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Thread: Mastering the Art of French Cooking

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    Default Mastering the Art of French Cooking

    Has anyone else picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking?

    My wife and I picked up a copy shortly after Christmas and we have been making one meal a week from this book. I must say that every dish we have made has been fantastic. We started by making 3 of the dishes for a meal (meal, side, dessert) but we have found that it gets a little crazy for time. We need to learn how to prepare some of these dishes ahead of time. We are now usually doing just the meal and MAYBE a dessert if we can prepare it the day before.

    The biggest hangup we have come across is with the equipment, but we've been picking up small pieces here and there and have been making due with what we have.

    I'd love to hear some of the recipes you have tried out of the book and your experience with them. Thanks guys!
    Bluurd Viision - EQ Monk (Long since retired)
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    Cooking spammer!! ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhidharma View Post
    Cooking spammer!! ;)
    Yep, I've been posting here for 6+ years just to become a spammer and try to push a book.

    Really. I love cooking. Since I was laid off in July I've actually had a chance to start cooking a bit. Julia has really lit a fire under me. So much so that I have spoken to an advisor and will be applying to a culinary school near where I live. It is exciting to take raw ingredients and create something so delicious that it makes you wonder why you have been buying and eating all that store bought crap for so long.

    Take green beans as an example. I have never (at least to my knowledge) eaten fresh green beans. Using the techniques found in MAFC, I don't think I could eat canned green beans again.

    Last night I prepared poached Sole with a bernaise (sp?) sauce. The fish was poached perfectly and the sauce was to die for. In fact all the sauces I have prepared out of the book have been heavenly. So creamy and full of flavor that it really makes a good dish great!
    Bluurd Viision - EQ Monk (Long since retired)
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    hummm. the spammers have gotten sneaky! They post about other things for 6 years to lull us into a false sense of security...then BAM!!
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    Ascendant OMFG I Post Too Much Velkyn Azurel's Avatar
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    Hi ^^

    I have tried plenty of French recipes, but I think it is no news :p

    And Bearnaise is really tasty ^^;

    The most simple recipe involving green beans I know is cooking them in vapor with smashed garlic. The funny thing is I ate that this evening.

    I cooked it with a (European) seabass en papilotte (in a tin foil). I washed the skin of the truit with a (green) lemon and I put plenty of basil in its belly. I then salted and put more basil on both sides and poured olive oil inside an on both sides.

    The whole preparation took me 20 minutes of manpower (washing included). It was simple and pretty good ^^

    Dunno if it's in the book though ^^
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhidharma View Post
    Cooking spammer!! ;)
    You're good, this one totally flew below my radar.

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    Aren't you supposed to do all the recipes in 365 days, while writing a blog about it? :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorkeyah View Post
    Aren't you supposed to do all the recipes in 365 days, while writing a blog about it? :P
    Not going to happen. I don't have the money or the time (raising 3 kids) to be able to do that. I'm lacking a bit of equipment to do many of these recipes too.

    Oh, and my wife says that we are NOT eating brains (yes there is a whole section on brains). So no, not going to happen.
    Bluurd Viision - EQ Monk (Long since retired)
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    Made whipped cream today to put on top of cookies (for my kids) today. Homemade whipped cream is so easy it's a sin that they sell it in cans.

    1 cup of heavy whipping cream (if using french cream you need to thin it out a little bit)
    Whip with a wire whip for about 2-3 minutes
    Fold in 2 Tb confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

    then fold in flavor (2 TB brandy, rum, or other liqueur) 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

    There you have it, whipped cream. It doesn't store like the store bought stuff, but tastes so much better.
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    I wasn't serious. That was the plot of the movie julia and julia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaeamwen View Post
    Made whipped cream today to put on top of cookies (for my kids) today. Homemade whipped cream is so easy it's a sin that they sell it in cans.

    1 cup of heavy whipping cream (if using french cream you need to thin it out a little bit)
    Whip with a wire whip for about 2-3 minutes
    Fold in 2 Tb confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

    then fold in flavor (2 TB brandy, rum, or other liqueur) 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

    There you have it, whipped cream. It doesn't store like the store bought stuff, but tastes so much better.
    You should try making some homemade mayo also, or maybe also some mayo and some aioli.

    It also doesn't keep that well, but it sure is delicious.

    Oh yeah - also - if you are cooking for an army, I have a suggestion (if you don't already have one): buy a crock pot for ~$30.

