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French Cooking


French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts

French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts Lowest new price: $37.42
List price: $60.00
Author: Ecole Ferrandi

Ferrandi, the French School of Culinary Arts in Paris—dubbed “the Harvard of gastronomy” by Le Monde newspaper­—is the ultimate pastry-making reference. From flaky croissants to paper-thin mille-feuille, and from the chestnut cream–filled Paris-Brest to festive yule logs, this comprehensive book leads aspiring pastry chefs through every step—from basic techniques to Michelin-level desserts. Featuring advice on how to equip your kitchen, and the essential doughs, fillings, and decorations, the book covers everything from quick desserts to holiday specialties and from ice creams and sorbets to chocolates.

Ferrandi, an internationally renowned professional culinary school, offers an intensive course in the art of French pastry making. Written by the school’s experienced teaching team of master pâtissiers and adapted for the home chef, this fully illustrated cookbook provides all of the fundamental techniques and recipes that form the building blocks of the illustrious French dessert tradition, explained step by step in text and images. Practical information is presented in tables, diagrams, and sidebars for handy reference. Easy-to-follow recipes are graded for level of difficulty, allowing readers to develop their skills over time.

Whether you are an amateur home chef or an experienced pâtissier, this patisserie bible provides everything you need to master French pastry making.

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Bouchon (The Thomas Keller Library)

Bouchon (The Thomas Keller Library) Lowest new price: $21.90
Lowest used price: $11.50
List price: $50.00
Author: Thomas Keller
Brand: Artisan Publishers

Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of Napa Valley's French Laundry, is passionate about bistro cooking. He believes fervently that the real art of cooking lies in elevating to excellence the simplest ingredients; that bistro cooking embodies at once a culinary ethos of generosity, economy, and simplicity; that the techniques at its foundation are profound, and the recipes at its heart have a powerful ability to nourish and please.

So enamored is he of this older, more casual type of cooking that he opened the restaurant Bouchon, right next door to the French Laundry, so he could satisfy a craving for a perfectly made quiche, or a gratinéed onion soup, or a simple but irresistible roasted chicken. Now Bouchon, the cookbook, embodies this cuisine in all its sublime simplicity.

But let's begin at the real beginning. For Keller, great cooking is all about the virtue of process and attention to detail. Even in the humblest dish, the extra thought is evident, which is why this food tastes so amazing: The onions for the onion soup are caramelized for five hours; lamb cheeks are used for the navarin; basic but essential refinements every step of the way make for the cleanest flavors, the brightest vegetables, the perfect balance—whether of fat to acid for a vinaigrette, of egg to liquid for a custard, of salt to meat for a duck confit.

Because versatility as a cook is achieved through learning foundations, Keller and Bouchon executive chef Jeff Cerciello illuminate all the key points of technique along the way: how a two-inch ring makes for a perfect quiche; how to recognize the right hazelnut brown for a brown butter sauce; how far to caramelize sugar for different uses.

But learning and refinement aside—oh those recipes! Steamed mussels with saffron, bourride, trout grenobloise with its parsley, lemon, and croutons; steak frites, beef bourguignon, chicken in the pot—all exquisitely crafted. And those immortal desserts: the tarte Tatin, the chocolate mousse, the lemon tart, the profiteroles with chocolate sauce. In Bouchon, you get to experience them in impeccably realized form.

This is a book to cherish, with its alluring mix of recipes and the author's knowledge, warmth, and wit: "I find this a hopeful time for the pig," says Keller about our yearning for the flavor that has been bred out of pork. So let your imagination transport you back to the burnished warmth of an old-fashioned French bistro, pull up a stool to the zinc bar or slide into a banquette, and treat yourself to truly great preparations that have not just withstood the vagaries of fashion, but have improved with time. Welcome to Bouchon.

Bouchon, chef Thomas Keller's bistro cookbook, offers 180-plus recipes from his eponymous restaurants--there are two. Readers perusing the near-prosciutto-size book will be dazzled, first, by its great looks (there are many beautiful photos), then, perhaps, wonder why so many of its typically homey bistro dishes are so fussy to prepare. Why, for example, must the onions for onion soup be caramelized for five hours, or the muscles of a leg of lamb separated so that each can be cooked to an exact, presumably optimal, temperature.

