Last weekend, my husband stopped by a wonderful neighborhood bookstore. Many close-knit communities still cherish and proudly support these small treasures.
Stores where a bell greets you as you walk through a well-worn door. With their well-versed curators, if you share what interests you, they will put in your hands the perfect book.
As usual, my husband knows… a cookbook for me. I love them all.
So the lady recommended a cookbook by a new French chef, whose name I had never heard before and she underscored is taking Paris by storm.
Of course, I was so happy to have it in my hands.
Just in the first few lines, the author narrates how he left France and never look back, and how France came back to him through his wife and kids. From very humble beginnings, he returned to his birth country, during the some of the worst economic years and financial crisis the world has seen, to risk it all and to open his very own restaurant.
Frenchie (echoing his French origin) has been a nickname he gained working in the kitchens of world renowned restaurants. Many assumed that Frenchie was his real name.
His success has been unprecedented. No only did he take Paris by storm, but to get a reservation in his restaurant one may want to start right now and be patient. From what I understand is a long wait. Weeks.
The recipes in this book (his first one) are simple. The way I love to cook.
Forever loyal to panna cottas, on page I found a Chamomile Panna Cotta which got me right away. I drink Chamomile often, and as you found out from other posts, at home a good panna cotta is always a yes.
I can only say, sit tight as you and I will be reproducing many of Frenchie’s seasonal repertoire in the coming weeks.
Refreshing, delicate, inviting. Bring your spouses and little ones to the kitchen! C’est la perfection! By the way, his real name? Chef Greg Marchand.
- For the Panna Cotta
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 3 tbps granulated sugar
- 1tsp crumbled dried chamomile or chamomile tea
- 1½ sheet (6 grams) gelatin
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- For the Citrus Soup
- 2 small grapefruits
- 2 oranges
- ½ sheet (2 grams) gelatin
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp honey
- Combine the cream, sugar, chamomile, and vanilla seeds and pod in a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let infuse for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile put the gelatin in a bowl of cold water and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the gelatin and squeeze out the excess water. Heat the milk in a small saucepan, just until warm, then add the gelatin and stir to dissolve it. Pour the milk into the infused cream and stir well. Pour into four molds or ramekins.Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- The citrus soup. Juice 1 of the grapefruits and both oranges; reserve ½ cup of each type of fruit juice. Quarter the kumquats lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place them in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. With a sharp knife, peel the remaining grapefruit and the clementines, removing the skin and all the bitter white pith. Then cut between the membrane to remove the citrus segments. Combine with the kumquats in a bowl. Put the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water and let stand for 10 minutes or until softened.
- Combine the orange and grapefruit juice, cinnamon, and honey in a small nonreactive saucepan and heat until warm. Drain the gelatin, squeeze out the excess water, and add to the juice, stirring to dissolve it. Let cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled juice over the fruit segments and refrigerate until chilled.
- To serve unmold the panna cottas. Pour the citrus soup around. Enjoy!