Item description for The Way to Cook by Julia Child...
Overview Blending French cooking techniques with free-style American cuisine, this lavishly illustrated cookbook features step-by-step directions for creating a rich variety of delectable dishes. Reprint. 50,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo.
Publishers Description In this magnificent new cookbook, illustrated with full color throughout, Julia Child give us her magnum opus--the distillation of a lifetime of cooking. And she has an important message for Americans today. . . --to the health-conscious: make a habit of good "home" cooking so that you know you are working with the best and freshest ingredients and you can be in control of what goes into every dish --to the new generation of cooks who have not grown up in the old traditions: learn the basics and understand what you are doing so cooking can be easier, faster, and more enjoyable --to the more experienced cook: have fun improvising and creating your own versions of traditional dishes --and to all of us: above all, enjoy the pleasures of the table. In this spirit, Julia has conceived her most creative and instructive cookbook, blending classic techniques with free-style American cooking and with added emphasis on lightness, freshness, and simpler preparations. Breaking with conventional organization, she structures the chapters (from "Soups" to "Cakes & Cookies)" around master recipes, giving all the reassuring details that she is so good at and grouping the recipes according to method; these are followed--in shorthand form--by innumerable variations that are easily made once the basics are understood. For example, make her simple but impeccably prepared saute of chicken, and before long you're easily whipping up Chicken with Mushrooms and Cream, Chicken Provencale, Chicken Piperade, or Chicken Marengo. Or master her perfect broiled butterflied chicken, and next time Deviled Rabbit or Split Cornish Game Hens Broiled with Cheese will be on your menu. In all, there are more than 800 recipes, including the variations--from a treasure trove of poultry and fish recipes and a vast array of fresh vegetables prepared in new ways to bread doughs (that can be turned into pizzas and calzones and hamburger buns) and delicious indulgences, such as Caramel Apple Mountain or a Queen of Sheba Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Leaves. And if you want to know how a finished dish should look or how to angle your knife or to fashion a pretty rosette on that cake, there are more than 600 color photographs to entice and instruct you along the way. A one-of-a-kind, brilliant, and inspiring book from the incomparable Julia, which is bound to rekindle interest in the satisfactions of good home cooking.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Way to Cook?
Basics Feb 8, 2008
"The Way to Cook" by Julia Child is one of the two best cookbooks ever written for individuals seriously interested in learning to cook. I started cooking from scratch 45 years ago when I was five and have used many, many cookbooks since then. This one tops the list!
She is the Queen Feb 3, 2008
You read all the other chefs and they all mention the influence of Julia Child on their cooking. I like this book because it is not just French. It is all about a few quality ingredients done correctly.
Great teaching tool Jan 21, 2008
The Way to Cook
My son is interested in learning how to cook. While he can do simple foods, like spaghetti and chili, he wanted to learn things which take a lot of expertise when it comes to methods of preparation. This cook book takes you from very simple recipes to tougher ones, building on the previous lessons. He's thrilled with the book, as am I. It's a comprehensive guide to cooking that will last him a lifetime.
Interesting but a little dated Dec 25, 2007
I've been consulting this book for about two months.
Also, I would rate myself something of an intermediate chef.
This book is well organized. It has "master recipes" that provide fundamental ways of cooking things (e.g. generic roast chicken) -- these recipes are printed in red -- and then specializations of those. So you can, from this, build you own recipes without fear of screwing up too much.
My only criticism, (and it's not her fault) is that the availability of produce has changed (increased) so much over time that it is hard to apply her recipes today (what to do with daicon, for example). The fish section, for example, seems totally vague to me (there's so many more varieties of fish available now).
Nevertheless, a good reference source, and filled with interesting ideas.
A serious tome for serious home cooks Aug 20, 2007
This is a serious tome for serious home cooks. While hardly exhaustive in terms of scope, what turf Julia DID choose to cover in this particular volume she covered in excellent depth, with full instructional details and even some helpful photos:
* Want to do a standing rib roast of beef, from scratch, with all the trimmings (pan gravy and yorkshire pudding), along with instructions on how to butcher it beforehand and carve it after it comes out of the oven ? It's in there.
* Want to make French style baguettes, from scratch, along with instructions on how to mix, knead, rise, shape, mist & bake the dough ? And how to cool, cut and serve the finished bread ? It's in there, and don't even DREAM of being stingy when it comes with serving it with generous amounts of REAL gourmet butter, because margarine, to paraphrase the grande dame (bless her), "is for the clueless and timid hoi polloi who've been brainwashed into thinking butter is bad for them and doesn't taste better than the fake stuff ... poppycock !"
* Rack of lamb ? Whole leg of lamb ? Crown roast of pork ? Whole salmon ? It's all in there, along with classic sauces and presentation photos for each.
And unlike Betty Crocker, Julia's meat doneness charts owe their allegance, first and foremost, to TASTE, rather than to USDA-inspired legaleze. Props to her for that.
This book is a must-have book for both hardcore home cooks, and professionals alike. Several of my friends are professional chefs, and ALL of them own copies.
NITS: Julia's great, but she's not perfect. Nobody is.
(1) Take for instance her otherwise wonderful rib roast of beef recipe mentioned earlier ... most pros who specialize in meat will agree that it's best to take large roasts out of the fridge at least 2 full hours in advance, before roasting them, on order to let them shed some of their cold and to retain the widest possible zone of pink in the finished roast without compromising proper doneness. Julia neglects to mention that. It's a small point, but an important one, if you're [...] about perfection. Other than that, her recipe and technique is dead on. Personally, I like to rest meat at room temperature until it reaches 50F internal before roasting it.
(2) Another minor nit is that she's still lagging a little behind the times in terms of the latest culinary technology. Julia's old school, and that's a major part of her charm. She's got SOME modern conveniences, like food processors and stand mixers, but not the more cutting edge stuff like wireless digital thermometers (see image below), which are a godsend for remotely monitoring roasts and knowing when they're done to perfection.