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Simple French Recipes For The Home Cook
cookbook reviewssimple french recipes for the home cook
Simple French Recipes For The Home Cook
by by Guy Savoy
List Price: $35.00
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Reviewed by Jane Boaz

Click Here to Buy It On Line!

October 2004
Simple French Recipes for the Home Cook, a descriptive banner that accurately reflects this book's content. Chef Guy Savoy delivers everything the title promises in his first US published cookbook.

C'est vrai! Most ingredients called for are easily obtainable supermarket staples. Exceptions such as foie gras and rabbit may not be available at a small town IGA, but with a little effort, most can be procured online or at gourmet stores. While ingredient counts exceed fifteen in a substantial number of the recipes, most (including appetizers, gratins, meats, fish and desserts) average just five or six ingredients. As for equipment, the most sophisticated item called for is a food processor, but very few of the recipes require one.

French Recipes?
Oui! A veritable survey course in French food, this book includes all the classics. An entire chapter is devoted to gratins. Chef Savoy covers a foie gras appetizer, Rabbit Stew, Beef Tartare, fish entrees with simple sauces, veal liver and tongue as well as Champagne Gratine and Chocolate Mousse. For those who find these a bit too adventurous, there are also plenty of dishes that appeal to an American oriented palate- Macaroni & Cheese, Beef Stew with Carrots, Chicken in a Pot and Sugar Cookies to name just a few.

For the Home Cook?
Certainement! Chef Savoy presents concise instructions in plain English and minimizes the use culinary terminology. He directs the reader to slice, chop and simmer avoiding terms such as chiffonade, brunoise and mis en place that are best reserved for formally trained and experienced cooks. Ingredient lists often include a "bouquet garni," but it is described each time. Prep time varies widely, so each recipe is labeled with both preparation and cooking time estimates thereby eliminating the opportunity for surprises in that arena. Almost all recipes result in a family friendly quantity of four servings although a few serve six to eight.

Mais oui! Laurence Mouton's photography is "simply" extraordinary! Further, each recipe is annotated with an interesting comment or note regarding the history or origin of the dish and sometimes a serving tip. And this over 40 reviewer certainly appreciates the generous size of the font.

In the introduction, Guy Savoy encourages readers to use the recipes in this book to practice and experience the beauty of simple preparations. In so doing, he explains, novice cooks will learn that the "magic of cooking" means "…filling the house with delicious scents bringing with it a joie de vivre and a sense of comfort." If you are looking for simple French fare to prepare and share with friends and family, buy this book. Toute suite!

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