Glorious French Food by James Peterson
I’m a great fan of Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking, a book full of simple, yet delicious food.
I picked up Glorious French Food, by James Peterson, hoping for more of the same. My reaction to this new tome, however, is somewhat mixed.
On the one hand, I admire the way that Mr. Peterson teaches new techniques. In each chapter, a cooking method is first introduced in it’s simplest form. Then, the rest of the chapter is used to expand on it.
For instance, the chapter on Cheese Souffles starts out with a very simple recipe, and then proceeds onto more complicated souffles. After that first easy dish, comes Individual Goat Cheese Souffles, Twice Baked Cheese Souffles With Tomato Sauce, all the way to Twice Baked Cheese Souffles With Morel. With each proceeding recipe, the reader learns more of the technique.
The problem is, for me, the recipes themselves.
I find the recipes a bit too glamorous for my taste. While I loved that first, plain Cheese Souffle recipe, by the time the author started adding morels, goat cheese and and individual ramekins, he was out of both my price range and my interest level. If he had just stopped at that first wonderful recipe, all would have been well.
Bottom line? If you like a little adventure in your French cooking, this is a fabulous books for learning the how-to’s. If, however, you’re a culinary Philistine like me, stick with Julia. Julia is able to impart those qualities while still sticking (for the most part) with basic meat and potatoes ingredients.
Get a copy of Glorious French Food: A Fresh Approach to the Classics from Amazon.