They should, however, trust this justly celebrated chef, whose sometimes-painstaking refinements reflect a better way. Apart from the excellence of the dishes, the reason to own Bouchon is to discover the richness of Keller's technical understanding. Readers learn, for example, not to baste chicken while it roasts, which creates skin-softening moisture, and to allow the base for crème caramel to sit before baking, thus permitting its flavors to deepen. Keller's sensitivity to ingredients and their composition is profound; and he and his collaborators have presented it so deftly that one finds oneself engrossed again and again. Whether Keller is talking about vinaigrettes (in their balance of fat, acid, and saltines, the perfect sauce) vegetable glazing, or the creation of brown butter, his insights are fascinating.

The dishes cover a wide range of courses, and include the traditional--poule au pot, veal roast, pommes frites, and so on--and the "new," such as Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables, Skate with Fennel-Onion Confit and Tapenade Sauce, and Grandma Sheila's Cheesecake Tart with Huckleberries. All are, as the French might say, impeccable--and can be accomplished by anyone willing to take the time to do so. Like his cooking, Bouchon is a sui generis treat. --Arthur Boehm

Features:

  • Artisan Publishers

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The Way to Cook

The Way to Cook Lowest new price: $47.99
Lowest used price: $4.52
List price: $65.00
Author: Julia Child
Brand: Child, Julia/ Leatart, Brian/ Scherer, Jim

In her most creative and instructive cookbook, Julia Child distills a lifetime of cooking into 800 recipes emphasizing lightness, freshness, and simplicity. Chapters are structured around master recipes, followed by innumerable variations that are easily made once the basics are understood. For example, make Julia’s simple but impeccably prepared sauté of chicken, and before long you're easily whipping up Chicken with Mushrooms and Cream, Chicken Provençale, Chicken Pipérade, or Chicken Marengo. Or master her perfect broiled butterflied chicken, and you’ll soon be including Deviled Rabbit or Split Cornish Game Hens Broiled with Cheese on your menu. Here home cooks will find a treasure trove of poultry and fish recipes, as well as a vast array of fresh vegetables prepared in new ways, along with bread doughs and delicious indulgences, such as Caramel Apple Mountain or a Queen of Sheba Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Leaves. And if you want to know how a finished dish should look or how to angle your knife or to fashion a pretty rosette on a cake, there are more than 600 color photographs to entice and instruct you along the way. A brilliant, inspiring, one-of-a-kind, book from the incomparable Julia Child, The Way to Cook is a testament to the satisfactions of good home cooking.

With The Way to Cook, Julia Child creates a second culinary classic. Her first, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, introduced a generation of those used to preparing simple fare to what was then considered gourmet food, demystified classic techniques, and raised our culinary consciousness. In The Way to Cook, she also demystifies cooking techniques and does some consciousness-raising. This time, though, she speaks to everyone with little or no experience in the kitchen, which is most people these days. Always in tune with the moment, and ever the gracious realist, Child (although calling her Julia seems reasonable since she treats us with such open informality) explains in The Way to Cook how to boil an egg and stuff it, as well as how to make a perfect omelet and an elegant soufflé.

To help out readers who lack the most basic knowledge, she organizes the book by techniques rather than by ingredients. Soups are first, a relatively unintimidating choice to build confidence through delicious results such as true French Onion Soup and a contemporary Black Bean Gazpacho. Next come breads, updated to use a food processor to cut the kneading time. The fish chapter covers broiling a salmon steak and creating a sophisticated Crown Mousse of Trout. Chapters on poultry, meats, vegetables, and desserts are equally ample and wide-ranging.

When The Way to Cook was published in 1989, it accompanied a television series. A related set of videotapes, the first to teach cooking comprehensively, was offered simultaneously. However, more than 600 color photos in this book make it fully complete on its own.

The Way to Cook is a good reference volume, a useful gift, and a handsome way to follow Julia's career as she transformed from a French classicist to the ever-evolving, always clear and reliable teacher we have come to adore. --Dana Jacobi

Features:

  • Julia Child tells all cooking-wise

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Mad About Macarons!: Make Macarons Like the French

Mad About Macarons!: Make Macarons Like the French Lowest new price: $9.99
Lowest used price: $3.00
List price: $15.00
Author: Jill Colonna
Brand: imusti

The best guide available for making Parisian macarons at home. Jill Colonna guides you simply yet precisely through each step in making perfect Parisian macarons every time.

Stylish and fun, this colorful book contains 37 tried-and-tested macaron recipes plus well over a hundred mouth-watering photos.

