The only cookbook that explains how to create authentic French dishes in American kitchens with American foods. I'm not sure how we all feel about 'free' cookbooks, but thought I'd share. Not only are the recipes themselves fantastic and thoroughly. Mastering the Art of French Cooking () VOLUME TWO. BY JULIA CHILD. The French Chef Cookbook () From Julia Child's Kitchen () Julia Child .
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Mastering the Art of French Cooking (). VOLUME ONE. BY JULIA CHILD. The French Chef Cookbook (). From Julia Child's Kitchen (). Julia Child . Download ebook MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. French cooking ebook, art of french cuisine, french art cooking. ediclumpoti.ga - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online.
Although you will perform with different ingredients for different dishes, the same general processes are repeated over and over again. In the sauce realm, the cream and egg-yolk sauce for a blanquette of veal is the same type as that for a sole in white-wine sauce, or for a gratin of scallops. Eventually you will rarely need recipes at all, except as reminders of ingredients you may have forgotten.
All of the techniques employed in French cooking are aimed at one goal: The French are seldom interested in unusual combinations or surprise presentations. With an enormous background of traditional dishes to choose from Ways to Prepare and Serve Eggs is the title of one French book on the subject the Frenchman takes his greatest pleasure from a well-known dish impeccably cooked and served.
A perfect navarin of lamb, for instance, requires a number of operations including brownings, simmerings, strainings, skimmings, and flavorings. Each of the several steps in the process, though simple to accomplish, plays a critical role, and if any is eliminated or combined with another, the texture and taste of the navarin suffer. One of the main reasons that pseudo-French cooking, with which we are all too familiar, falls far below good French cooking is just this matter of elimination of steps, combination of processes, or skimping on ingredients such as butter, cream—and time.
Cooking is not a particularly difficult art, and the more you cook and learn about cooking, the more sense it makes. But like any art it requires practice and experience. The most important ingredient you can bring to it is love of cooking for its own sake. A complete treatise on French cooking following the detailed method we have adopted would be about the size of an unabridged dictionary; even printed on Bible paper, it would have to be placed on a stand. To produce a book of convenient size, we have made an arbitrary selection of recipes that we particularly like, and which we hope will interest our readers.
Many splendid creations are not included, and there are tremendous omissions. One may well ask: Where are the croissants? Why only five cakes and no petits fours? No zucchini? No tripe? No green salads? No pressed duck or sauce rouennaise? No room! All of the master recipes and most of the subrecipes in this book are in two-column form. On the left are the ingredients, often including some special piece of equipment needed; on the right is a paragraph of instruction.
Thus what to cook and how to cook it, at each step in the proceedings, are always brought together in one sweep of the eye. Master recipes are headed in large, bold type; a special sign, , precedes those which are followed by variations. Wine and vegetable suggestions are included with all master recipes for main-course dishes. Our primary purpose in this book is to teach you how to cook, so that you will understand the fundamental techniques and gradually be able to divorce yourself from a dependence on recipes.
We have therefore divided each category of food into related groups or sections, and each recipe in one section belongs to one family of techniques. Fish filets poached in white wine , are a good example, or the chicken fricassees or the group of quiches. It is our hope that you will read the introductory pages preceding each chapter and section before you start in on a recipe, as you will then understand what we are about.
For the casual reader, we have tried to make every recipe stand on its own.
Cross references are always a problem. If there are not enough, you may miss an important point, and if there are too many you will become enraged. Yet if every technique is explained every time it comes up, a short recipe is long, and a long one forbidding. Most of the recipes in this book are calculated to serve six people with reasonably good appetites in an American-style menu of three courses. We hope that we have arrived at quantities which will be correct for most of our readers.
If a recipe states that the ingredients listed will serve 4 to 6 people, this means the dish should be sufficient for 4 people if the rest of your menu is small, and for 6 if it is large. Our years of teaching cookery have impressed upon us the fact that all too often a debutant cook will start in enthusiastically on a new dish without ever reading the recipe first. Suddenly an ingredient, or a process, or a time sequence will turn up, and there is astonishment, frustration, and even disaster.
We therefore urge you, however much you have cooked, always to read the recipe first, even if the dish is familiar to you. Visualize each step so you will know exactly what techniques, ingredients, time, and equipment are required and you will encounter no surprises.
Recipe language is always a sort of shorthand in which a lot of information is packed, and you will have to read carefully if you are not to miss small but important points.
Then, to build up your over-all knowledge of cooking, compare the recipe mentally to others you are familiar with, and note where one recipe or technique fits into the larger picture of theme and variations. We have not given estimates for the time of preparation, as some people take half an hour to slice three pounds of mushrooms while others take five minutes. Pay close attention to what you are doing while you work, for precision in small details can make the difference between passable cooking and fine food.
You may be slow and clumsy at first, but with practice you will pick up speed and style. Allow yourself plenty of time. Most dishes can be assembled, or started, or partially cooked in advance. If you are not an old campaigner, do not plan more than one long or complicated recipe for a meal or you will wear yourself out and derive no pleasure from your efforts.
If food is to be baked or broiled, be sure your oven is hot before the dish goes in. A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion. Train yourself to use your hands and fingers; they are wonderful instruments. Train yourself also to handle hot foods; this will save time. Keep your knives sharp.
O UR FRIENDS , students, families, and husbands who have gracefully and often courageously acted as guinea pigs for years are owed a special thank you from the authors. But there are others toward whom we feel particular gratitude because of help of a different kind. The Agricultural Research Service of the U. Department of Agriculture has been one of our greatest sources of assistance and has unfailingly and generously answered all sorts of technical questions ranging from food to plastic bowls.
