Cookbook Night Vol. II

Last year I wrote about Cookbook Night, a day/night when my great friend Tiffiny and I pick a cookbook we’ve not tried, spend all day making many dishes out of the cookbook, then have people over to gorge on the new recipes. We’ve been doing this for a while; it’s a day the two of us can hang out in the kitchen, catch up, laugh a lot and, well, cook up a storm. The actual night is casual. We use paper plates and disposable flatware, for instance…. though somehow we still end up massacring the kitchen. All told, it’s a wonderful time with a lot of great conversation and much food and drink being consumed.

We usually do two of these a year but given my ‘one armed status’ (see here) this is probably our only cookbook night of 2014. (We did have a great canning and preserving day earlier in the summer, when I didn’t look like Robocop. We made homemade worcesterhire sauce, some hellacious pickles and Caramelized Pineapple in Tequila… oh my is that good.) For this particular cookbook night, we chose My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Lebovitz is a wonderful writer, I highly recommend both the book and his website!

As I am still operating at less than full speed, there will be less writing and more photos in this post (I hear some cheers out there) with links to many of the recipes. Thanks to my buddy Chris for the great photos! Thanks also to the various blogs I am accessing for recipes, including Mr. Lebovitz himself.





We tried a variety of appetizers, served cocktail party style with everyone standing out back. All the apps were terrific.

In the first picture below, along with Tiffiny’s wonderful cheese plate, you see crostini spread with Homemade Goat Cheese, topped with Slow Roasted Tomatoes. This was a favorite of a number of people.  

Next is a Duck Terrine (kind of a pate) that was incredible. I’d never before made a pate and truth be told, my buddy Chris did most of the work. It sits for a few days so we made it a few nights before. It was a lot of work but not difficult work so don’t be scared. Try it sometime! It was delicious, filled with duck and pork and many other wonderful ingredients. Also served on crostini with an excellent mustard, and pickles, this Duck Terrine will impress even the most jaded foodie.

Another highlight of the night was the Artichoke Tapenade. Tapenades are a breeze, btw. You throw olives and whatever else you want into a food processor, chop it up, let it sit, then dive in. If you like olives, learn to make tapenade! 5 easy minutes of your time, max.

Recipes under each photo.

Goat cheese
Crostini with Homemade Herbed Goat Cheese and Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

 Cherry Tomato Crostini with Herbed Homemade Goat Cheese recipe, click here.

Duck Terrine

Duck Terrine recipe, click here.

Artichoke Tapenade

Artichoke Tapenade recipe, click here

Oh and this was the aftermath of the cocktail hour. Note the rag on the floor, my way of cleaning the floor. To quote the late, great Joan Rivers, “If God had wanted me to bend over, He’d have put diamonds on the floor.” My version of her joke would I guess be Mac-N-Cheese on the floor.




Tiffiny made a terrific Gazpacho from the book. I loved this very, very much.




We did three salads for the first seated course: Salad with Bacon, Egg and Garlic Toasts; Celery Root Remolaude and a Grated Carrot Salad. The first is a french classic, normally served with frisee, which was nowhere to be found! So Tiffiny did a beautiful adaptation. I myself can’t get enough of Celery Root Remo, as I like to call it, another french classic served everywhere in Paris, so I made Lebovitz’s version. And the carrot salad was a lovely, healthy alternative to many heavy dishes before and after.

As a palate cleaner, I made a weird and wonderful Gin and Tonic Sorbet, a recipe my dear friend Janet sent me, knowing how much I would love it. Props to my best friend Mark who stepped out of his Hamburger Helper comfort zone and prepped the sorbet. I will be making this sorbet often.

Here you see Tiffiny’s gorgeous salad. Recipes below.

Salad with Bacon and Egg

Frisee Salad recipe, click here.

Gin and Tonic Sorbet

 Gin and Tonic Sorbet recipe click here.



We did two mains: Lebovitz’s wonderful Mustard Chicken and a french/asian take on BBQ ribs, Caramelized Pork Ribs. Photos and recipes of both below. The sides were Braised Vegetables served with Salsa Verde (perhaps my favorite, I could bathe in the salsa verde), Lebovitz’s amazing rendition of sautéed green beans and a scalloped potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic! People went nuts over all of them, the ribs in particular. I myself could not get enough of the chicken!


Mustard Chicken and Caramelized Pork Ribs


Mustard Chicken

 For the Mustard Chicken recipe, click here.

For the Caramelized Pork Ribs, click here

Beans potatoes
Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic; Green Beans with “Snail Butter”

For the potato recipe, click here.

For the wonderful green beans, click here.


Braised Vegetables with Salsa Verde

 Scroll down for the vegetables and salsa verde recipe here.


Somehow, we never ended up taking pictures of dessert. We made two: Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse, which is as wonderful as it sounds, and an amazing Orange Pound Cake, half of which I think I ate myself. I swiped this photo of the mousse:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse,

Here is the recipe for the mousse. To. Die For.

Finally, a few more random photos. Try these recipes, though, or just get the book! You will be very happy with Sir Lebovitz’s food and writing.

Tiffiny’s Cheese Plate
lights 2
new lights in the back
“Zach’s Lights”
Tiffiny frying bacon for a number of the dishes
Caramelized Pork Ribs
cocktail hour

26 thoughts on “Cookbook Night Vol. II

  1. It was such a great day… even though it was a thousand degrees outside and we never made it out of the kitchen. All day long on Sunday, I was wishing I had a plate of left overs. Cooking with Tom was a delightful way to spend a Saturday.

  2. While my cookbook collection is overwhelming, your post makes me want to add one more to the collection! My guess is this is one book that will be much loved and well splattered in no time! Braised veg w/ salsa verde? I’m IN! Thanks for the post.

    1. Hey! Thanks for reading! 🙂 trust me… The salsa verde is incredible. And versatile. I’ve used variations on the herbs each time and it’s always terrific. Some Mint is a key, for me.

  3. I had a look through that book at Barnes & Noble, and I was very tempted. What a collection of delicious eats. Next time, you can invite me over, I’d love to help cook up a storm 🙂
    Great Blog, this is my first time here

  4. Howdy! Hi Tom, It’s Linda McMillan….take a moment and ponder…yes, an old neighborhood buddy. I happened on your great blog after I had dinner with Mary (Cat). She mentioned she had seen you recently and I told her that my husband and I saw your movie on one of our movie channels and we really liked it. I’m very proud of you, Tom! When I found your blog I couldn’t get out of the chair…I kept reading one entry after the next and love them all. When you talk about the old neighborhood and some adventures there I can see it all in my head. Now, as I sit here, at my desk, hungry and no time for lunch this entry pops up. Everything looks beyond delicious!!! Take care

    1. Linda!! You sure made my day. I think of you and the neighborhood often. I remember so fondly laughing for hours with you and Steph. I feel so blessed to be able to see Cat, we have fun together. Would be wonderful to see you too! Thanks for finding me.

  5. That’s it I’ve been drooling over this cookbook for months it is now a must buy. I love the idea for a cookbook night, something to think over and plan for next summer.

      1. I will definitely have to let you know and so far I have 1 cookbook from William Sonoma that I think would be a good one and I have a few dozen more that I’ve collected but not really used so any suggestions you have would be great because if anything I love collecting cookbooks.

          1. Oh my I am looking forward to that post and can’t wait to see what great cookbooks you suggest…..and yes I’m drooling over the keyboard as I type thinking of your soon to come post 🙂

  6. Wow it all looks SO amazing! I can’t wait to try them all…except the Gazpacho. I don’t like food that is typically hot to be served cold. I’m weird that way. Don’t like cold soups or pasta salad. But everything else has my mouth watering. Thank you so much for sharing the recipes

    1. Colleen! Understood. Pasta salad is something that always sounds so good to me in my head… mostly, I guess, because it has pasta, but I’ve never found one I liked. I have a similar issues with Chinese noodles… Because I love Italian noodle dishes so much, I’ve never liked food/pasta typically served with an Italian flair with Asian flavors. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  7. I made the terinne, the chicken dish and the potatoe dish for a dinner party yesterday and I have never had so many complements before. Each dish was perfect. I must by David’s book. Thank you for putting this together as it inspired me to try these recipes.

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