    Make stews/pot roasts/etc. Cheap, easy, high volume food output.
    Whee!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velkyn Azurel View Post
    Hi ^^

    I have tried plenty of French recipes, but I think it is no news :p

    And Bearnaise is really tasty ^^;

    The most simple recipe involving green beans I know is cooking them in vapor with smashed garlic. The funny thing is I ate that this evening.

    I cooked it with a (European) seabass en papilotte (in a tin foil). I washed the skin of the truit with a (green) lemon and I put plenty of basil in its belly. I then salted and put more basil on both sides and poured olive oil inside an on both sides.

    The whole preparation took me 20 minutes of manpower (washing included). It was simple and pretty good ^^

    Dunno if it's in the book though ^^
    That made me really hungry.
    Whee!

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    Would you rather have :

    seabass en papilotte

    or:

    Fish cooked in aluminum foil.


    Man the french are a bunch of con artists

    Every time i see something like this im remembered of the movie 'European Vacation' where they are in paris at a resturant ordering fine french cuisine. Then they show the kitchen with the cooks unwrapping US branded frozen dinners of french dishes.
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    "Would you like some American champagne?"

    As for French vs English on food - I just want to eat what Velk described. I love fish.
    Whee!

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    American champagne ? Lol, impossible ^^

    Man the french are a bunch of con artists
    Yeah, we eat metaphores all the day, so life gets sunnier ^^
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
    -Albert Einstein-

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    Can't find it online, but that's a line from "European Vacation".
    Whee!

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    I think if I blended a stick of butter in all my sauces they would taste pretty good, too.

    I'm not keen on poaching -- fresh fish really just needs the simplest of preparations. Which is probably why I only eat fish that I've caught that same day.

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    You're lucky having a river/lake/sea at where you can fish... and time/will to fish there.

    I'm not a fan of butter cooking myself, I prefer the southern France cooking, with olive oil and other stuff of the kind. And unfortunately, I mostly buy dead animals to cook.
    I am a scavenger :p
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    olive oil, butter, don't matter

    use both


    i should get that book though- i DO have

    The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer..

    new edition completely revised 1936 first printing 50,000 copies

    i have one of those copies.

    ie- it was the 6th edition

    they are on the umm 13th edition now
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    Oh, actually there is a HUGE difference between both ^^

    If I remember correctly, Olive oil has a lower fusion point and butter generates bad fat when burnt.
    Which means that you should use olive oil at the end of a hot cooking if you want to keep all the vitamins and stuff inside, and more importanlty you should not cook stuff with butter ^^

    In that regard, in France there are two major schools of cooking:
    Britain (West) way => Butter
    Mediterranean (South) => Olive oil.
    Guess whinch part of the population has the lower cancer rate ? :p
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    I love olive oil when cooking ground beef, especially for spagetti or lasagne, mostly because it produces a more crumbly ground beef...but for chicken its all about butter.
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    use both ie mix them the oil raises the burn temp of the butter, and you get the fusion taste of both.
    Lenardo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenardo View Post
    use both ie mix them the oil raises the burn temp of the butter, and you get the fusion taste of both.
    You could clarify the butter which also gives is a higher burning temperature (easy to do...melt butter, skim off all but the milky residue at the bottom, throw away milky residue and everything you skimmed off is clarified butter). It will still burn, but at higher temperatures.

    And yes, add the oil to the butter and it raises the burn temp. In fact, a lot of the French cooking (Child's way) uses both when searing beef to get that higher temperature.

    Oh, and since I originally posted this thread, I have enrolled in culinary school and begin at the end of this month. I am very excited.
    Bluurd Viision - EQ Monk (Long since retired)
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    Ascendant OMFG I Post Too Much Velkyn Azurel's Avatar
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    Wow, congratulations Yaemwen ^^

    Looking forward reading the recipes you have learnt ^^
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
    -Albert Einstein-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaeamwen View Post
    You could clarify the butter which also gives is a higher burning temperature (easy to do...melt butter, skim off all but the milky residue at the bottom, throw away milky residue and everything you skimmed off is clarified butter). It will still burn, but at higher temperatures.

    And yes, add the oil to the butter and it raises the burn temp. In fact, a lot of the French cooking (Child's way) uses both when searing beef to get that higher temperature.

    Oh, and since I originally posted this thread, I have enrolled in culinary school and begin at the end of this month. I am very excited.
    Wow, awesome.
    Whee!

