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French Cooking


The French Laundry Cookbook

The French Laundry Cookbook Lowest new price: $27.25
Lowest used price: $16.74
List price: $50.00
Author: Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of the French Laundry in the Napa Valley—"the most exciting place to eat in the United States," wrote Ruth Reichl in The New York Times—is a wizard, a purist, a man obsessed with getting it right. And this, his first cookbook, is every bit as satisfying as a French Laundry meal itself: a series of small, impeccable, highly refined, intensely focused courses.

Most dazzling is how simple Keller's methods are: squeegeeing the moisture from the skin on fish so it sautées beautifully; poaching eggs in a deep pot of water for perfect shape; the initial steeping in the shell that makes cooking raw lobster out of the shell a cinch; using vinegar as a flavor enhancer; the repeated washing of bones for stock for the cleanest, clearest tastes.

From innovative soup techniques, to the proper way to cook green vegetables, to secrets of great fish cookery, to the creation of breathtaking desserts; from beurre monté to foie gras au torchon, to a wild and thoroughly unexpected take on coffee and doughnuts, The French Laundry Cookbook captures, through recipes, essays, profiles, and extraordinary photography, one of America's great restaurants, its great chef, and the food that makes both unique.

One hundred and fifty superlative recipes are exact recipes from the French Laundry kitchen—no shortcuts have been taken, no critical steps ignored, all have been thoroughly tested in home kitchens. If you can't get to the French Laundry, you can now re-create at home the very experience the Wine Spectator described as "as close to dining perfection as it gets."

To eat at Thomas Keller's Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry, is to experience a peak culinary experience. In The French Laundry Cookbook, Keller articulates his passions and offers home cooks a means to duplicate the level of perfection that makes him one of the best chefs in the U.S. and, arguably, the world.

This cookbook provides 150 recipes exactly as they are used at Keller's restaurant. It is also his culinary manifesto, in which he shares the unique creative processes that led him to invent Peas and Carrots--a succulent pillow of a lobster paired with pea shoots and creamy ginger-carrot sauce--and other high-wire culinary acts. It offers unimagined experiences, from extracting chlorophyll to use in coloring sauces to a recipe for chocolate cake accompanied by red beet ice cream and a walnut sauce. You are urged to follow Keller's recipes precisely and also to view them as blueprints. To keep them alive, they must be infused with your own commitment to perfection and pleasure, as you define those terms.

Keller's story, shared through the writing of Michael Ruhlman, shows how this chef was both born and made. After winning rave reviews when he was still in his 20s, it took a more experienced chef throwing a knife at him because he did not know how to truss a chicken to open his eyes to the importance of the discipline and techniques of classical French cooking. To acquire these fundamental skills, he apprenticed at eight of the finest restaurants in France.

Grounded in classic technique, Keller's cooking is characterized by traditional marriages of ingredients, assembled in breathtakingly daring new ways, such as Pearls and Oyster, glistening caviar and oysters served on a bed of creamy pearl tapioca. Continually piquing the palate, his meals are a procession of 5 to 10 dishes, all small portions vibrantly composed. For example, Pan Roasted Breast of Squab with Swiss Chard, Seared Foie Gras, and Oven-Dried Black Figs require just three birds to serve six. The result: you are never sated, always stimulated.

The 200 photographs by Deborah Jones include more than just beauty shots: they show how to prepare various dishes; how Keller, shown stroking a whole salmon, respects his ingredients; and how the perfection of baby fava beans still nestled in the downy lining of their succulent pod, or the seduction of an abundance of fresh caviar, calls out the best from the chef. --Dana Jacobi

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The Art of French Pastry

The Art of French Pastry Lowest new price: $22.93
Lowest used price: $21.30
List price: $40.00
Author: Jacquy Pfeiffer

What does it take to perfect a flawless éclair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To pipe dozens of macarons? The answer is: an intimate knowledge of the fundamentals of pastry. In The Art of French Pastry award-winning pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, gives you just that.

