It is (unsurprisingly) full of French recipes, many quite traditional, and many involving fois gras or duck liver. This weekend I whipped up a Cauliflower and Broccoli Gratin. Not quite as intended in the book, I made quite a few adjustments due to my usual issue: sheer laziness. But the result was delicious nonetheless. (You should probably also know that the original recipe called for a pound (a POUND!) each of broccoli and cauliflower, as well as slices of baked ham, so it would be a whole dinner, for certain, or one of the most elaborate, substantial sides known to man).
Verdict: I need to use this cookbook more. Why don't I use this cookbook more?
BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER GRATIN
2 C broccoli
2 C cauliflower
2 T butter
2 T plus 2 t flour
1 1/3 C milk
2 egg yolks
2/3 C cheese (the recipe called for gruyere, I used 1/3 C cheddar, 1/3 C parm) PLUS extra for sprinkling
about 1/4 C bread crumbs
salt and pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
Set a large pot of water to boil (add a sprinkle of salt). Cut your broccoli and cauliflower into florets. When the water boils, drop the broccoli and cauliflower in and blanche for 1 minute (blanche just means let it cook in the boiling water). Then quickly remove it. You might even want to shock it by quickly putting it in ice water. Set it aside. It might be easiest to just put them in the baking dish you've already prepared by greasing with butter.
Preheat your oven to 400 F. In another pot (or you know, the same one if you washed it first), melt the butter. Add the flour and stir (or whisk) until the flour is all sludgy and golden (you know, make a roux). Very slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. If you add the milk quickly, you will have lots of lumps, so go very slowly.
Remove the pan from the heat and add your egg yolks one at a time, again, whisking constantly (this time to avoid making scrambled eggs.) Add the cheese and keep stirring! Add salt and pepper to taste. You really do have to taste because how much salt you need really depends on how salty your cheese was. Add the sprinkle of nutmeg and you're set!
Pour your sauce evenly all over the broccoli and cauliflower. Then top that with your breadcrumbs mixed with the extra sprinkling cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until thoroughly warm, golden and bubbly. I made mine in the toaster oven.