Classics contain rose or pistachio and also include a nut-free macaron. Be inspired with sticky toffee, chocolate-beetroot or pistachio-wasabi to giant coffee macarons with tiramisu cream. Stun your guests with mini Thai Green Curry Macarons, sensational either before or during dinner.

Beverage pairings are suggested for each gluten-free macaron recipe, along with decorative ideas for weddings, children's parties, gifts plus many other tips.

Note: Measurements are given in grams.

Features:

  • Waverley Books Ltd

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The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery: For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 Recipes

The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery: For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 Recipes Lowest new price: $17.29
Lowest used price: $5.05
List price: $30.00
Author: Auguste Escoffier
Brand: Crown Publishers

An American translation of the definitive Guide Culinaire, the Escoffier Cookbook includes weights, measurements, quantities, and terms according to American usage. Features 2,973 recipes.

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The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts Lowest new price: $15.34
Lowest used price: $16.50
List price: $40.00
Author: David McMillan
Brand: Random House
Model: 978-1-60774-014-8

The debut cookbook from one of the most celebrated restaurants in Canada, featuring inventive twists on French market cuisine, plus spirited anecdotes and lush photography.

Earning rave reviews for their unforgettable approach, Joe Beef co-owners/chefs David McMillan and Frédéric Morin push the limits of traditional French cuisine with over 125 recipes (nearly all of them photographed) for hearty dishes infused with irreverent personality. The Strip Loin Steak comes complete with ten variations, Kale for a Hangover wisely advises the cook to eat and then go to bed, and the Marjolaine includes tips for welding your own cake mold. Joe Beef’s most popular dishes are also represented, such as Spaghetti Homard-Lobster, Foie Gras Breakfast Sandwich, Pork Fish Sticks, and Pojarsky de Veau (a big, moist meatball served on a bone). The coup de grâce is the Smorgasbord—Joe Beef’s version of a Scandinavian open-faced sandwich—with thirty different toppings.

Featuring lively stories and illustrations showcasing gangsters, oysters, Canadian railroad dining car food, the backyard smoker, and more, this nostalgic yet utterly modern cookbook is a groundbreaking guide to living an outstanding culinary life.

Featured Recipe: Hot Oysters on the Radio

Serves 4

Ingredients
12 big, meaty oysters
Coarse salt for partially filling pan
4 slices bacon, finely diced
¼ cup (120 g) peeled and finely diced small potatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup (80 ml) whipping cream (35 percent butterfat)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
¼ cup (30 g) finely grated aged Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
¼ cup (30 g) dried bread crumbs
¼ cup (55 g) unsalted butter, cut into 12 equal pieces

Instructions
1. Shuck the oysters, pouring the liquor into a cup and keeping the oysters on their bottom shells. Set the oysters and liquor aside. A good trick for cooking the oysters is to fill a big cast-iron frying pan about half full with coarse salt, put it in the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), then heat the pan for an extra 15 minutes. This will help to accelerate the cooking process.

2. Place the potatoes and salted water to cover in a small pot over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Drain the potatoes, let cool, and pat dry. Meanwhile, in another frying pan, crisp the bacon over medium-high heat until light brown. Add the potatoes to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat.

3. In a bowl, rapidly whisk together the egg yolks, the cream, and whatever oyster liquor you were able to gather. Add the chives, Cheddar, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the bacon-potato mixture and whisk to mix. Divide evenly among the oysters, spooning it on top. Dust the tops with the bread crumbs, then finish with a piece of butter.

4. Pull the cast-iron pan out of the oven and carefully nest the oysters in the hot salt. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the tops start to turn golden. Serve immediately.

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French Cooking in Ten Minutes: Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life (1930)

French Cooking in Ten Minutes: Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life (1930) Lowest new price: $5.80
Lowest used price: $3.48
List price: $12.00
Author: Edouard de Pomiane
Brand: North Point Press

A beautiful reprint of Edouard de Pomiane's classic collection of recipes for simply prepared meals is more useful now than ever before. Illustrated with period pen and ink drawings, French Cooking in Ten Minutes offers an array of recipes for quick soups, extemporaneous sauces, egg and noodle dishes, preparing fish and meats, as well as vegetables, salads, and deserts.

