10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Child for Everyday Cooking. Excellent Teaching Source
'The Way to Cook' was written by Julia Child and published by Knopf about 27 years after the first publication of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' which established Child's reputation. So, it was published when Julia Child was a household name for over two decades. It was meant to be her most important culinary work. It has never replaced Child's first book in the...
Published on May 3 2004 by B. Marold
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but too reliant on a food processor
This book offers great recipes, but I noticed that many seem to rely upon the use of a food processor even though alternative tools would do just as well, if not better. This is particularly noticable in the baking section. Most cookbooks that discuss baking recommend use of a mixer instead of a processor. Also, if you don't have a processor, you're out of...
Published on Nov. 28 2001 by D. Wolf
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Child for Everyday Cooking. Excellent Teaching Source,
This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)'The Way to Cook' was written by Julia Child and published by Knopf about 27 years after the first publication of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' which established Child's reputation. So, it was published when Julia Child was a household name for over two decades. It was meant to be her most important culinary work. It has never replaced Child's first book in the hearts and minds of America's foodies, in spite of the fact that the book opens with a statement that the book means to address Americans' new health consciousness and their diminishing time available to cook.
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'. It is important to distinguish both of these books from the 'how to cook everything' titles such as the 'Joy of Cooking', 'James Beard's American Cookery' or Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything'. The purpose of these books is to give detailed coverage to a wide range of methods rather than simply be a repository of a large number of recipes.
The most distinctive feature in this book which supports it's object to teach cooking is the notion of the master recipe. A classic example of this approach is the master recipe for 'Ragout of Chicken and Onions in Red Wine'. If this dish doesn't sound familiar to experienced cooks, it should be, because the very famous French recipe 'Coq au Vin' is a variation of this master recipe. The classic simply adds lardons, mushrooms, and brandy and replaces sliced onions with 'brown braized white onions'.
In addition to master recipes and variations, there is a wealth of notes on techniques to improve your results. In discussing the use of lardons, there is a note which recommends blanching bacon and salt pork before adding it to a recipe to remove salt and smoky flavor. I am certain this is an optional step, but it is welcome to me as I often avoid recipes using salt pork to avoid the somewhat noisome smell of smoked fatty tissue which may come from cooking smoked pork.
Another feature of the book which fits the master recipe model is that variations on the ragout master recipe are not limited to recipes for chicken. Rather, the same section includes ragouts of turkey and rabbit. The same principle is used throughout the book where foods are grouped by method of preparation rather than by source (pig, cow, lamb, calf, fowl).
Still, the chapters are true to a fairly classic organization, with some topics you may not find in the usual work. The chapters are: Soups, Breads, Eggs, Fin Fish & Shellfish, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Salads, Pastry Doughs, Desserts, Cakes & Cookies.
The chapter on Breads covers just four master recipes, but it will give you a thorough and satisfying experience which will tell you if you have the kind of love for baking which warrents exploring specialized works by such experts as Peter Reinhart or Nancy Silverton.
The chapter on Pastry Doughs also just covers four master recipes, Pate Brisee, Puff Pastry, Pate a Choux, and Crepes. I may not be willing to take on puff pastry any time soon, but I would expect that the other three master recipes should be enticing enough to remove a cooks fears about making pies, crepes, and eclairs. Crepes especially should be an entertainer's best friend in that the batter can be made well in advance and, if necessary, the crepes themselves can be made in advance and reheated. If you want them fresh, it takes but a minute or two to cook a crepe, and it makes great kitchen theater, especially if you master the technique of flipping the crepe.
I suspect the must useful chapter may be the one on eggs. Knowing ones way around egg cookery will take you a goodly distance toward being able to prepare really great dishes from standard pantry. I find that an author's discussion of how to make an omelette is often a good test of the quality of their book as a whole. I can say that Julia comes through for me by citing an omelette technique I have seen nowhere else. That is, the warning to limit oneself to two eggs when you have only a typical household burner available.