We are also greatly indebted to Le Cercle des Gourmettes whose bi-monthly cooking sessions in Paris have often been our proving grounds, and whose culinary ideas we have freely used. We give heartfelt thanks to our editors whose enthusiasm and hard work transformed our manuscript-in-search-of-a-publisher into this book. Finally there is Avis DeVoto, our foster mother, wet nurse, guide, and mentor.
She provided encouragement for our first steps, some ten years ago, as we came tottering out of the kitchen with the gleam of authorship lighting our innocent faces. Other Books by This Author. Introduction to the Anniversary Edition. A Note About the Authors. Kitchen Equipment.
How to Measure Flour. How to Use a Knife: Chopping, Slicing, Dicing, and Mincing. Two Omelette-making Methods.
How to Beat Egg Whites. Puff Shells. Forming Quenelles. How to Truss a Chicken. Chicken on a Spit. Filet of Beef. The Bone Structure of a Leg of Lamb. How to Prepare Whole Artichokes. How to Prepare Artichoke Hearts. How to Prepare Fresh Asparagus.
How to Peel, Seed, and Juice Tomatoes. How to Line a Dessert Mold with Ladyfingers. Decorative Designs for Fruit Tarts. Baba Mold. Savarin Molds. How to Ice a Cake. Good equipment which will last for years does not seem outrageously expensive when you realize that a big, enameled-iron casserole costs no more than a 6-rib roast, that a large enameled skillet can be bought for the price of a leg of lamb, and that a fine paring knife may cost less than two small lamb chops.
One of the best places to shop for reasonably priced kitchen-ware is in a hotel- and restaurant-supply house where objects are sturdy, professional, and made for hard use. For top-of-stove cooking you want to switch from very high indeed to very low heat with gradations in between, which a restaurant gas range can provide if you have the space and gas pressure for one.
Otherwise a good modern electric cooktop is far better than weak domestic gas burners. Electric ovens give more even heat for pastry baking especially meringues than gas, which has surges of heat.
Gas is desirable for broiling, but electricity does well especially if you have a rheostat heat control setting. One of each is ideal! Pots, pans, and casseroles should be heavy-bottomed so they will not tip over, and good heat conductors so that foods will not stick and scorch.
With the exception of heavy tin-lined copper expensive to maintain , enameled iron or stainless-steel-lined heavy aluminum is our choice. The smooth surface does not discolor foods, and it is easy to clean. Stainless steel with a cast aluminum bottom, on the other hand, is good, as the thick aluminum spreads the heat. Glazed earthenware is all right as long as it has not developed cracks where old cooking grease collects and exudes whenever foods are cooked in it.
Pyrex and heatproof porcelain are fine but fragile. Thick aluminum and iron, though good heat conductors, will discolor foods containing white wine or egg yolks. Because of the discoloration problem, we shall specify an enameled saucepan in some recipes to indicate that any nonstaining material is to be used, from enamel to stainless steel, lined copper, pyrex, glazed pottery, or porcelain.
Copper pots are the most satisfactory of all to cook in, as they hold and spread the heat well, and their tin lining does not discolor foods. A great many tourist or decorative types are currently sold; these are thin and glittering, and have shiny brass handles. The interior of the pot is lined with a wash of tin, which must be renewed every several years when it wears off and the copper begins to show through. A copper pot can still be used when this happens if it is scrubbed just before you cook with it, and if the food is removed as soon as it is done.
If cooked food remains in a poorly lined pot, some kind of a toxic chemical reaction can take place. It is thus best to have the pot re-tinned promptly. In addition to re-tinning, there is the cleaning problem, as copper tarnishes quickly. There are fast modern copper cleaners available. Rub the mixture over the copper, using steel wool if the pot is badly tarnished, then rinse in hot water. The tin lining is cleaned with steel wool and scouring powder, but do not expect it ever to glitter brightly again once you have used the pot for cooking.
All cleaning, alas, removes infinitesimal bits of the tin lining. Never let a copper pot sit empty over heat, or the tin lining will melt.
For the same reason, watch your heat when browning meats in copper. If the tin begins to glisten brightly in places, lower your heat. Since our first edition, pans with no-stick surfaces have appeared everywhere, and modern improvements have made their surfaces increasingly more resistant. We are enthusiastic about no-stick cookie sheets, cake pans, muffin tins, and especially no-stick frying pans. Treat no-stick surfaces with care, however: Any of the following items come in enameled cast iron: Oval casseroles are more practical than round ones as they can hold a chicken or a roast of meat as well as a stew or a soup.
Round and oval baking dishes can be used for roasting chicken, duck, or meats, or can double as gratin dishes.
Saucepans in a range of sizes are essential. One with a metal handle can also be set in the oven. Besides the usual array of pots, roasters, vegetable peelers, spoons, and spatulas, here are some useful objects which make cooking easier: A knife should be as sharp as a razor or it mashes and bruises food rather than chopping or cutting it. It can be considered sharp if just the weight of it, drawn across a tomato, slits the skin.
No knife will hold a razor-edge for long. The essential point is that it take an edge, and quickly. Plain rustable steel is the easiest to sharpen but discoloration is an annoying problem. Good stainless steel knives are available in cookware and cutlery shops, and probably the best way to test their quality is to download a small one and try it out.
If you cannot find good knives, consult your butcher or a professionally trained chef. Knives should be washed separately and by hand as soon as you have finished using them.
Tarnished blades are cleaned easily with steel wool and scouring powder. A magnetic holder screwed to the wall is a practical way of keeping knives always within reach and isolated from other objects that could dull and dent the blades by knocking against them. A wooden spatula is more practical for stirring than a wooden spoon; its flat surfaces are easily scraped off on the side of a pan or bowl.
You will usually find wooden spatulas only at stores specializing in French imports. The rubber spatula, which can be bought almost anywhere, is indispensable for scraping sauces out of bowls and pans, for stirring, folding, creaming, and smearing. Wire whips, or whisks, are wonderful for beating eggs, sauces, canned soups, and for general mixing. They are easier than the rotary egg beater because you use one hand only. Whisks range from minute to gigantic, and the best selections are in restaurant-supply houses.
You should have several sizes including the balloon whip for beating egg whites at the far left; its use is illustrated. Bulb Baster and Poultry Shears. The bulb baster is particularly good for basting meats or vegetables in a casserole, and for degreasing roasts as well as basting them. Some plastic models collapse in very hot fat; a metal tube-end is usually more satisfactory. Poultry shears are a great help in disjointing broilers and fryers; regular steel is more practical than stainless, as the shears can be sharpened more satisfactorily.
The drum sieve, tamis , is used in France when one is instructed to force food through a sieve. The ingredients, such as pounded lobster shells and butter, are placed on the screen and rubbed through it with the pestle. An ordinary sieve placed over a bowl or a food mill can take the place of a tamis.
Two wonderful inventions, the vegetable mill and the garlic press. This marvelous machine came into our kitchens in the mid-seventies—fifteen years after the first edition of this book! No serious cook should be without a food processor, especially since respectable budget models can be bought very reasonably. Small mortars of wood or porcelain are useful for grinding herbs, pounding nuts, and the like. The electric blender, meat grinder, and food mill take the place of a mortar and pestle in many instances.
A heavy-duty electric mixer makes light work of heavy meat mixtures, fruit cake batters, and yeast doughs as well as beating egg whites beautifully and effortlessly. Its efficient whip not only revolves about itself, but circulates around the properly designed bowl, keeping all of the mass of egg whites in motion all of the time.
Other useful attachments include a meat grinder with sausage-stuffing horn and a hot-water jack which attaches to the bottom of the stainless steel bowl. BEAT , fouetter To mix foods or liquids thoroughly and vigorously with a spoon, fork, or whip, or an electric beater. When you beat, train yourself to use your lower-arm and wrist muscles; if you beat from your shoulder you will tire quickly.
BLANCH , blanchir To plunge food into boiling water and to boil it until it has softened, or wilted, or is partially or fully cooked. Food is also blanched to remove too strong a taste, such as for cabbage or onions, or for the removal of the salty, smoky taste of bacon. BOIL , bouillir Liquid is technically at the boil when it is seething, rolling, and sending up bubbles. But in practice there are slow, medium, and fast boils.
A very slow boil, when the liquid is hardly moving except for a bubble at one point, is called to simmer, mijoter. A spoon dipped into a cream soup and withdrawn would be coated with a thin film of soup.
Dipped into a sauce destined to cover food, the spoon would emerge with a fairly thick coating. This is an important step in the preparation of all meat sauces from the simplest to the most elaborate, for the deglaze becomes part of the sauce, incorporating into it some of the flavor of the meat.
Thus sauce and meat are a logical complement to each other. To remove accumulated fat from the surface of a sauce, soup, or stock which is simmering, use a long-handled spoon and draw it over the surface, dipping up a thin layer of fat.
It is not necessary to remove all the fat at this time. When the cooking is done, remove all the fat. If the liquid is still hot, let it settle for 5 minutes so the fat will rise to the surface. Then spoon it off, tipping the pot or kettle so that a heavier fat deposit will collect at one side and can more easily be removed. It is easier, of course, to chill the liquid, for then the fat congeals on the surface and can be scraped off.
To remove fat from a pan while the meat is still roasting, tilt the pan and scoop out the fat which collects in the corner. Use a bulb baster or a big spoon. It is never necessary to remove all the fat at this time, just the excess. This de-greasing should be done quickly, so your oven will not cool.
If you take a long time over it, add a few extra minutes to your total roasting figure. After the roast has been taken from the pan, tilt the pan, then with a spoon or a bulb baster remove the fat that collects in one corner, but do not take up the browned juices, as these will go into your sauce.
Usually a tablespoon or two of fat is left in the pan; it will give body and flavor to the sauce.
Another method—and this can be useful if you have lots of juice—is to place a trayful of ice cubes in a sieve lined with 2 or 3 thicknesses of damp cheesecloth and set over a saucepan.
Pour the fat and juices over the ice cubes; most of the fat will collect and congeal on the ice. As some of the ice will melt into the saucepan, rapidly boil down the juices to concentrate their flavor.
For stews, daubes , and other foods which cook in a casserole, tip the casserole and the fat will collect at one side. Spoon it off, or suck it up with a bulb baster. Or strain off all the sauce into a pan, by placing the casserole cover askew and holding the casserole in both hands with your thumbs clamped to the cover while you pour out the liquid.
Then degrease the sauce in the pan, and return the sauce to the casserole. New Edition Note: An efficient degreasing pitcher now exists: Pour out clear juices—the spout opening is at the bottom of the pitcher; stop when fat appears in the spout.
To fold also means to mix delicately without breaking or mashing, such as folding cooked artichoke hearts or brains into a sauce. A sprinkling of bread crumbs or grated cheese, and dots of butter, help to form a light brown covering gratin over the sauce.
Macerate is the term usually reserved for fruits, such as: Marinate is used for meats: A marinade is a pickle, brine, or souse, or a mixture of wine or vinegar, oil, and condiments.
NAP , napper To cover food with a sauce which is thick enough to adhere, but supple enough so that the outlines of the food are preserved. This may be done in a mortar, a meat grinder, a food mill, an electric blender, or through a sieve.
This is a most important step in saucemaking. Plain butter cannot be heated to the required temperature without burning, so it must either be fortified with oil or be clarified—rid of its milky residue as described on this page. If it is damp, a layer of steam develops between the food and the fat preventing the browning and searing process. Enough air space must be left between each piece of food or it will steam rather than brown, and its juices will escape and burn in the pan.
TOSS , faire sauter Instead of turning food with a spoon or a spatula, you can make it flip over by tossing the pan. The classic example is tossing a pancake so it flips over in mid-air.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 & 2
But tossing is also a useful technique for cooking vegetables, as a toss is often less bruising than a turn. If you are cooking in a covered casserole, grasp it in both hands with your thumbs clamped to the cover. Toss the pan with an up-and-down, slightly jerky, circular motion.
The contents will flip over and change cooking levels. For an open saucepan use the same movement, holding the handle with both hands, thumbs up. A back-and-forth slide is used for a skillet.
Give it a very slight upward jerk just as you draw it back toward you. The following list is an explanation of the use of some items:. As this is difficult to find in America, we have specified smoked bacon; its taste is usually fresher than that of salt pork. It is always blanched in simmering water to remove its smoky taste. If this were not done, the whole dish would taste of bacon. Place the bacon strips in a pan of cold water, about 1 quart for each 4 ounces.
Bring to the simmer and simmer 10 minutes. Drain the bacon and rinse it thoroughly in fresh cold water, then dry it on paper towels. BUTTER , beurre French butter is made from matured cream rather than from sweet cream, is unsalted, and has a special almost nutty flavor. Except for cake frostings and certain desserts for which we have specified unsalted butter, American salted butter and French butter are interchangeable in cooking.
But technically any butter, salted or not, which is made from sweet, unmatured cream is sweet butter. When ordinary butter is heated until it liquefies, a milky residue sinks to the bottom of the saucepan. The clear, yellow liquid above it is clarified butter. It burns less easily than ordinary butter, as it is the milky particles in ordinary butter which blacken first when butter is heated.
It is also the base for brown butter sauce, and is used rather than fat in the brown roux for particularly fine brown sauces.
To clarify butter, cut it into pieces and place it in a saucepan over moderate heat. When the butter has melted, skim off the foam, and strain the clear yellow liquid into a bowl, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pan. The residue may be stirred into soups and sauces to serve as an enrichment. This is because the condition of the foam is a sure indication of how hot the butter is. As it begins to melt, the butter will foam hardly at all, and is not hot enough to brown anything.
But as the heat increases, the liquids in the butter evaporate and cause the butter to foam up. During this full-foaming period the butter is still not very hot, only around degrees. When the liquids have almost evaporated, you can see the foam subsiding. And when you see practically no foam, you will also observe the butter begin to turn light brown, then dark brown, and finally a burnt black.
Butter fortified with oil will heat to a higher temperature before browning and burning than will plain butter, but the observable signs are the same. Thus the point at which you add your eggs to the omelette pan or your meat to the skillet is when the butter is very hot but not browning, and that is easy to see when you look at the butter.
If it is still foaming up, wait a few seconds; when you see the foam begin to subside, the butter is hot enough for you to begin. Imported Swiss cheese is of two types, either of which may be used: Petit suisse , a cream cheese that is sometimes called for in French recipes, is analogous to Philadelphia cream cheese. It is not sour. Commercially made sour cream with a butterfat content of only 18 to 20 per cent is no substitute; furthermore, it cannot be boiled without curdling.
French cream has a butterfat content of at least 30 per cent. If it is allowed to thicken with a little buttermilk, it will taste quite a bit like French cream, can be boiled without curdling, and will keep for 10 days or more under refrigeration; use it on fruits or desserts, or in cooking. Stir the buttermilk into the cream and heat to luke-warm—not over 85 degrees.
Pour the mixture into a loosely covered jar and let it stand at a temperature of not over 85 degrees nor under 60 degrees until it has thickened.
This will take 5 to 8 hours on a hot day, 24 to 36 hours at a low temperature. Stir, cover, and refrigerate. French unmatured or sweet cream is called fleurette ]. FLOUR , farine Regular French household flour is made from soft wheat, while most American flour is made from hard wheat; in addition, French flour is usually unbleached. This makes a difference in cooking quality, especially when you are translating French recipes for yeast doughs and pastries. We have found that a reasonable approximation of French flour, if you need one, is 3 parts American all-purpose unbleached flour to 1 part plain bleached cake flour.
Be accurate when you measure flour or you will run into cake and pastry problems. Although a scale is ideal, and essential when you are cooking in large quantities, cups and spoons are accurate enough for home cooking when you use the scoop-and-level system illustrated here.
For all flour measurements in this volume, scoop the dry-measure cup directly into your flour container and fill the cup to overflowing A ; do not shake the cup or pack down the flour. Sweep off excess so that flour is even with the lip of the cup, using a straight edge of some sort B.
Sift only after measuring. In first edition copies of this volume all flour had to be sifted, and we advised that our flour be sifted directly into the cup; cake flour weighed less per cup than all-purpose flour, and it was a cumbersome system all around. The scoop-and-level is far easier, and just as reliable.
See next page for a chart of weights and measures for flour measured this way. Approximate Equivalents scoop-and-level method. N OTE: They are sometimes coated with sugar so they are not sticky; at other times they are sticky, depending on the specific process they have been through. Parsley, thyme, bay, and tarragon are the stand-bys, plus fresh chives and chervil in season. A mixture of fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil is called fines herbes.
Mediterranean France adds to the general list basil, fennel, oregano, sage, and saffron. The French feeling about herbs is that they should be an accent and a complement, but never a domination over the essential flavors of the main ingredients.
Fresh herbs are, of course, ideal; and some varieties of herbs freeze well. Excellent also are most of the dried herbs now available. Be sure any dried or frozen herbs you use retain most of their original taste and fragrance.
