Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen Paperback – May 15 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers of Dusoulier's ebullient food blog, chocolateandzucchini.com, won't be disappointed by this wonderful mélange of new creations and old favorites. Dusoulier's charm lies in her culinary curiosity and enthusiasm, and she deftly conveys both through 75-plus recipes and narrative commentary. The 27-year-old Parisian arranges her book into three sections. The first, Simplicité (Simplicity), includes salads, sandwiches, savory tarts, soups and eggs. Part two is Invitation (Entertaining) and features recipes for hors d'oeuvres, "impromptu" dinners like Hand-Cut Steak Tartare, dinner party fare such as Comté Cheese Soufflés, buffet items and sides. The final portion concerns sweets, clearly Dusoulier's favorite. With scintillating recipes for cakes (Apricot and Pistachio Ricotta), tarts (Blueberry Amandine), desserts (Chocolate Hibiscus Crème Brûlée) and "sweet bites" (Orange Flower Shuttle Cookies), this section brims with innovation. Overall, newcomers to French cuisine will learn to make some classics, like Pistou Soup and Beef Bourguignon, while those seeking to expand their repertoires will enjoy the author's idiosyncratic creations. Dishes like Broccoli and Apple Quiche (born out of a "greenmarket run one fall morning") and, of course, Chocolate & Zucchini Cake (which may sound "a little odd," but is "surprisingly successful" and features "real teamwork at play") are just some of Dusoulier's delightful and unusual offerings. (May)
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“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."
“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.”
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Top Customer Reviews
The recipes are well-laid out and well-referenced, methods are easy to follow, variations and substitutions are noted and wine pairing suggestions are also given.
I'm sure this is one cookbook what will be used over and over again. There are recipes for all occasions, from quick, simple snacks to sophisticated dinner party dishes, and lots of delicious everyday recipes as well. The essence of Clotilde's recipes is that they are enjoyable to make and to eat, especially when shared with family and friends.
The first recipe I'm cooking out of my new favourite cookbook? The Chocolate and Zucchini Cake, of course!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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...
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.