Features:

  • North Point Press

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Laduree: The Sweet Recipes

Laduree: The Sweet Recipes Lowest new price: $24.78
Lowest used price: $16.19
List price: $39.95
Author: Philippe Andrieu
Brand: Andrieu Philippe

  • A must-have with scrumptious recipes from the world-famous Ladurée tea shop
  • Ladurée reveals the secrets of their magical macaroons for the first time ever
  • Features padded cover, gold edges, and a beautiful gift box
  • 100 recipes of pastry chef of the prestigious Ladurée known and recognized by gourmets around the world

The story of Ladurée started in 1862 when Louis Ernest Ladurée opened a bakery in the heart of Paris at 16, rue Royale. In 1997 Ladurée opened a tea-room/restaurant on the prestigious Champs-Elysées, followed by other Parisian addresses and international tea-rooms in London, Dublin, Geneva, Monaco, Tokyo, Milan and soon New York.

In this book Philippe Andrieu, the Pastry Chef at Ladurée, reveals 100 of the most famous Ladurée recipes, adapted for the general public. From the Strawberry Cake with Rose Choux Pastry to Pistachio Financiers and the world-famous macaroons in all their variety, this icon of French “art de vivre” is brought to life in a pallet of pastries the colour of powder pink, light green, bright purple, and lemon yellow.

Features:

  • Laduree The Sweet Recipes

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The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes

The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes Lowest new price: $10.64
Lowest used price: $3.49
List price: $35.00
Author: Rachel Khoo
Brand: Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo moved to Paris, studied patisserie, fell in love with the city, became a restaurateur in a very tiny space, then, a television star, and is now a bestselling author! Not every lover of Paris experiences this career trajectory, but cooks of all skill levels with a taste for French fare will be inspired by The Little Paris Kitchen to try an updated approach to French cuisine. In this charming cookbook, Khoo demystifies French cooking with 120 enticing recipes for simple, classic, and fresh French dishes, from gouter (snacks) to elegant desserts. More than 100 breathtaking photos from celebrated photographer David Loftus shine a spotlight on the delicious food and the City of Light, and capture Khoo interacting with her purveyors and friends. We all can't have springtime in Paris. But we all can enjoy this delectable, do-able food!

Featured Recipe from The Little Paris Kitchen: Canard à l’Orangina (Duck with fizzy orange)

Canard a lOrangina

Serves 4 as a main

When I was invited to a dinner hosted by Chef Jean-François Piège, he described how his previous elaborate style of cooking at the Hôtel de Crillon had evolved into something a lot more simple and homely at his current restaurant in the Hôtel Thoumieux. He told an amusing story of how his wife wanted duck à l’orange for Sunday supper and all he could find at his local corner shop was Orangina, so he used it to make a sauce for the duck. I’m not sure exactly how he made his canard à l’Orangina, but here’s my version. A simple watercress or wild arugula salad works well with this dish.

For the Marinade:
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
To Make the Marinade

Mix together the orange zest and juice with the olive oil, cumin, and salt.

The Duck
  • 4 duck legs
  • 7 tbsp orange soda
  • 2 tbsp Cointreau
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 oranges, cut into segments

Rub the marinade over the duck legs and leave to marinate for a minimum of an hour (or in the fridge overnight).

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the duck legs with the marinade into a roasting pan and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Halfway through cooking, baste the duck with some of the pan juices.

Fifteen minutes before serving, pour the orange soda and Cointreau into a large frying pan, place on a high heat, and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the salt and vinegar before adding the orange segments. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve the duck legs hot, with the orange segments and sauce.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Resting time: 1 hour–overnight

Cooking time: 1 hour

Features:

  • The Little Paris Kitchen 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes

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Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share

Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share Lowest new price: $12.92
Lowest used price: $6.49
List price: $19.95
Author: Barbara Feldman Morse

The petite shell-shaped cakes known as madeleines are versatile, pretty, and absolutely delicious. Made famous by Marcel Proust in his novel In Search of Lost Time, this classic French treat is now loved the world over. Beautifully illustrated and lovingly researched, Madeleines features recipes for an incredible variety of flavors and combinations, including such decadent desserts as Dark Chocolate Espresso Madeleines, savory appetizers like Pesto and Pine Nut Madeleines, and showstoppers like Cheesecake Madeleines with Lingonberry Preserves And making these adorable cakes has never been easier—author Barbara Feldman Morse has developed a unique quick-and-simple method for baking perfect madeleines again and again. Pour a cup of tea and enjoy this quick trip to France with Madeleines!

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