24 August 2007

The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

Ah..., The French Culinary Institute in New York City -- since 1984 it has become a destination for aspiring professionals as well as anyone wanting to hone home cooking skills, at a price. The restaurant, L'Ecole, where students serve in every capacity of a functioning eatery, can be sublime to disastrous (I've eaten there several times). Now, finally, a book has been published, The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine, which I hope is a bit more polished than the service at their restaurant.

From Jessica's Biscuit:

"In 1984, Dorothy Cann Hamilton founded The French Culinary Institute with a singular vision: She wanted to create a culinary school that combined classic French techniques with American inventiveness in a fast-paced curriculum.

Now, for the first time ever, all the best that the FCI has to offer can be found in a single sumptuous volume. The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine presents the six- and nine-month courses taught at the FCI that cover all 250 basic techniques of French cooking. Along with more than 650 full-color photographs, the book features more than 200 classic recipes as well as new recipes developed by some of the school's most famous graduates. Complete with insider tips and invaluable advice from the FCI, this will be an indispensable addition to the library of serious home cooks everywhere."


The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine
by French Culinary Institute and Judith Choate
Hardcover - 496 pages
August 2007
ISBN: 158479478X
Stewart Tabori & Chang

Available online at Jessica's Biscuit and Barnes and Noble.

22 August 2007

So Many Tomatoes to Stuff in a Week

Photo: Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times

It's that time of season when your local tomatoes are at the peak of taste -- and abundance. And what to do with them all? The best way for those first, fresh red beauties is to just slice them and enjoy plain, or sprinkle a little salt and pepper, and enjoy. And sometimes I enjoy eating one like an apple, albeit a very juicy experience. When I was a child on a farm in Massachusetts, my grandmother would quarter some tomatoes fresh from the vine and let us dip them in sugar. I could never eat enough.

But for some more elaborate ideas, an article in today's New York Times, "So Many Tomatoes to Stuff in a Week", by Melissa Clark, is a good start.

13 August 2007

My Life in France; Julia Child

Julia Child would have been 95 on August 15th.

And although we've featured this work before, we would like to feature it again:

"Through bestselling cookbooks, a television series on PBS, and her work with the American Institute of Wine and Food, which she founded, and the James Beard Foundation, which she co-founded, Julia Child succeeded in changing the way we cook, eat, and think about food." And more from Jessica's Biscuit:

My Life in France, was published last year and is scheduled to be released in paperback in October. More from Jessica's Biscuit:

"This delightful memoir of Julia's years in Paris, Marseilles, and Provence opens with Paul and Julia--a tall, wide-eyed girl from Pasadena who can't cook and doesn't speak a word of French--disembarking in Le Havre, and ends with the launching of the two Mastering cookbooks and Julia wining the heart of American as "The French Chef."

Begun several months before she died, My Life in France was completed by Paul's grandnephew Alex Prud'homme, based on hours of talks with Julia and on family letters. Funny, earthy, forthright--Julia is with us on every page as she relishes the French way of life that transformed her, and us."

My Life in France
by Julia Child, with Alex Prud'homme,
Hardcover - 336 pages
Published: March 2006
ISBN: 1400043468
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Available online from Jessica's Biscuit and Barnes and Noble.