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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2003
...Top reasons why I turn to this cookbook more than any other:
* The recipes WORK! And they are GREAT! Some recipes I've tried: Shrimp Bisque (amazingly, in comparison to a recipe I tried from Cook's Illustrated, the one here is a bit simpler AND tasted better!), Apple and Parsnip Soup (great Thanksgiving soup!), Duck Salad with Plum Dressing (if cooking this for appetizer, I would use a lot less duck breast than asked for in this recipe--7 oz per person is too much), Duck a l'orange (awesome! My guests loved it!), Cider Apple Chicken with Mushroom Sauce (delicious--I substituted regular brandy for Calvados, a French apple brandy which I couldn't find), Roast Pork with Prunes and Armagnac (truly a hit when I cooked it as the entree for Christmas), Pears Poached in Red Wine (better than a recipe I got from a class).
* Each and every recipe is beautifully illustrated with a picture of the dish. For me, the "occasional but serious home chef", the pictures inspire me and quickly give me an idea of what to create for the finished product. None of the other books have such beautiful pictures for every recipe.
* Each recipe comes with an estimate of Preparation Time and Total Cooking Time. This gives me a quick idea of how complicated the dish is gonna be. A word of caution though: the given times are for pros! When I first started cooking French, I found that I had to DOUBLE the times given in this book; now I add an extra 50%! However, on a relative scale, this feature is still helpful.
* It's mostly adjusted for ingredients available in USA (at least in Northern California) and terminology is mostly American.
Like Linda�s review below, I think Adriana�s review below is unfair--the book does state that it is a collection of Le Cordon Bleu�s best recipes�-that�s one of the reasons I wanted it and do not have an issue with it being a �copycat�. Ultimately, I am grateful for this book because it has helped me create many successful menus and dinner parties. So much so that it compelled me to write my first review on Amazon.com! Bon Appetit!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2003
I am giving this 5 stars (I own it, and the recipes are actually within the reach of the home cook unlike the first Le Cordon Bleu cookbook I bought) partly to offset the "copycat" review of Adriana. It is clearly stated in at least two places that this is a collection of the best of the previous single-subject cookbooks, both in the Forward and on the back flap of the jacket. This is exactly the reason I bought it. I really like the fact that only the best have been included from all the previous books. It's not fair to imply that they were trying to pull a fast one on consumers when they made it clear what they were doing.
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on June 21, 2003
I have used this book SOOOOOOOOOOOO much since i bought it, so many recipes, each has a piture so you can see how to present the dish, sooooo tasty, easy to follow,
there is even a section about cooking tools needed.
great book for someone who wants to go alittle further with the home cooking.
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on March 26, 2003
I really enjoyed this book and its contents. It was well outlined and easy to follow, with inspiring photographs!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2003
This book was a big dissapointment for me! I love cordon bleu books, have most of the ones they have published, and use them very frequently. When this book came out, I immediately bought it, only to FIND OUT THEY COPIED THE EXACT SAME RECIPES FROM THE BOOKS IN THE HOME COLLECTION SERIES (the series broken up into subjects like chicken, seafood, italian, etc. with a total of 24 volumes). The book even has the same pictures!
So, if you are just buying books from cordon bleu, buy this book, it has wonderful recipes. But if you already own the books in the series they published in 1998 or 1999, then do not waste your time or your money.
Maybe cordon bleu and whoever is responsible for their publishings should be a bit more serious and quit recycling photos and recipes. If they are planning to publish a book, they should do much more than just copy, paste and change the font and the background!
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