American bay is stronger and a bit different in taste than European bay. We suggest you download imported bay leaves; they are bottled by several of the well-known American spice firms. If the herbs are fresh and in sprigs or leaf, the parsley is folded around them and they are tied together with string. If the herbs are dried, they are wrapped in a piece of washed cheesecloth and tied.
A bundle is made so the herbs will not disperse themselves into the liquid or be skimmed off it, and so that they can be removed easily. It is prepared as follows:.
Stand the bone on one end and split it with a cleaver. Remove the marrow in one piece if possible. Slice or dice it with a knife dipped in hot water. Shortly before using, drop the marrow into the hot liquid. Set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until the marrow has softened. Drain, and it is ready to use. OIL , huile Classical French cooking uses almost exclusively odorless, tasteless vegetable oils for cooking and salads.
These are made from peanuts, corn, cottonseed, sesame seed, poppy seed, or other analogous ingredients. Olive oil, which dominates Mediterranean cooking, has too much character for the subtle flavors of a delicate dish.
They are used in sauces, stuffings, and general cooking to give a mild onion taste. The minced white part of green onions spring onions, scallions, ciboules may take the place of shallots. If you can find neither, substitute very finely minced onion dropped for one minute in boiling water, rinsed, and drained.
Or omit them altogether. They are always expensive. If you have ever been in France during this season, you will never forget the exciting smell of fresh truffles. Canned truffles, good as they are, give only a suggestion of their original glory.
But their flavor can be much enhanced if a spoonful or two of Madeira is poured into the can half an hour before the truffles are to be employed. The juice from the can is added to sauces and stuffings for additional truffle flavor. A partially used can of truffles may be frozen. The following table is for those who wish to translate French measurements into the nearest convenient American equivalent and vice versa:. There are big and little pinches. British dry measures for ounces and pounds and linear measures for inches and feet are the same as American measures.
However, the British liquid ounce is. See table of equivalents and measuring directions. To remove the smell of garlic from your hands, rinse them in cold water, rub with table salt. Repeat if necessary. See the note on garlic about how to remove the smell of onions from your hands. If you have oversalted a sauce or a soup, you can remove some of the saltiness by grating in raw potatoes.
Simmer the potatoes in the liquid for 7 to 8 minutes, then strain the liquid; the potatoes will have absorbed quite a bit of the excess salt.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One
F RENCH COOKING requires a good deal of slicing, dicing, mincing, and fancy cutting, and if you have not learned to wield a knife rapidly a recipe calling for 2 cups of finely diced vegetables and 2 pounds of sliced mushroom caps is often too discouraging to attempt. It takes several weeks of off-and-on practice to master the various knife techniques, but once learned they are never forgotten.
You can save a tremendous amount of time, and also derive a modest pride, in learning how to use a knife professionally. For cutting and slicing, hold the knife with your thumb and index finger gripping the top of the blade, and wrap your other fingers around the handle. For chopping, hold the knife blade by both ends and chop with rapid up-and-down movements, brushing the ingredients repeatedly into a heap again with the knife.
To slice potatoes or other round or oval objects, cut the potato in half and lay it cut-side down on the chopping board.
Use the thumb of your left hand as a pusher, and grip the sides of the potato with your fingers, pointing your fingernails back toward your thumb so you will not cut them. Cut straight down, at a right angle to board, with a quick stroke of the knife blade, pushing the potato slice away from the potato as you hit the board.
The knuckles of your left hand act as a guide for the next slice. This goes slowly at first, but after a bit of practice, 2 pounds of potatoes can be sliced in less than 5 minutes.
To slice long objects like carrots, cut a thin strip off one side so the carrot will lie flat on the board. Then cut crosswise slices as for the potatoes in the preceding paragraph. To cut vegetables such as carrots or potatoes into julienne matchsticks, remove a thin strip off one side of the carrot and lay the carrot on the board.
Dicing Solid Vegetables. Proceed as for the julienne, but cut the strips, a handful at a time, crosswise into dice.
Dicing Onions and Shallots a. Once mastered, this method of dicing onions or shallots goes like lightning. Cut the onion in half through the root. Lay one half cut-side down, its root-end to your left. Cut vertical slices from one side to the other, coming just to the root but leaving the slices attached to it, thus the onion will not fall apart.
Then make horizontal slices from bottom to top, still leaving them attached to the root of the onion. Various methods for cutting mushrooms are illustrated on this page. F OOD , like the people who eat it, can be stimulated by wine or spirits. And, as with people, it can also be spoiled. The quality in a white or red wine, vermouth, Madeira, or brandy which heightens the character of cooking is not the alcohol content, which is usually evaporated, but the flavor.
Therefore any wine or spirit used in cooking must be a good one. If it is excessively fruity, sour, or unsavory in any way, these tastes will only be emphasized by the cooking, which ordinarily reduces volume and concentrates flavor.
If you have not a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a simple dish and utterly debase a noble one. White wine for cooking should be strong and dry, but never sour or fruity.
It has all the right qualities and, in France, is not expensive. As the right white wine is not as reasonable to acquire in America, we have found that a good, dry, white vermouth is an excellent substitute, and much better than the wrong kind of white wine.
A good, young, full-bodied red wine is the type you should use for cooking. Fortified wines, spirits, and liqueurs are used principally for final flavorings, As they must be of excellent quality they are always expensive; but usually only a small quantity is called for, so your supply should last quite a while.
Here, particularly, if you do not want to spend the money for a good bottle, omit the ingredient or pick another recipe. Dark Jamaican rum is the best type to use here, to get a full rum flavor. These wines should be the genuine imported article of a medium-dry type, but can be the more moderately priced examples from a good firm. If used in place of port or Madeira they tend to give an un-French flavor to most French recipes.
Because there are dreadful concoctions bottled under the label of brandy, we have specified cognac whenever brandy is required in a recipe, as a reminder that you use a good brand. You do not have to download Three-star or V. P, but whatever you use should compare favorably in taste with a good cognac.
