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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A
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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook Hardcover - 2001

by Julia Child; Louisette Bertholle; Simone Beck

For this special edition, Julia Child has written a new Introduction that recalls the nascent food scene in America at the time of the book's original publication. Forty years ago, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" ignited America's passion for good food, and brought that food into our homes. This new edition promises to continue the excitement. 100 illustrations.


Summary

"Anyone can cook in the French manner anywhere," wrote Mesdames Beck, Bertholle, and Child, "with the right instruction." And here is the book that, for forty years, has been teaching Americans how.

From the publisher

Julia Child, a native of California and a Smith College graduate; Simone Beck, French-born and -educated; and Louisette Bertholle, half French and half American, educated in both countries, represented an even blending of the two backgrounds and were singularly equipped to write about French cooking for Americans. Mrs. Child studied at Paris’s famous Cordon Bleu, and all three authors worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 they started their own cooking school in Paris, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, at the same time that this book was taking shape. After that, Madame Beck published two cookbooks, Simca’s Cuisine in 1972 and New Menus from Simca’s Cuisine in 1979, and she continued to teach cooking in France. Madame Bertholle also had several cookery books published. Shortly after the appearance of Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961, Julia Child began appearing in the public television series The French Chef, which aired for many years all over the United States, and in 1978 the program Julia Child & Company was launched, followed the next year by Julia Child & More Company. In 1968 recipes from her early programs, many of which were drawn from this book, were published in The French Chef Cookbook.

In 1975 From Julia Child’s Kitchen was published, followed in 1978 and 1979 by Julia Child & Company and Julia Child & More Company, based on those programs. Also based on television series were the two books—Cooking with Master Chefs and In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs—she wrote in the mid-1990s, as well as Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, with Jacques Pépin, in 1999. The Way to Cook, her magnum opus, was published in 1989, and in 2000 she gave us Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, a distillation of her years of cooking experience.

From the jacket flap

"Anyone can cook in the French manner anywhere," wrote Mesdames Beck, Bertholle, and Child, "with the right instruction." And here is the book that, for forty years, has been teaching Americans how.
"Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. This beautiful book, with more than one hundred instructive illustrations, is revolutionary in its approach because:
- It leads the cook infallibly from the buying and handling of raw ingredients, through each essential step of a recipe, to the final creation of a delicate confection.
- It breaks down the classic cuisine into a logical sequence of themes and variations rather than presenting an endless and diffuse catalogue of recipes; the focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery and lend themselves to an infinite number of elaborations--bound to increase anyone's culinary repertoire.
- It adapts classical techniques, wherever possible, to modern American conveniences.
- It shows Americans how to buy products, from any supermarket in the U.S.A., that reproduce the exact taste and texture of the French ingredients: equivalent meat cuts, for example; the right beans for a cassoulet; the appropriate fish and shellfish for a bouillabaisse.
- It offers suggestions for just the right accompaniment to each dish, including proper wines.
Since there has never been a book as instructive and as workable as "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the techniques learned here can beapplied to recipes in all other French cookbooks, making them infinitely more usable. In compiling the secrets of famous cordons bleus, the authors have produced a magnificent volume that is sure to find the place of honor in every kitchen in America.

Details

  • Title Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook
  • Author Julia Child; Louisette Bertholle; Simone Beck
  • Binding Hardcover
  • Edition 40th Anniversary
  • Pages 752
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Knopf Publishing Group, New York
  • Date 2001-10-16
  • Illustrated Yes
  • Features Illustrated, Index
  • ISBN 9780375413407 / 0375413405
  • Weight 3.16 lbs (1.43 kg)
  • Dimensions 10.1 x 7.2 x 1.7 in (25.65 x 18.29 x 4.32 cm)
  • Themes
    • Cultural Region: French
    • Ethnic Orientation: French
    • Theometrics: Secular
  • Library of Congress subjects Cookbooks, Cooking, French
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2009288212
  • Dewey Decimal Code 641.594

Excerpt

Clafouti
(Cherry Flan)
For 6 to 8 people

The clafouti (also spelled with a final "s" in both singular and plural) which is traditional in the Limousin during the cherry season is peasant cooking for family meals, and about as simple a dessert to make as you can imagine: a pancake batter poured over fruit in a fireproof dish, then baked in the oven. It looks like a tart, and is usually eaten warm.

(If you have no electric blender, work the eggs into the flour with a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the liquids, then strain the batter through a fine sieve.)

3 cups pitted black cherries
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
Powdered sugar in a shaker



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use fresh, black, sweet cherries in season. Otherwise use drained, canned, pitted Bing cherries, or frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained.

Place the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and flour in your blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.

Pour a 1/4-inch layer of batter in a 7- to 8-cup buttered, fireproof baking dish or pyrex pie plate about 1 1/2 inches deep. Set over moderate heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from the heat. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Place in middle position of preheated oven and bake for about an hour. The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned, and a needle or knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table. (The clafouti need not be served hot, but should still be warm. It will sink down slightly as it cools.)

Media reviews

"Has it really been 40 years since Julia Child rescued Americans from dreary casseroles? This reissue, clad in a handsome red jacket, is what a cookbook should be: packed with sumptuous recipes, detailed instructions, and precise line drawings. Some of the instructions look daunting, but as Child herself says in the introduction, 'If you can read, you can cook.'"
- Entertainment Weekly

Citations

  • BookPage, 08/01/2002, Page 25
  • Newsweek, 10/15/2007, Page 14
  • People Weekly, 09/07/2009, Page 59
  • Vanity Fair, 08/01/2009, Page 114

About the author

JULIA CHILD, a native of California and a Smith College graduate; Simone ("Simca") Beck, French-born and -educated; and Louisette Bertholle, half French and half American, educated in both countries, represented an even blending of the two backgrounds and were singularly equipped to write about French cooking for Americans. Child studied at Paris's famous Cordon Bleu, and all three authors worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 they started their own cooking school in Paris, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, at the same time that Mastering the Art of French Cooking was taking shape. After that, Simone Beck published two cookbooks, Simca's Cuisine in 1972 and New Menus from Simca's Cuisine in 1979, and she continued to teach cooking in France until her death in 1991. Louisette Bertholle also had several cookery books published. In 1963, Boston's WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made Julia Child a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004.
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