Classic French Recipes

Phaidon. Apr. 2024. 360p. ISBN 9781838666798. $59.95. COOKING
In 1932, Je Sais Cuisiner (I Know How To Cook), written by French home economist Mathiot, was published, and over the next 90 years, it became the culinary bible for home cooks in France. Drawing on more than 170 recipes from the original cookbook, this new version with contributions by David Lebovitz (Drinking French) lets Anglophone cooks serve up the tried-and-true dishes their French counterparts have enjoyed for decades. It opens with basic culinary building blocks like sauces and doughs, followed by recipes organized by course, beginning with starters and ending with desserts. Whether it’s making different variations of court-bouillon, preparing a classic sole meunière, or whipping up a beloved favorite like croque monsieur (which, FYI the French like to tie up with twine before grilling for a more chic presentation), all of the recipes are presented with clear and concise instructions illuminated by Mathiot’s warm and welcoming voice.
VERDICT An excellent, encouraging introduction to French home cooking by an author who combines the best culinary qualities of Gallic versions of Irma Rombauer and Fannie Farmer, with just a dash of Ratatouille’s beloved Chef Gusteau.
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