And there is always that enjoyable problem of just which of the many possible choices you should use for a particular occasion. If you are a neophyte wine drinker, the point to keep in mind in learning about which wine to serve with which dish is that the wine should complement the food and the food should accentuate and blend with the qualities of the wine.
A robust wine overpowers the taste of a delicate dish, while a highly spiced dish will kill the flavor of a light wine. A dry wine tastes sour if drunk with a sweet dessert, and a red wine often takes on a fishy taste if served with fish. Great combinations of wine and food are unforgettable: Knowledge of wines is a lifetime hobby, and the only way to learn is to start in drinking and enjoying them, comparing types, vintages, and good marriages of certain wines with certain foods.
Wine suggestions go with all the master recipes for main courses. Here is a list of generally accepted concordances to reverse the process. As this is a book on French cooking, we have concentrated on French wines. They may range from noble and full bodied to relatively light, depending on the vineyard and vintage. Sweet white wines are too often neglected. In the old days sweet wines were drunk with oysters.
Local wines, vins du pays , often fall into this category. Serve with fish, poultry, and veal in cream sauces. White Burgundy can also be drunk with foie gras, and it is not unheard of to serve a Meursault with Roquefort cheese.
Many of the regional wines and local vins du pays can also be included here. Serve Bordeaux with roast chicken, turkey, veal, or lamb; also with filet of beef, ham, liver, quail, pheasant , foie gras, and soft fermented cheese like camembert. Serve with duck, goose, kidneys, well-hung game, meats marinated in red wine, and authoritative cheeses such as Roquefort. They are called for wherever strong-flavored foods must meet strong-flavored wines. Or it may accompany the whole meal.
Sweet champagne is another neglected wine, yet is the only kind to serve with desserts and pastries. Except for champagne, which has sugar added to it to produce the bubbles, great French wines are the unadulterated, fermented juice from the pressings of one type of grape originating in one vineyard during one harvest season.
Lesser wines, which can be very good, may also be unadulterated. On the other hand, they may be fortified with sugar during a lean year to build up their alcoholic strength, or they may be blended with wines from other vineyards or localities to give them more body or uniformity of taste. The quality of a wine is due to the variety of grape it is made from, the locality in which it is grown, and the climate during the wine-growing year.
In exceptional years such as and , even lesser wines can be great, and the great ones become priceless. Vintage charts, which you can pick up from your wine merchant, evaluate the various wines by region for each year. Fine wine is a living liquid containing no preservatives.
Its life comprises youth, maturity, old age, and death. When not treated with reasonable respect it will sicken and die. If it is left standing upright for a length of time, the cork will dry out, air will enter the bottle, and the wine will spoil. Shaking and joggling are damaging to it, as are extreme fluctuations of heat and cold. If it is to be laid down to grow into maturity, it should rest on its side in a dark, well-ventilated place at a temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If it is to be kept only for a year or two, it can be laid in any dark and quiet corner as long as the temperature remains fairly constant and is neither below 50 degrees nor over Even the most modest wine will improve if allowed to rest for several days before it is drunk. This allows the wine to reconstitute itself after its journey from shop to home. Great wines, particularly the red ones, benefit from a rest of at least two to three weeks. Red wines, unless they are very young and light, are generally served at a normal room temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
At lower temperatures they do not show off their full qualities. At least four hours in the dining room are required to bring them slowly up from the temperature of a degree cellar.
Never warm a wine artificially; an old wine can be ruined if the bottle is heated. It is better to pour it out too cold, and let it warm in the glass. As a rule, the sweeter the wine, the colder it should be.
A Sauternes or sweet champagne will take four to five hours in the refrigerator. For other white wines, two to three hours are sufficient; if they are too cold, they lose much of their taste. Many authorities recommend that these be uncorked and poured at once, then one waits upon them in the glass, tasting them as they develop. Some fine old reds fade within a few minutes of opening, while other wines are utterly wasted if drunk before they have had time to bloom forth in the glass.
If you know your particular bottles from previous tastings, you can, of course, judge the pouring and drinking of them accordingly. Old red wines that throw a deposit in the bottom of the bottle must be handled so as not to disturb the deposit and circulate it through the wine. Either pour the wine into a decanter leaving the deposit behind, or serve it from a wine basket where it will remain in a prone position. When serving from a basket, pour very smoothly so the wine does not slop back into the bottle and agitate the sediment.
The bottle is stood upright after the wine is poured. The bigger the wine, the bigger the glass. A small glass gives no room for the bouquet to develop, nor for the drinker to swirl. It should be filled to just below the halfway mark. And combined according to your own taste, a good homemade soup in these days of the can opener is almost a unique and always a satisfying experience.
Most soups are uncomplicated to make, and the major portion of them can be prepared several hours before serving. Here is a varied handful of good recipes. Blenders and processors chop up and serve forth tough woody vegetable bits, while a vegetable mill holds them back to give you a fiber-free brew.
A pressure cooker can save time, but the vegetables for a long-simmered soup should have only 5 minutes under 15 pounds pressure; more gives them a pressure-cooker taste. Then the pressure should be released and the soup simmered for 15 to 20 minutes so it will develop its full flavor.
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Leek and potato soup smells good, tastes good, and is simplicity itself to make. It is also versatile as a soup base; add water cress and you have a water-cress soup, or stir in cream and chill it for a vichyssoise. To change the formula a bit, add carrots, string beans, cauliflower, broccoli, or anything else you think would go with it, and vary the proportions as you wish.
For about 2 quarts serving 6 to 8 people. Either simmer the vegetables, water, and salt together, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender; or cook under 15 pounds pressure for 5 minutes, release pressure, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork, or pass the soup through a food mill.
