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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking Cover

ISBN13: 9781582341804
ISBN10: 158234180x
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Excerpt

Introduction

Magic. That?s what cooking has always been about. Whether we?re talking about a one-lung ?bouie-bouie?, or a three-star Michelin, it?s all about transformation, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. And as any chef, speaking honestly, will tell you, you don?t necessarily have to be a magician to make magic. What happens to a soup or stew overnight, completely independent of what cooks may or may not have done, is magic. What happens to bread in the oven is magic. Boeuf bourgignon and coq au vin, once the ingredients are thrown together in the pot, will become magic all by themselves ? as long as you don?t mess up the heat. Beloved old warhorse elements of French cuisine like duck or goose confit, which any conscientious cook can easily make, can have an unearthly power over the most cynical culinary professional. All you need is fat, some herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. You do not have to be a genius to cook good French food. You need be neither prodigy nor to the manor born, and you don?t have to live near a Dean and De Luca or be pals with Alice Waters. So what do you need to cook good French food?

You need the will.

You need desire.

You need the determination to go on ? even after you?ve scorched the first batch of stew, burned the sauce, mutilated the fish filet and lopped off a hunk of fingertip.

You need persistence, the ability to understand that with every mistake comes valuable information. I?ll tell you what I tell every rookie cook in my kitchen, after he ruins a perfectly good consomme. ?Throw it out. Start over. Do you understand what you did wrong? Good. Now don?t do it again.? Screw-ups are good. Screw-ups ? and bouncing back from screw-ups ? help you conquer fear. And that?s very important. Because some dishes know when you?re afraid. They sense it, like horses, and will ? as my friend Fergus Henderson will tell you ? ?misbehave?.

Eventually, your hands, your palate, even your ears will learn, they will know when things are going right, and will sense in advance when things are in danger of going wrong.

Do not be afraid.

You will need a pure heart, and a soul, meaning you are cooking for the right reasons.

You don?t collect and cook recipes, or compile dining experiences like a butterfly collector. You must enjoy what you?re doing. If there is any real sin in the culinary universe, it is the sin of snobbery. If you?re afraid of a little grease on your chin, of eating with your hands, are squeamish about bones, fish heads, guts, are ambivalent about garlic, are too precious with your food, then buy another cookbook. You need passion, curiosity, a full spectrum of appetites. You need to yearn for things.

You need love. Hopefully it?s love for the people you?re cooking for, because the greatest and most memorable meals are as much about who you ate with as what you ate. But love for what you?re doing, and for the ingredients you?re doing it with, will more than suffice. You must ultimately respect your ingredients, however lowly they may be. Just as you must respect your guests, however unappreciative they might be. Ultimately, you are cooking for yourself.

Excerpted from Les Halles Cookbook Copyright © Anthony Bourdain 2004

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

gary w cannon, November 8, 2013 (view all comments by gary w cannon)
Witty, sarcastic, profane...everything that makes Bourdain Bourdain. Full of great recipes, handy techniques and the stories that launched Bourdain's writing and television careers. A must-read for any Kitchen Confidential or No Reservations fan.
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msmeesha, November 11, 2007 (view all comments by msmeesha)
We got the book yesterday, made the french onion soup today, and we are in complete and utter heaven! It's completely worth it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582341804
Author:
Bourdain, Anthony
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
With:
de Meirelles, Jose
With:
Lajaunie, Philippe
Author:
Whimsy, Breaulove Swells
Location:
New York
Subject:
Cookery, french
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - French
Subject:
General Cooking
Subject:
Cooking and Food-French
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
October 2004
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4-color; bandW photos
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.25 x 7.00 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Featured Chefs » Celebrity Cooking
Cooking and Food » Featured Chefs » Chefs
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » French
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » New York

Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582341804 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Witty, sarcastic, profane... everything that makes Bourdain Bourdain. Les Halles Cookbook is full of great recipes, handy techniques, and the stories that launched Bourdain's writing and television careers. A must-read for any Kitchen Confidential or No Reservations fan.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A celebrity with a high-profile position as executive chef at New York bistro Les Halles, and bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, Bourdain doesn't intend to break new ground. The dishes do exactly as the subtitle notes and include such solid classic fare as Onion Soup Les Halles, Steak au Poivre, Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin and Chocolate Mousse. Nearly all recipes are within reach of competent home cooks, and those that are more complicated or time-consuming — Bouillabaisse, Cassoulet and Roulade of Wild Pheasant — are thoroughly spelled out to calm most jitters. Foie gras, duck fat and dark veal stock are frequent components, but a list of suppliers makes just about every ingredient available. Even though many of the dishes can be found in other cookbooks, what sets this one apart is Bourdain's signature wise-ass attitude that pervades nearly every recipe, explanatory note and chapter introduction. Profanity adds frequent color. If Aunt Doris would blanche at pearl onions being called 'little fuckers,' a cook who prefers boneless meat in Daube Provenal a 'poor deluded bastard,' or a person nervous about making these recipes a 'dipshit,' this book is not for her. Photos. Forecast: With raves by Jacques Pépin, Mario Batali, Jim Harrison and Eric Ripert, Bourdain's handsomely designed book will be taken seriously even by those who aren't wowed by his self-conscious swagger. Viewers who have followed his culinary travels on the Food Network will also be attracted to the book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Don't be misled by Anthony Bourdain's witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fare. An instant classic."
"Review" by , "Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be 'bistro bible'. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food."
"Review" by , "Anyone serious about their cooking will want to own Anthony Bourdain's Les Hallles Cookbook. It has an enormous amount of vital information presented in Bourdain's pungent, abrasive, and memorable writing style."
"Review" by , "This is a great cookbook! Anthony Bourdain directs you brilliantly through delicious recipes, with explanations that are crystal clear."
"Review" by , "Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country's best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy."
"Review" by , "Bourdain can be a smart, entertaining writer, but his smugness and reverse snobbery can be wearying — as can his indulgent use of profanity..."
"Synopsis" by , In this long-awaited cookbook, the bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential reveals the hearty, delicious recipes of Les Halles and the provocative tricks of the trade that have made him a celebrated name across the globe.
"Synopsis" by ,
In this long-awaited cookbook, Anthony Bourdain reveals the hearty, delicious recipes of Les Halles and the provocative tricks of the trade that have made him a celebrated name across the globe.

Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, Anthony Bourdain spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matches Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain gives us his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado.

So bring a sharp knife, a big appetite, and a willingness to learn, as Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you're being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix, and foie gras aux pruneaux, you'll feel like he's in the kitchen beside you-reeling off a few insults when you've scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right.

As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook is a can't-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.

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