le 1 mai 2012
This book was my introduction to Jean-Georges. I bought it because I love Thai cuisine, and this book promised a sort of Thai-Western fusion, I guess one would call it. I have to agree with other reviewers that some of the recipes have lots of ingredients, some hard to find if you're in a non-Asian focused area (as I am, in the south of France), and one has to substitute or omit, or forget the recipe entirely. For example, yesterday I could not find fresh cilantro anywhere, and it is too early in the year for my garden. So I substituted dried basil in the chicken paillard with Napa cabbage salad, and it was delicious that way, although I wished I'd been able to find the cilantro. There also was no Napa cabbage, and since I've been using a lot of regular cabbage recently, I used fresh lettuce from my garden, torn into small pieces, and this worked very nicely. I've made this recipe, the ginger-mushroom broth over scallops (again using dried basil, adding other vegetables, and sauteeing the scallops rather than warming them in the oven because they were frozen when I began), and the curried artichoke hearts. All were excellent. I've read the entire cookbook, mentally enjoying the flavors and acknowledging that I will modify substantially each recipe as I go because I don't have the ingredients or I just don't want to make a fuss for a tablespoon of something. And rather than blend a marinade or make a syrup, I will probably just chop or use the ingredients straight, without pre-cooking them. I'll get a slightly different result, but I will be pleased with the result and appreciative of the inspiration. This is a book for an experienced and adventuresome cook who isn't afraid to play with things. Taken this way, it is superb.