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Book Brief: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I

Book Brief: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I
This is the instant classic that first brought Julia Child and good French cooking into our kitchens over 40 years ago.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is as much a course on how to cook as a collection of authentic French recipes. It remains one of the most influential cookbooks ever published, treasured by generations of Americans who tried every recipe and became accomplished home cooks in the process. For countless young chefs, the pages inspired a culinary career.

Child and coauthors Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck deliciously demonstrate that anyone, anywhere can cook and eat in the French manner. With clear, detailed recipes, they demystify the French favorites, such as hearty onion soup, creamy quiche Lorraine, an apple tart in a flaky pastry crust and a lofty chocolate soufflé. They specify ingredients easily available in American markets that replicate the French equivalents. They require only a simple batterie de cuisine and are all in favor of machines that save time and effort, including food processors and heavy-duty mixers.

While divulging the secrets to preparing savory beef and onions braised in beer, wine-infused steamed lobster and crunchy caramelized almonds, the authors also teach you basic techniques you will use again and again: how to brown meat so it stays juicy, how to thicken a sauce, how to toast nuts in the oven. (For years, the authors ran a now-legendary cooking school in Paris, L'Ecole des 3 Gourmandes—School of the 3 Happy Eaters.)

Variations follow the master recipes and are certain to inspire more of your own. Learn to make perfect shirred eggs and embellish them a dozen ways—with herb butter, cheese, sausages, broiled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and more. Discover how simple changes transform a dish into something totally new.

Wise words and practical advice fill the pages. Want to know why your mayonnaise separated—and how to fix it? How to peel and braise fresh chestnuts? How to tell when your breast of chicken is properly cooked? This comprehensive volume offers precise, easy-to-understand answers, plus a glossary of essential cooking terms and over 100 instructive illustrations.

This special edition celebrates the 40th anniversary of Mastering the Art of French Cooking with a new introduction by Julia Child (who turned 90 this year). You'll also enjoy a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the book's American reception along with letters of praise for Julia, written by prominent chefs and others in the food world.

Whether you are a culinary veteran or a beginner, this timeless reference on French food, classic techniques and good eating will serve you well. No cookbook collection today can be considered complete without it. Bon appetit!