Correct seasoning. Off heat and just before serving, stir in the cream or butter by spoonfuls. Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs. This simple version of water-cress soup is very good. See also the more elaborate recipe. Ingredients for the leek and potato soup, omitting cream or butter enrichment until later. Decorate with the optional water-cress leaves. This is an American invention based on the leek and potato soup in the preceding master recipe. Simmer the vegetables in stock or broth instead of water as described in the master recipe.
Stir in the cream. Season to taste, oversalting very slightly as salt loses savor in a cold dish. Using the master recipe for leek and potato soup a cup or two of one or a combination of the following vegetables may be added as indicated. Proportions are not important here, and you can use your imagination to the full. Many of the delicious soups you eat in French homes and little restaurants are made just this way, with a leek-and-potato base to which leftover vegetables or sauces and a few fresh items are added.
You can also experiment on your own combinations for cold soups, by stirring a cup or more of heavy cream into the cooked soup, chilling it, then sprinkling on fresh herbs just before serving. You may find you have invented a marvelous concoction, which you can keep as a secret of the house. To be simmered or cooked in the pressure cooker with the potatoes and leeks or onions at the start. Peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes ; or strained canned tomatoes.
Half-cooked dried beans, peas, or lentils, including their cooking liquid.
Fresh or frozen diced cauliflower, cucumbers, broccoli, Lima beans, peas, string beans, okra, or zucchini. Diced, cooked leftovers of any of the preceding vegetables. Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced, and diced. Here is a fine, rich, mushroom soup either for grand occasions or as the main course for a Sunday supper. Cook the onions slowly in the butter for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are tender but not browned. Salt and pepper to taste. Off heat, beat in the boiling stock or broth and blend it thoroughly with the flour.
Season to taste. Stir in the mushroom stems, and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Strain, pressing juices out of mushroom stems. Return the soup to the pan. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan. When it is foaming, toss in the mushrooms, salt, and lemon juice. Cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes.
Pour the mushrooms and their cooking juices into the strained soup base. Simmer for 10 minutes. Reheat to simmer just before proceeding to the step below, which will take 2 or 3 minutes. Beat the egg yolks and cream in the mixing bowl.
Then beat in hot soup by spoonfuls until a cup has been added. Gradually stir in the rest. Return the soup to the pan and stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to poach the egg yolks, but do not let the soup come near the simmer. Off heat, stir in the butter by tablespoons. Pour the soup into a tureen or soup cups, and decorate with optional mushrooms and herbs.
Cook the onions slowly in the butter in a covered saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and translucent but not browned. Stir in the water cress and salt, cover, and cook slowly for about 5 minutes or until the leaves are tender and wilted. Off heat, beat in the boiling stock. Return to saucepan and correct seasoning. Reheat to simmer before proceeding. Blend the yolks and cream in the mixing bowl. Beat a cupful of hot soup into them by driblets.
Gradually beat in the rest of the soup in a thin stream. Return soup to saucepan and stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to poach the egg yolks, but do not bring the soup to the simmer. Off heat, stir in the enrichment butter a tablespoon at a time. Pour the soup into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with optional water-cress leaves. Omit final butter enrichment and chill. If too thick, stir in more cream before serving.
The onions for an onion soup need a long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock for them to develop the deep, rich flavor which characterizes a perfect brew. Though the preliminary cooking in butter requires some watching, the actual simmering can proceed almost unattended. Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1
Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown. Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine, and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Rounds of hard-toasted French bread see recipe following. Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Pour into a soup tureen or soup cups over the rounds of bread, and pass the cheese separately.
Place the bread in one layer in a roasting pan and bake in a preheated degree oven for about half an hour, until it is thoroughly dried out and lightly browned.
Olive oil or beef drippings A cut clove of garlic. Halfway through the baking, each side may be basted with a teaspoon of olive oil or beef drippings; and after baking, each piece may be rubbed with cut garlic. Brown under a hot broiler before serving.
A fireproof tureen or casserole or individual onion soup pots. Bring the soup to the boil and pour into the tureen or soup pots. Stir in the slivered cheese and grated onion. Float the rounds of toast on top of the soup, and spread the grated cheese over it. Sprinkle with the oil or butter.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, then set for a minute or two under a preheated broiler to brown the top lightly. Serve immediately. A final fillip to the preceding onion soup may be accomplished in the kitchen just before serving or by the server at the table. Just before serving the soup, lift up an edge of the crust with a fork and remove a ladleful of soup. In a thin stream of droplets, beat the soup into the egg yolk mixture with a fork.
Gradually beat in two more ladlefuls, which may be added more rapidly. Again lifting up the crust, pour the mixture back into the soup. Then reach in under the crust with the ladle and stir gently to blend the mixture into the rest of the soup. Fortunately, this soup is not confined to summer and fresh vegetables, for you can use canned navy beans or kidney beans, fresh or frozen string beans, and a fragrant dried basil.
Other vegetables in season may be added with the green beans as you wish, such as peas, diced zucchini, and green or red bell peppers. If available, 2 cups fresh white beans, and omit the navy beans farther on. An expensive roast of veal undergoes a group of variations, as does a whole roasting chicken, which finally appears with a boned breast and a corseting of pastry.
We hope you will enjoy the vegetable chapter as much as we do, because we have had fun with these recipes. Although there are a few of the classics, like pommes Anna and pommes duchesse, most of the recipes are originals that we have been working on for a number of years until we felt they were ripe for you and this volume. There are stuffed onions, stuffed cabbage, stuffed zucchini, and cold stuffed artichoke hearts. Again, most of the vegetable chapter is built on themes and variations, and is designed to engender the flow of your creative juices.