By teaching you how to make everything from pâte à choux to pastry cream, Pfeiffer builds on the basics until you have an understanding of the science behind the ingredients used, how they interact with one another, and what your hands have to do to transform them into pastry. This yields glorious results! Expect to master these techniques and then indulge in exquisite recipes, such as:
 
·      brioche
·      napoléons / Mille-Feuilles
·      cream puffs
·      Alsatian cinnamon rolls / chinois
·      lemon cream tart with meringue teardrops
·      elephant ears / palmiers
·      black forest cake
·      beignets
 
as well as some traditional Alsatian savory treats, including:
 
·    Pretzels
·    Kougelhof
·    Tarte Flambée
·    Warm Alsatian Meat Pie
 
Pastry is all about precision, so Pfeiffer presents us with an amazing wealth of information—lists of necessary equipment, charts on how ingredients react in different environments, and the precise weight of ingredients in grams, with a look at their equivalent in U.S. units—which will help you in all aspects of your cooking.

But in order to properly enjoy your “just desserts,” so to speak; you will also learn where these delicacies originated. Jacquy Pfeiffer comes from a long line of pastry chefs and has been making these recipes since he was a child working in his father’s bakery in Alsace. Sprinkled with funny, charming memories from a lifetime in pastry, this book will have you fully appreciating the hundreds of years of tradition that shaped these recipes into the classics that we know and love, and can now serve to our friends and families over and over again.

The Art of French Pastry, full of gorgeous photography and Pfeiffer’s accompanying illustrations, is a master class in pastry from a master teacher.

Featured Recipes from The Art of French Pastry

Christmas Sables
Download the recipe for Christmas Sables
Ganache
Download the recipe for Ganache

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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: $13.67
Lowest used price: $13.76
List price: $35.00
Author: Rachel Khoo
Brand: Chronicle Books

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:

  • By Rachel Khoo
  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Chronicle Books

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Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food

Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food Lowest new price: $8.64
Lowest used price: $8.62
List price: $40.00
Author: Jacques Pépin

For the first time ever, the legendary chef collects and updates the best recipes from his six-decade career. With a searchable DVD demonstrating every technique a cook will ever need.

In his more than sixty years as a chef, Jacques Pépin has earned a reputation as a champion of simplicity. His recipes are classics. They find the shortest, surest route to flavor, avoiding complicated techniques.

Now, in a book that celebrates his life in food, the world’s most famous cooking teacher winnows his favorite recipes from the thousands he has created, streamlining them even further. They include Onion Soup Lyonnaise-Style, which Jacques enjoyed as a young chef while bar-crawling in Paris; Linguine with Clam Sauce and Vegetables, a frequent dinner chez Jacques; Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Butter, which he makes indoors in winter and outdoors in summer; Five-Peppercorn Steak, his spin on a bistro classic; Mémé’s Apple Tart, which his mother made every day in her Lyon restaurant; and Warm Chocolate Fondue Soufflé, part cake, part pudding, part soufflé, and pure bliss.

Essential Pépin spans the many styles of Jacques’s cooking: homey country French, haute cuisine, fast food Jacques-style, and fresh contemporary American dishes. Many of the recipes are globally inspired, from Mexico, across Europe, or the Far East.

In the accompanying searchable DVD, Jacques shines as a teacher, as he demonstrates all the techniques a cook needs to know. This truly is the essential Pépin.
 
 

 

Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe from Jacques Pepin’s Essential Pepin

When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather. It’s terrific served with thick slices of country bread, and if you have a salad as well, you’ve got a complete dinner.

Sausage, Potato, and Cabbage Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat
2 small onions, cut into 1-inch-thick slices (1 ½ cups)
6 scallions, trimmed (leaving some green) and cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups)
6 cups water
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
8 ounces savoy cabbage, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces (4 cups)
1¼ teaspoons salt
Crusty French bread

Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to keep the meat from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned.

Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.

Serve the soup in bowls with chunks of crusty French bread.

Baker’s Wife Potatoes

This classic potato gratin is made in France in many places, as is the famous dauphinois gratin, which is made with cream, milk, and garlic. The dauphinois has many more calories than this one, which is flavorful and ideal with any type of roast, from a roast chicken to a leg of lamb.

The potatoes are sliced but not washed, which would cause them to lose the starch that binds the dish. A good chicken stock and a little white wine are added for acidity, and the gratin is flavored with thyme and bay leaves. It can be prepared ahead and even frozen.

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tablespoon peanut oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions (about 14 ounces)
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (3 tablespoons)
3 cups homemade chicken stock (page 612) or low-salt canned chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
3 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into ⅛-inch-thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add the onions and sauté them for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, including the potatoes, mixing gently, and bring to a boil. Transfer the mixture to an 8-cup gratin dish.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the moisture is absorbed and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve.

Chicken Legs with Wine and Yams

I love both yams and sweet potatoes and use them in different ways, sometimes in soup, sometimes simply split in half and roasted in the oven. You can use either sweet potatoes or yams in this casserole, which also includes mushrooms, chicken, and wine. This is a great dish for company. It can be prepared ahead and reheated--which makes it even better.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole chicken legs (about 3 pounds total), skin removed, drumsticks and thighs separated
¼ cup chopped onion
4 large shallots (about 6 ounces), sliced (about 1½cups)
8 medium mushrooms (about 5 ounces), cleaned and halved
4 small yams or sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and halved lengthwise
1 cup dry white wine
8 large garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (2 tablespoons)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken pieces in batches and sauté over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the shallots, mushrooms, yams or sweet potatoes, wine, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and boil very gently for 20 minutes.

Garnish with the parsley and serve.


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French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters

French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters Lowest new price: $6.99
Lowest used price: $6.98
List price: $24.99
Author: Karen Le Billon
Brand: Harper Collins

French Kids Eat Everything is a wonderfully wry account of how Karen Le Billon was able to alter her children’s deep-rooted, decidedly unhealthy North American eating habits while they were all living in France.

At once a memoir, a cookbook, a how-to handbook, and a delightful exploration of how the French manage to feed children without endless battles and struggles with pickiness, French Kids Eat Everything features recipes, practical tips, and ten easy-to-follow rules for raising happy and healthy young eaters—a sort of French Women Don’t Get Fat meets
Food Rules.

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Hungry for France: Adventures for the Cook & Food Lover

Hungry for France: Adventures for the Cook & Food Lover Lowest new price: $27.25
Lowest used price: $27.41
List price: $45.00
Author: Alexander Lobrano

A culinary tour of some of the most alluring inns, food producers, restaurants, and winemakers of France, with more than seventy-five recipes updating classic regional dishes. Every food lover's ultimate dream is to tour the countryside of France, stopping off at luxurious inns with world-class restaurants and sampling fresh produce from local markets. Imagine having as your guide a savvy bon vivant, someone who lives for the pleasures of the table and knows just where to ferret out all the delicacies in each town. This book delivers just that. 

Each chapter covers a different region, from Normandy to Provence, and includes recommendations for a handful of the area's most excellent, off-the-beaten-path restaurants, along with recipes. Uniting all of the places in the book is an embrace of the farm-to-table ethos that has swept France's new generation of chefs and fueled such movements as Le Fooding. The more than seventy-five recipes sprinkled throughout exemplify contemporary riffs on quintessential regional specialties. For instance, from Normandy, there is Curried Pork in Cider Sauce; from Provence, Tartare of Salt Cod with Sesame-Chickpea Puree; from the Rhone, Pink Praline Tart. Hungry for France will inspire you to transform your cooking at home as well as to plan the trip of a lifetime.

