Lee's Kitchen: ‘A Grandfather’s Lessons’ the recipe for success with sausage

It’s time, again, to talk about a good cookbook to buy for Christmas or Hanukkah.

This one, however, could be called a cookbook for the ages if those ages happen be a grandfather who is in his very early eighties and a granddaughter who is barely a teenager.

Jacques Pepin, the pride of Madison and much of the world, wrote a cookbook for, and with, his daughter, Shorey.

The first time I met Jacques and his wife, Gloria, was at a party at Flying Point, my friend Francine Farkas Sears’ house in Stony Creek. Bowled over by actually talking to Jacques Pepin, I mentioned how much I loved the shows with Claudine, his daughter, pretending that she didn’t know how to cook. With a twinkle in his eye, he laughed and said, “She really doesn’t know how to cook.”

Perhaps she couldn’t back then, a couple of decades ago, but she does now. She cooks for and with her husband, Rollie, a chef and professor at Johnson and Wales in Providence and for their daughter, Jacques’ granddaughter, Shorey.

The book, “A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey,” is a real keeper. Both Jacques and Shorey write and cook together for this lovely book, which should be on everyone’s wish list this holiday season.

Did I mention that the recipes are terrific? Here is just one.

Sausage, Potatoes, Onions and Mushrooms en Papillote

From “A Grandfather’s Lessons” by Jacques Pepin (Houghton Mifflin, New York, 2017)


Yield: Serves 4

4 mildly hot Italian sausages (about 1 pound)

1 10-ounce piece kielbasa, preferably Polish, cut into 4 pieces

8 small Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 10 ounces), washed

2 carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 3 pieces

4 large pearl onions (about 6 ounces), peeled

8 baby portabella (brown cremini) mushrooms (about 6 ounces), cleaned

8 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 fresh thyme sprigs

One-half teaspoon salt

One-half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Dijon-style mustard, for serving (optional)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut a piece of nonstick aluminum foil 32 inches long by 12 inches wide and place on a baking sheet so half of it expands beyond the pan.

Place the sausages, vegetables, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper on the foil on the baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Fold the extended foil over the ingredients and secure the three open sides of the foil by rolling the edges over on themselves twice. Do not wrap the foil tightly around the ingredients; they should be loose inside.

Place the papillote in the oven and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Carefully open the foil; the food will be steaming hot. Scrape the ingredients and juices onto a large platter, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately, with mustard, if desired.


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