corn-167Imagine my surprise when Melissa Gray of NPR said she wanted to know the story of Corn Soufflé. How did a quintessentially American ingredient make it into a classic French preparation? Well, it happened this way: I was searching for soufflé ideas last summer for my book, “Soufflés,” part of The French Cook series published by Gibbs Smith. While shopping at one of our local farmers’ markets in Missoula, MT, fresh ears of corn caught my eye followed by jalapeño peppers, ripe red bell peppers, and cilantro. I thought: Why not put all these summery ingredients into a soufflé? I did, and the soufflé turned out to be one of my favorites in the book. You can listen to the NPR broadcast and find the recipe here. [...Read More]

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 E-Souffle-CoverI am thrilled to tell you that my new cookbook, “Soufflés,” is now available! It’s the third volume in The French Cook series from Gibbs Smith. The series celebrates the broad range of French cookery by focusing on single-subject volumes. “Soufflés” has color photographs throughout and features both savory and sweet soufflés along with a set of basic recipes including sauces to serve with several of the soufflés. Meyer Lemon Soufflés is one of my favorite recipes. You can prepare the batter a couple of hours ahead, divide it into ramekins, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Or you can freeze the filled unbaked ramekins and bake them within a week or two. Cooks who took my cooking classes at Rancho La Puerta in Mexico recently made these soufflés and they turned out great. [...Read More]

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Blueberry Scones 1st photoFor the past few posts I’ve been featuring recipes made by hand and not machine. The condo my wife and I rented in Oceanside, California, wasn’t equipped with either a food processor or an electric mixer. But I discovered very quickly that hands make great kitchen tools. The kitchen also lacked a smooth surface to knead dough or roll out piecrusts. To solve that problem, I bought a plastic cutting sheet that served very well for these purposes, and for kneading and shaping the dough for these incredibly tender scones. [...Read More]

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cheese-105Ah, a cheese soufflé! It puffs and rises majestically, sometimes even overflowing its baking dish, as in this photo by Kelly Gorham, who photographed me pulling the soufflé out of the oven the moment it was ready to serve. Kelly shot all the photos for  “Soufflés,” my brand new cookbook published by Gibbs Smith. You may be surprised to learn that soufflés are not difficult to make, and they are certainly not prima donnas of the kitchen. If you’ve ever made a mousse, or whipped whites for a meringue, or made a sponge cake, you already know how to make a soufflé. [...Read More]

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bakedbriochebouleI recently came across a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for no-knead brioche. How could that be, I wondered? Brioche, a classic French dough, gets its especially light and airy texture by vigorously beating and kneading softened butter into an eggy yeast dough. Since I’m staying in a condo with no fancy electric gadgets, I ran to the kitchen to make the brioche. [...Read More]

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CinnamonRollsWhile shopping at a farmer’s market in the San Diego area recently, I met a seller who offered samples of the plumpest darkest raisins I’d ever seen. The raisins were huge, the size of dried cherries, and they tasted of the sun. They were by far the best-tasting raisins I’d ever eaten. I bought a bag and began gobbling them down, but all of a sudden I stopped. [...Read More]

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