The French Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Lessons from Paris and Provence
As the title The French Kitchen Cookbook suggests, