And You Think Your Kitchen is Small: Discover Rachel Khoo

by Anne Maxfield on April 29, 2013

Accidental Locavore Croque MadameAs you may have noticed recently, the Accidental Locavore has become a big fan of Rachel Khoo’s. It started completely by accident, watching the Cooking Channel. If you don’t know her, the show is Little Paris Kitchen and she’s British, living, working and cooking in a tiny Paris apartment.

Watching what she manages to cook, with just a hot plate, a toaster oven and an old le Creuset green cocotte in a kitchen probably no bigger than a square meter, is amazing enough, but the food looks delicious, uncomplicated and like something you’d probably have most of the ingredients for already.

Accidental Locavore Little Paris KitchenJust as we were filling up the DVR with episodes, hoping to replicate some of the dishes, she came out with a cookbook based on the show. Since I’ve been on kind of a no-more-new-cookbooks thing (witness my office overflowing with books), I was trying really hard not to add this to the collection. Then, one of the blogs I follow, Lost in Cheeseland (have to love it for the title alone) had an interview with her and a book give-away. Well, that was a guilt-free way of possibly acquiring the book, so I eagerly commented and days later The Little Paris Kitchen was being fought over by my husband and me.

It’s a charming book and the recipes are easy to follow. When she takes liberties with French classics, it’s always interesting, rather than “why on earth would you mess with that?” Case in point, her Croque Madame Muffins, which I’ve made a couple of times already. She has it under “Snacks” (something very un-French) but I’ve made it for Sunday brunch and it’s delicious! Might even inspire me to go out and buy a muffin tin.

Accidental Locavore Pot au FeuThe other recipe I’ve tackled was the Pot au Feu. Since I had some wonderful, local, grass-fed oxtails and beef shanks from Brykill Farms, it seemed like the perfect use for them. I added cabbage and potatoes, which may or may not be authentic, but sure was tasty!

Prep and cooking times are a big help. The photos are lovely as are her illustrations. There’s a guide to her favorite places in Paris at the end. My only complaint about the book is the way it’s ordered: Everyday Cooking, Snack Time, Summer Picnics, etc. I still prefer to have things grouped into categories  so all the fish dishes are together etc., but that’s a small complaint as the index is comprehensive.

I don’t know about you, but for me the sign of a good cookbook is wanting (and making) more than one recipe in the book. God only knows why I don’t just scan and save the one recipe from the books I have and deaccession the stacks, but I don’t (although it’s an awfully good idea-stay tuned). There are still a lot of intriguing things to try in The Little Paris Kitchen, one of which is the boeuf bourguignon with dumplings made from baguettes. If this stupid weather doesn’t get warmer, it may be on the menu this weekend!

 

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel Khoo May 1, 2013 at 5:34 am

Hello Anne, thanks for the kind words! Glad you’re enjoying the recipes. RK

Anne Maxfield April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Sounds great! I think the next on my list is going to be a beef Bourgone version of her coq au vin on skewers.

Ann April 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Hi locavore- just to let you know, her recipe for the french savory cake is terrific. I have made it for 4 different times swapping out the prunes, cheese, & nuts with other ingredients it comes great every time. My fave was with Portuguese sausage, sauted shallots, toasted pumpkin seeds, mozz. & parm. cheese, and roasted grape tomatoes. I found a strong flavored sausage or good ham works best.

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