As the book is published by Knopf, the layout, editing, and photography are first rate. I was just a little surprised when I could not find 'barbecue' in the index, yet there is clearly a master recipe for barbecue in the chapter on meats. The very best feature of the book is Julia's very familiar voice and attitude which carries you on with reassurances that you can do it and these techniques will do you great service in your life.
Very highly recommended. Lots of French recipes and lots of modern appliances put to good use.
5.0 out of 5 stars cooking instruction,
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This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)exellent buy for the money, dont need to learn much to make it an great value, will go back for more
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Child's Masterpiece--A must-buy for everyone who cooks,
This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)"The Way to Cook" is the distillation of Julia Child's 40 years in the kitchen, her magnum opus. Definitive, gigantic in scope, and lavishly illustrated throughout with color photos, it is designed to replace "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (which is still valuable for a few older French recipes). It is the one cookbook everyone must own.
People tend to think of Julia Child in terms of French cooking, but this book is not French. Rather, it is an American book based on French techniques, teaching American cooking with significant French and Italian influences. For instance, she provides a brilliant recipe for American meatloaf, BUT she places it next to equally brilliant recipes for French pates and for scrapple. She provides you with a basic beef stew recipe, and then shows how Boeuf Bourgignon and Hungarian Goulash are really just variations on the same idea.
Since the late 1970's, no one has used cookbook illustrations better than Julia Child. Here, the important techniques are photographed, as are the finished dishes, but the food stylists are kept at a distance. The photos show you clearly the steps you take and the results you get, but don't indulge in flights of fancy. Julia Child's concern here is food, not table settings.
Whether I'm looking to make a traditional roast, or onion soup, or braised veal breast, this is the book I turn to. I own over 300 cookbooks, yet if I could choose only one, this would be it. Buy it in hardcover: it will take quite a beating!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Put Off!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)Don't be put off as I was, for far too long, by the clutter of colored fonts, photos, sidebars, and afterthoughts which give the pages of this overproduced book its appearance of chaos. Julia's clarity of thought and her passion for good food are undimmed and she tells you The Way to Cook everything from Haute Cuisine (well, fairly Haute) to Boston Baked Beans and Potato Salad. Yes, the pages are a mess. Yes, the heavily coated paper is a disaster in the kitchen and adds so much to the weight (its 512 pages in paperback weigh nearly 4 1/2 lb; "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" I's 720 plus pages in hardcover weigh only about 3 1/4 lb) that Amazon not only won't count it for free shipping but charges extra to ship it. But it's a book not to miss for its glorious breadth of content. Drawings always seem to make technique clearer than photos, but I treasure the many photos of Julia's own hands stirring, kneading, and especially cutting all manner of food. A million stars for the book's content --dare we hope for a more sensible edition one day?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only ever buy one cookbook, this should be it.,
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!
4.0 out of 5 stars A bible?,
This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)Yes, it's the bible of cooking. Its like a degree at the culinary institute. However, its not an easy book to cook from. Most recipes refer to several parts of the book for details on how to prepare different parts of the recipe. So you contstantly have to page back and forth in the book. Its intimidating for the novice who just wants to cook, but if you really want to learn about cooking then its THE book to have.
5.0 out of 5 stars The cookbook you go back to over and over again,
This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)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, with wonderful recipes for the more advanced home chef. I use them all the time, but consider them very focused and specific in their scope.
The Way to Cook is more like the cooking "Kama Sutra" in my house. I continue to go back to Julia's methods of preparing the staples. In a very easy to understand and often illustrated way, this book covers hundreds of food preperations.
I highly, highly recommend this book. I have a second copy on hand, because mine is so tattered, splattered, and earmarked!
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cook book I've ever owned,
5.0 out of 5 stars great resource.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Way to Cook (Hardcover)A great resource for learning how to cook from simple recipes and methods that serve as the basis for creating more complex ones.
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be afraid-even if you are a beginner,
By A Customer
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The Way to Cook by Julia Child (Hardcover - Sept. 18 1989)
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