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    GRATS ON ENTERING the school yaeamwen

    ya i should clarify the butter, but i am lazy. i usally plan MAYBE a day ahead for what we are having the next day-usually i decide what to have for dinner when i get home with the kids ~5-6pm...

    last night was chicken & dumplings (2 cans cream of chicken soup (or 1 CoC one cream of mushroom) 2 cups -or so - of diced cooked chicken, 1 cup frozen peas(or fresh), 1 cup frozen slized carrots (or fresh)
    3 cups milk

    bisquick mix & milk(per directions 2 cups bisquick & umm 3/4? cup milk) to make dumplings


    bring all of ingredients (except bisquick mixture) to boil in a 6 qt or so pot, drop in by spoonful (i use tablespoon) the dumpling mix

    simmer for 10 minutes
    cover for 10 minutes

    serve.

    it is almost the same recipe for my chicken pot pie... bisquick mix uses more milk to make the topping thinner so you can pour on top, rest of ingredients are the same. but instead of a pot you put in a 9x13 pan and pour the bisquick on, put in 350 (i thikn forget the temp) oven for ~30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
    Lenardo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenardo View Post
    GRATS ON ENTERING the school yaeamwen

    ya i should clarify the butter, but i am lazy. i usally plan MAYBE a day ahead for what we are having the next day-usually i decide what to have for dinner when i get home with the kids ~5-6pm...
    Even though I am home with the kids during the day. I, too, don't usually think about supper until about the time I pick up the oldest from school. Then I'm scrambling to pull something together. It is much better when I have a plan.

    Thanks everyone for the well wishes towards my new career choice. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my new knowledge throughout the time I'm at school.
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    You could also save some time by just using a second pie crust to cover the pot pie, then trim and save the excess for next time. Thats how i make my pies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaeamwen View Post
    Even though I am home with the kids during the day. I, too, don't usually think about supper until about the time I pick up the oldest from school. Then I'm scrambling to pull something together. It is much better when I have a plan.

    Thanks everyone for the well wishes towards my new career choice. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my new knowledge throughout the time I'm at school.
    Badass. Good luck with this.
    Whee!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaeamwen View Post
    You could clarify the butter which also gives is a higher burning temperature (easy to do...melt butter, skim off all but the milky residue at the bottom, throw away milky residue and everything you skimmed off is clarified butter). It will still burn, but at higher temperatures.

    And yes, add the oil to the butter and it raises the burn temp. In fact, a lot of the French cooking (Child's way) uses both when searing beef to get that higher temperature.

    Oh, and since I originally posted this thread, I have enrolled in culinary school and begin at the end of this month. I am very excited.
    Grats, I've been and gone from cooking school no fancy schools mind you. Considering (as I am still single) traveling abroad to study french (default route) or possible doing something more exotic such as middle eastern.

    MY best advice is don't be afraid of ingredients! Meaning don't use cookbooks, you'd be surprised how off a lot of books can really be and how many myths there are in cooking.

    (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recip...617/page6.html)

    Back to previous topic about avoiding cookbooks, they are great guidelines but my favorite way to learn new recipes and such is experimenting with ingredients (learned this from food network actually a while ago and he is very right, forgot his name...) I started avoiding using salt in certain dishes and upgraded to soy sauce for a simple example.
    I use coconut oil now instead of pretty much everything for certain dishes, it holds up to the heat much better, and isn't nearly as bad for you as say canola oil.
    (Canola Oil, http://www.naturalnews.com/026630_ca...rated_fat.html)
    Coconut Oil, had some bad rap itself for awhile but its making a come back in a big way in the health food industry, which is the industry I have taken root in for the time being.

    I wish you the best of luck, and enjoy playing with ingredients.
    I learned to make a great baked salmon with curry mango sauce and a sweet potato dumpling so far from some what messing around or seeing other recipes and changing it (ie mango was actually suppose to be a chutney)

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    Default Clarified Butter alternative..

    Ghee could be used instead of having to clarify butter yourself. I keep some on hand for that reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee

    Usually one can find it in Asian/Indian grocery stores.

    Take care

    Zarie

    Originally Rodcet Nife, then Quellious and now Povar.

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    one quick not so quick dinner that was a hit with my kids was in the most recent bon appetit

    chicken and sausage jambalya .. look it up,. was AWESOME

    and it will feed a family of 5 at least twice. (also leftovers make a sweet side dish(
    Lenardo

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  33. #33
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    I think that falls under "Mastering the art of Cajun cooking" Len. being from Louisiana, i have to say they arent quite the same thing
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