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Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home

Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home Lowest new price: $15.00
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Author: Ina Garten
Brand: Brand: Clarkson Potter

Hearty boeuf Bourguignon served in deep bowls over a garlic-rubbed slice of baguette toast; decadently rich croque monsieur, eggy and oozing with cheese; gossamer crème brulee, its sweetness offset by a brittle burnt-sugar topping. Whether shared in a cozy French bistro or in your own home, the romance and enduring appeal of French country cooking is irrefutable. Here is the book that helps you bring that spirit, those evocative dishes, into your own home.

What Ina Garten is known for—on her Food Network show and in her three previous bestselling books—is adding a special twist to familiar dishes, while also streamlining the recipes so you spend less time in the kitchen but still emerge with perfection. And that’s exactly what she offers in Barefoot in Paris. Ina’s kir royale includes the unique addition of raspberry liqueur—a refreshing alternative to the traditional crème de cassis. Her vichyssoise is brightened with the addition of zucchini, and her chocolate mousse is deeply flavored with the essence of orange. All of these dishes are true to their Parisian roots, but all offer something special—and are thoroughly delicious, completely accessible, and the perfect fare for friends and family.

Barefoot in Paris is suffused with Ina’s love of the city, of the bustling outdoor markets and alluring little shops, of the bakeries and fromageries and charcuteries—of the wonderful celebration of food that you find on every street corner, in every neighborhood. So take a trip to Paris with the perfect guide—the Barefoot Contessa herself—in her most personal book yet.

Ina Garten's much loved cookbooks, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, and Barefoot Contessa Family Style, offer relaxed yet stylish dishes that don't tax the cook. Her food works wonderfully for entertaining but shouldn't be limited to such times. Barefoot in Paris finds Garten (almost inevitably) in France, "translating" native dishes for the American home cook. The result is rewarding, and should get those reluctant to "cook French" to do just that. Covered are classics like Celery Root Rémoulade, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, but also "newer" dishes like Zucchini Vichyssoise and Avocado and Grapefruit Salad. If Garten ranges wide from typical Parisian fare--in, for example, recipes like Rosemary Cashews, Tomato Rice Pilaf, and a distinctly American Brownie Tart--these nonetheless embody the French approach. Her sweets, including the likes of Peaches in Sauternes, Plum Cake "Tatin," and an exemplary Crème Brûlée, are particularly tempting. Included also are asides like "About French Table Settings," and "If You're Going," a resource guide, that, practicality apart, give readers a sense of French culinary life. With color photos, this is winning addition to the Barefoot collection. --Arthur Boehm

Features:

  • Used Book in Good Condition

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French Grammar (Quickstudy: Academic)

French Grammar (Quickstudy: Academic) Lowest new price: $0.60
Lowest used price: $2.14
List price: $5.95
Author: Inc. BarCharts
Brand: QuickStudy

Quick-reference summary to French grammar.

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Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home

Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home Lowest new price: $9.12
Lowest used price: $11.24
List price: $18.00
Author: Kathryn Gordon

Macarons, the stuff of bakers’ candy-coated dreams, have taken the world by storm and are demystified here for the home baker, With dozens of flavor combinations, recipes are structured with three basic shell methods—French, Swiss, and Italian—plus one never-before-seen Easiest French Macaron Method. Pick one that works for you, and go on to create French-inspired pastry magic with nothing more than a mixer, an oven, and a piping bag.
 
Try shells flavored with pistachio, blackberry, coconut, and red velvet, filled with the likes of sesame buttercream, strawberry guava pâte de fruit, crunchy dark chocolate ganache, and lemon curd. Or go savory with shells like saffron, parsley, and ancho chile paired with fillings like hummus, foie gras with black currant, and duck confit with port and fig. The options for customization are endless, and the careful, detailed instruction is like a private baking class in your very own kitchen! All recipes have been tested by students and teachers alike and are guaranteed to bring the flavors of France right to your door.

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A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse Lowest new price: $28.07
List price: $40.00
Author: Mimi Thorisson

With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.
 
When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.

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