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Paperback At Home with the French Classics Book

ISBN: 0894806335

ISBN13: 9780894806339

At Home with the French Classics

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Despite our growing kitchen savvy, many Americans still find French food too intimidating, too time-consuming, and too complicated. Richard Grausman, a well-known teacher of French cooking, has had a long-time mission to dispel this fear and make French cooking accessible and understandable to the American home cook. The result? AT HOME WITH THE FRENCH CLASSICS. This compendium of over 250 classic and traditional French dishes offers recipes that...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

At Home Cooks!

Move over Betty Crocker. Not just a cookbook, Richard Grausman's "At Home with the French Classics" contains interesting text and approachable recipes. Compared to others, my joy of cooking with Richard's cookbook is that his didactic style, honed by his years of teaching, offers detailed explanations, warnings of potential problems, and the step by step guidance of a well-marked trail.Take his recipe for genoise. Before listing the ingredients, he recommends warming the eggs in hot water instead of beating them over heat. He also describes the classic French preprations and why his vary. Usually less butter or eggs for health concerns. Or just because he thinks his way is better. Less sugar if it's too sweet.Many of his recipes contain a short list of ingredients and are easy to prepare. His chocolate mousse calls for chocolate, eggs, butter, and cream of tartar. That's it. And you'll enjoy reading about all the wonderful dishes that you can create with this versatile mousse.I think Richard's book is a classic.


By far my favorite cookbook...the recipes are wonderful, easy to do, and what's really great are the extra tips which explain the reasons why (or why not) to do something!

Having a French Chef in Your Kitchen

People who aim to be good cooks read and try things out. They learn about food traditions and classic dishes. They learn little tricks to make these dishes and experiment with variations. It takes quite a few years of reading and quite a few mistakes before people can call themselves fantastic cooks. I for one have often wished, when the sauce has curdled or the meat won't brown properly, that a chef would step into my kitchen and just show me how to get the desired result. Well, I found the next best thing when I acquired Richard Grausman's book "At Home With the French Classics". Reading this book is really like having someone talking to you in the kitchen. That's because it's written by a person who has tried every recipe several different ways and can give you little practical suggestions that really make sense. For making tart pastry, for example, he tells you how to go about it using the food processor as well as using the traditional hand method (which needs a little more water). And there is a panel of pencil drawings down the side of the page, to show you the different techniques, which is almost as good as looking over a French chef's shoulder. Often as I was reading, little surprises kept me saying: "Well, I never knew that!" I didn't know that you could bake chocolate mousse and end up with a cake - a moist, luscious chocolate cake that has no flour in it. I like the flavour and texture of Grausman's Gratin Dauphinois. That's because he soaks the fine potato slices in the milk they will be cooked in, rather than water, and so the final dish has a lovely, creamy, almost cheesy, finish. Food stains are the most telling things in cook books. My copy of "At Home With the French Classics" has food stains on the pages for Tarte Tatin, (upside down apple tart), Canard au cidre (duck with apples and cider), Marinated mushrooms (I spilled the tomato paste here!) and the courgettes Farcies, (zucchini stuffed with mushrooms and ham). That leaves hundreds of pages and hundreds of recipes to go before this comprehensive book is exhausted. By that time, I'll be completely at home with the French classics. I'll be a French chef in my own kitchen.

Comprehensive and accessible

Note to the beginning French chef: begin here, not with Julia Child. In "At Home with the French Classics" author Richard Grausman presents a tutorial on French cooking that is both unified and accessible. It is unified in that the recipes all work together and make use of the same types of ingredients. It is accessible in that both the recipes and the techniques used to create them are described in an easy-to-follow manner that takes all the mystery out of French cooking. The book provides such a solid foundation to an everyday cuisine, that it could quite easily be the only cookbook you'd ever need. It will come as a relief to many readers of French cooking texts that there aren't any 'eye of newt' recipes - recipes that require you to search far and wide for some exotic ingredient. Grausman takes great pains to ensure that virtually everything you will ever need is available at your local supermarket. No trips to the gourmet store are required (though some might be desired!). For example, the brown stock essential for many red meat dishes is made from easy-to-find beef bones rather than the more traditional and exotic veal bones. And if you don't have time to make stock, Grausman presents canned equivalents along with the dilutions required for various name brands. Along with the recipes, the margins are filled with notes presenting a wealth of background information on tools and techniques. Grausman discusses which techniques are necessary and which are outdated holdovers from a different era. He frequently presents modern refinements to classic techniques that often make the recipes much easier to execute. He also respects modern dietary sensibilities by reducing or eliminating excessive butter, eggs, and cream whenever it is possible to do so without sacrificing essential flavors.

An excellent introduction to French cooking & techniques.

I asked my mother, who lives in the US, to send me my first French cookbook (I live in Israel and the better foreign cookbooks are unavailable). She randomly selected At Home with the French Classics. It proved to be a stroke of luck. I had never had any contact with French food and this book opened my eyes to the varieties of things possible. The book is clearly written, beautifully laid out and illustrated, and filled with brief explanations which go beyond the mechanics of preparing a specific dish. The dishes themselves are delicious and, considering its french food, reasonably health conscious. I particularly appreciate that the author lets you know what he has taken out of recipes to this end, so that those who like to live dangerously can add things back in.One of the most important elements of the book is that it *teaches,* almost. If one has never made sauces, custards, etc., it is possible to learn without being intimidated.The only drawback to the book is that since more effort is given to covering the breadth of French cuisine and to teaching technique, some sections have as few as 3 recipes in them. No matter, what's there is delicious and whomever chooses to go farther can find more sophisticated books.
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