The Way to Cook Paperback – Sep 28 1993
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With The Way to Cook, Julia Child creates a second culinary classic. Her first, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, introduced a generation of those used to preparing simple fare to what was then considered gourmet food, demystified classic techniques, and raised our culinary consciousness. In The Way to Cook, she also demystifies cooking techniques and does some consciousness-raising. This time, though, she speaks to everyone with little or no experience in the kitchen, which is most people these days. Always in tune with the moment, and ever the gracious realist, Child (although calling her Julia seems reasonable since she treats us with such open informality) explains in The Way to Cook how to boil an egg and stuff it, as well as how to make a perfect omelet and an elegant soufflé.
To help out readers who lack the most basic knowledge, she organizes the book by techniques rather than by ingredients. Soups are first, a relatively unintimidating choice to build confidence through delicious results such as true French Onion Soup and a contemporary Black Bean Gazpacho. Next come breads, updated to use a food processor to cut the kneading time. The fish chapter covers broiling a salmon steak and creating a sophisticated Crown Mousse of Trout. Chapters on poultry, meats, vegetables, and desserts are equally ample and wide-ranging.
When The Way to Cook was published in 1989, it accompanied a television series. A related set of videotapes, the first to teach cooking comprehensively, was offered simultaneously. However, more than 600 color photos in this book make it fully complete on its own.
The Way to Cook is a good reference volume, a useful gift, and a handsome way to follow Julia's career as she transformed from a French classicist to the ever-evolving, always clear and reliable teacher we have come to adore. --Dana Jacobi --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Child's new magnum opus reminds us that she has almost single-handedly inspired the superb quality of modern larders. Without her unflagging commitment to good eating, it is doubtful that fresh duck foie gras would have been available for the saute included here. However, this wonderful book is hardly a paean to elitist fare, maintaining Child's unique perspective while reflecting attitudes about food that "have changed through these last years" and sharing much new knowledge. Recipes, divided into a master formula and variations, are grouped by technique; French classics stand fin-to-wing with American offerings (roast turkey). Dietary concerns are addressed with low-fat soups and a cottage cheese-enriched chicken liver mousse. Nevertheless, the author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, who would "rather swoon over . . . one small serving of chocolate mousse . . . than indulge one . . . fat-free gelatin puddings," has not gone light. Six hundred handsome photographs underscore Child's technical genius. 110,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is still a very, very good book. Unlike the more famous 'French Cooking', this book is much more concerned with teaching the art of cooking. In fact, Ms. Child originates an idea here that has reached its fullest fruition in the style of Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meal rubric. Ray succeeds in putting out fast meals not by using a lot of processed supermarket preparations, but by using knowledge of cooking to make the best of basic ingredients. This is not to say Ms. Child is doing fast cooking. Many recipes are pretty involved. I can still remember doing Julia's take on a barbecue recipe which involved making both a sauce and a rub from a goodly number of ingredients and a substantial amount of time required to slow cook the ribs. I got pretty hungary by the time I was finally finished.
Teaching is so important to the object of this book that it is one of the very few books I know which could easily serve as a good textbook for a course on cooking. The only other book I know in this category would be Madeline Kammen's 'The New Making of a Cook'.Read more ›
While Julia covers a wide range of dishes in this book (Soups, Breads, Eggs, Fish, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Salads, Pastry, Desserts, and Cakes & Cookies) her emphasis is definitely on French/European cooking. If you are looking for recipes from different ethnic groups, you will need to find other cookbooks to compliment this one.
In the last five years that I've owned this cookbook, I've made a wide selection of recipes and have never been disappointed. From simple dishes such as crepes to complex day-long affairs such as Lamb Stew Printaniere, her instructions have been complete, straightforward, and detailed. If you follow her steps, you're guaranteed to have incredible results.
The book includes both beautiful and useful photographs. This is important, because one of the big drawbacks with most cookbooks are that they have incredible imagery of the finished dish, but don't actually show you how things should look as they are being prepared. The way to cook does an excellent job at showing you both... which is one of the reasons it is such an outstanding book.
Julia's other books are also excellent. Both "Baking with Julia" and "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs" are outstanding.
One last word of advice... if you ever make A Fast Saute of Beef for Two from this book, use heavy creame instead of cornstarch (she says you can use either). The cream will make the difference between a good meal and a great one!
I really liked this book, but I have to say the title is a real misnomer. This is NOT a book for beginners who want to learn to cook (for that I'd recommend "The Betty Crocker Cookbook" or maybe "The Best Recipe" from "Cook's Illustrated), it's an advanced course for wanna-be gourmets. If you don't love to cook, or don't enjoy making "fancy" dishes (though there are a few "basics," this book focuses on Child's forte, classical French cooking that's pretty enough to serve in a restaurant), then this cookbook isn't for you. But if you're ready to expand your cooking horizons, I think this title is perfect.
One more note ... a fan of Martha Stewarts television cooking segments I noticed that a great number of the techniques that Martha promotes come straight from Child. Something I never realized before reading "The Way to Cook."
Most recent customer reviews
Great book and I have had great success with many of the recipes.Published 9 months ago by Patricia Eeles
This is the way to cook yourself into an early grave a la Paula Dean, only French-style. Give this style of cooking a pass and save your life.Published 23 months ago by fishface42
exellent buy for the money, dont need to learn much to make it an great value, will go back for morePublished on Dec 24 2012 by bry
What can I say about Julia Child? This is really dated now, of course; kind of a lowbrow "Joy of Cooking", but still a very thorough cooking reference. Read morePublished on March 29 2009 by Thea J. Willgress
Yes, it's the bible of cooking. Its like a degree at the culinary institute. However, its not an easy book to cook from. Read morePublished on March 14 2004 by granger
I am an avid cook, and home baker. I also have an extensive collection of cookbooks.
Some cookbooks, French Laundry, Aquavit, Amuse Bouche, and the like are beautiful books,... Read more
If you could only have one cook book, this would be it. Excellent gift for people who don't or can't cook as well as for more experienced cooks. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2003 by Peter Bradshaw