Two entirely new categories are the chapters on breads and pastry doughs and on charcuterie. These everyday staples in France were once considered luxury items here and, in fact, when you download them now in gourmet shops they are luxuries. But you can make them yourself with pride and pleasure and at a fraction of the cost. Until our editor, in her gentle but compelling way, suggested that we really owed it to our readers to include a recipe for French bread, we had no plans at all to tackle it.
Two years and some pounds of flour later, we had tried out all the home-style recipes for French bread we could find, we had two professional French textbooks on baking, we had learned many things about yeasts and doughs, yet our best effort, which was a type of peasant sourdough loaf, still had little to do with real French bread.
Fortunately those two years on the wrong road had been useful, because as soon as Professor Calvel started in, we knew what he was talking about, even though every step in the bread-making process was entirely different from anything we had heard of, read of, or seen. His dough was soft and sticky; he let it rise slowly twice, to triple its original volume—the dough must ripen to develop its natural flavor and proper texture.
Forming the dough into its long-loaf or round-loaf shapes was a fascinating process, and so logical; slashing the top of the risen loaves before sliding them into the oven was another special procedure.
This was a tremendously exciting day for us, as you can imagine. We now knew we could succeed, because we had seen and felt with our own hands so clearly where we had failed.
There remained the problem of working out the formula with American all-purpose bleached flour instead of the softer French unbleached flour. Although you can produce a presentable loaf without these two professional oven requirements, you will not get quite the high rise or quite the crust. Paul Child and his usual Yankee ingenuity solved the hot baking surface by lining the oven rack with red quarry tiles, which he heated up with the oven; he created a great burst of steam by placing a pan of water in the bottom of the oven, and dropping a red-hot brick into it.
We are thus delighted to report that you can make marvelous French bread in your own kitchen with ordinary American ingredients and equipment. While packaged dough mixes and frozen adaptations can certainly serve in emergencies, it is part of your training as a cook that you be able to turn out at least the dough for a pastry shell as a matter of course. It is actually, we think, when you have made the dough for your first quiche or tart, and have been complimented enthusiastically and specifically on the crust, that you begin to feel you are stepping out of the kindergarten and into a more advanced class of cooking.
If you have had troubles or qualms, therefore, about handmade dough, try the recipe here ; the electric mixer or food processor works quickly and beautifully. And if you have hesitated to tackle the traditional flan ring lined with dough and weighted down with foil and beans, try the upside-down cake-pan method , which is an easy way to make pastry shells.
Furthermore, the egg formula in the recipe makes a deliciously crisp, tender, buttery crust. Properly made, it is flakily tender, and a delight to both tongue and palate. We have spent years on puff pastry ourselves, wanting to make sure that the recipe in this book would be as good with American flour as it is with French flour—the trouble with American all-purpose flour being that it has a higher gluten content than French flour, and that makes differences all along the line.
We worked out combinations of unbleached pastry flour and all-purpose flour, we have tried instant-blending flour, and we have finally settled on a mixture of regular all-purpose flour and cake flour as being the most sensible. Although it takes a little longer to work with, it produces a beautifully tender, high-rising dough that is even more impressive, we think, than its French counterpart. The illustrated recipe for simple puff pastry is easy to follow, and we suggest your first creation be a handsome puff pastry tart, the cheese , or the jam.
Both of them are quick to form, yet give a very handsome effect to start you off in a whirl of success. Our forefathers did the kind of cooking in Chapter V , Charcuterie, if they lived on a farm and made their own sausages and cured their own pork.
The particularly wonderful taste of these creations is derived from the fact that they are freshly made, on the premises. We, who want to partake of the same pleasures, must make our own. And for anyone who enjoys cooking, producing charcuterie, like making bread and pastry, is a deeply satisfying occupation. You will be amazed, if you have never tried your own before, how rewarding just a homemade sausage patty can be; it is only freshly ground pork mixed with salt and spices, but it tastes the way one dreams sausage meat should taste.
The final chapter contains favorite desserts and cakes that we have been testing out on our guinea pigs—our students and families—for a number of years. We also give you a group of original fruit desserts, custards, and a liqueur-soaked French shortcake, a number of handsome desserts made with puff pastry, and a selection of petits fours.
It will be for you to judge whether we have achieved the ultimate in chocolate with La Charlotte Africaine or with Le Glorieux, or whether that perennial cake winner made of chocolate and almonds, La Reine de Saba, in Volume I, still retains the title. In all of our recipes, and especially in those for desserts and cakes, we have taken full advantage of modern mechanical aids wherever we have found them effective. However, we are teachers; we want people to learn.
We have therefore developed our own methods for machine-beaten egg whites , for machine-made cakes , and there are directions for doing all the pastries and doughs by machine as well as by hand. Because machines make cooking so much easier, and because recipes that take tedious effort by hand—like quenelles, mousses, and meringues—can be done in minutes by machine, we urge you to provide yourself with the best you can afford, and refer you to the illustrated suggestions.
We have so far said hardly a word about the illustrations, which are, to our mind, the glory of Volume II. We can speak of them without a hint of modesty because they are the result of a remarkable feat of teamwork between Paul Child, our action photographer, and Sidonie Coryn, our illustrator. Because of their tireless expertise we have been able to picture step-by-step operations that to our knowledge have never been adequately illustrated before; we now feel confident that this combined visual and verbal presentation makes absolutely clear the most complicated sounding process.
For French bread alone there are 34 drawings, showing the procedure from the start: mixing the dough, kneading it, how it looks when risen, how to deflate it, and the intricacies of forming the dough into various loaf shapes.However, we are teachers; we want people to learn. The Soubise, on its own, that glorious mixture of melting onion and rice, has never left my repertoire.
Drop garlic cloves in boiling water and boil 30 seconds. If the tin begins to glisten brightly in places, lower your heat. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was one of the most influential books in twentieth-century America.