cool and serve at room temperature.

NOTE You can freeze the gougères for up to a month and reheat them (no thawing necessary) in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes. They won't be as moist as freshly baked ones, but they are very convenient to have on hand for unexpected guests.

VARIATIONS Replace the cumin with caraway seeds, rosemary, or paprika, or omit the spices altogether.

Revue de presse

“Clotilde Dusoulier, a young French woman who discovered her love for food in the United States, shares with readers her lighthearted, enthusiastic, and thoroughly modern approach to a very personal culinary passion.”
—Susan Herrmann Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin and The French Farmhouse Cookbook

"This collection of remarkably accomplished recipes, from market-fresh salads to indulgent desserts, includes a soupçon of tasty tales and tips from Clotilde’s Parisian kitchen, and is sure to inspire readers and cooks no matter where they live."
—David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop and Room For Dessert

"Is there any food lover who doesn't dream about living, cooking, and eating in Paris? This charming homage to French home cooking feeds that fantasy with a feast."
—Melissa Clark

“Clotilde Dusoulier’s comfortable, homey food has just the right amount of authentic French flair, and her stories of life in Paris speak to food’s universal ability to bring people together and make them happy. Of course, being transported to Paris never hurts either.”
—Dave Lieberman

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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  69 commentaires
56 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Downhome Paris 3 juin 2007
Par Ronald L. James - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
"It's great to nudge yourself out of your comfort zone, as that's how you'll grow as a cook, but don't take things (or yourself) too seriously: play with your food, and do whatever feels right and enjoyable. Something humble and simple, whipped up lightheartedly, will always taste better than an elaborate dish prepared by a stressed-out, cranky cook." -Clotilde Dusoulier

That's on page xxi in the section 'My Cooking Philosophy" of the book "Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen. If that way of thinking and approaching food appeals to you I know you will enjoy this little gem of a book! Trust me. It's innovative, down-to-earth, fun, yet practical too, with the occasional 'leap of faith' e.g. the chocolate and zucchini cake.

This book presents what a talented and creative lover of food might very well "throw together" at home in Paris and encourages you to do the same, no matter where you live. I wanted to write a review the day I received it (yes, I've followed her Blog for quite a while) for it seemed already familiar, like an old friend dropping by who had been on a journey and was now in my home. BUT to review a cookbook without trying out the actual recipes did not seem logical to me.

It's a fun read with great advice and yes, you can shut your eyes and pretend you do live in Paris (yet when you open them it's best to have some food sitting there)! Without too much effort you can please yourself and freinds with "downhome Paris" cooking in no time. To start - the Chocolate and Zucchini cake I found was best if you did NOT tell your friends the name of said cake..... just offer it casually with a side of ice cream or gelato or just as is and watch them ask for another piece. I made it with butter but Clotilde also suggests the peppery undertone of olive oil. I appreciate the optional method being given. Trust me, it's delicious!

The Honey Spice Loaf, perfect for Fall was also great in the Summer! If you like molasses and spice cookies, you'll love this loaf. Clotilde suggests candied ginger as an option and I heartedly agree. It really added a nice texture and added flavor kick.

The Curried Turkey Sandwich is wonderful and is made without mayo. I've nothing against mayo but this was nice and lighter in flavor and fat calories!

Baby Spinach and Shrimp Chilled Soup is light but satisfying and oh so easy. It calls for kefir but buttermilk (which is what I had on hand) may be used.

Lavender Apricot Compote was sublime. Apricots are in season now and I have lavender growing in my yard. No, I don't live in some exotic locale - I'm in Little Rock AR which is too far from Paris but I can pretend otherwise and enjoy the process with the help of this book! If you don't have apricots Clotilde suggests peaches or plums.

Yes, I have enjoyed everything I've made so far (there are more) and did not find anything difficult to put together. Some things may not appeal to some readers such as "Sardine and Tomato Club Sandwich" but I found it delicious and actually something you would secretly throw together when no one was looking and you were maybe home alone, only to discover you had a new delicious offering worth adding to your repertoire!!

I almost forgot to mention that Clotilde also gives wine recommendations for all her recipes - an unexpected plus for such a small cookbook. If any of the above appealed to you, buy this book (you cannot beat the price), read it, enjoy it and cook from it - you won't be sorry and hopefully you'll find a new friend in Clotilde and her enthusiastic approach to eating.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Buy this book! 25 mai 2007
Par Soozie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I don't buy many cookbooks these days, relying on old standbys for measurements or proportions, and the web for new ideas. I've been a fan of Clotilde's blog for years, where I can enjoy a walk through Paris anytime, a visit to an interesting Paris restaurant, or sit by her virtual side as she invents a new dish. I have long admired her devotion to unusual ingredients, or usual ones in unusual combinations. So buying her book was an act of loyalty. But I'm so glad I did! Before I got it home I had taken a peek at the photos and had in mind trying several of her recipes with ingredients I already had on hand -- like the chicken and nectarine salad, mushroom and cheese sandwiches, and mustard chicken stew. I figure any cookbook that provides a single "keeper" is a winner, and I already have three from this one. (The very chocolate cookies will have to wait for a trip to the store!) Clotilde has honed her skills in the kitchen and with the English written word for years, and it shows in this wonderful book. Unpretentious and accessible, all while being inventive and interesting. What can I say? Buy this book!
21 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful book! 15 mai 2007
Par Annette - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I just received this from Amazon yesterday, and have to say it is already one of my favorite cookbooks (and I have MANY)! I love to cook, love Paris, and have enjoyed the author's foodblog, so I've been looking forward to the printing of this book. It hasn't disappointed. Clotilde's conversational writing style makes me feel as if I'm sitting in the kitchen with a close friend. This is the first cookbook I've ever had the urge to read from cover to cover like a novel. I tried the first recipe in the book, Chicken Salad with Peaches & Hazelnuts, for dinner last night and loved the combination of flavors and the simplicity of preparation. Can't wait to read further and get back in the kitchen to try more of the yummy-sounding recipes!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I've been cooking and baking through these recipes for months--and I love it! 6 mai 2010
Par mecaks - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I was brought up in the kitchen and watching Julia Child and used Moosewood cookbooks and lots of ethnic cookbooks. I love Clotilde's Chocolate & Zucchini a lot and have read it through like a book! I haven't been able to do the wine pairings though...no source for the wines. It's a small book without the stay-open features of a regular cookbook but the binding has held up despite lots of back foldings to keep it open. Great pics of the final results fill the book. I've had great success with all the recipes.

The oeuf cocotte is a great way to start a holiday morning; I served the Olive Tapenade at a party and everyone loved it...(and these were mid-westerners). Ditto the Gougères au cumin and Pistachio pesto. I took her advice about a dinner party and made the Mustard Chicken Stew and it disappeared. The desserts are great (savory and not overly sweet). Pain d'épice, Yogurt cake, Crème Brulée with hibiscus (be careful not to boil the milk and cream at all or it will curdle). The Mango Ricotta with Macadamia Crunch I served at a dinner party is still being raved about...so enjoy, enjoy! I bought some lavender and am looking forward to making the apricot compote...
19 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 I wish I liked it 29 avril 2009
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I have followed Clotilde's blog for years. I enjoy her writing. I think she has interesting and creative ideas, but the book was a flop.

It's beautifully written, I love the photos, but of the recipes I tried,(pear and blue cheese madelines, a cookie made w/ orange flower water and mustard chicken) none of them came out well enough to be counted a success. They were all edible, but not very good. I gave my copy away.
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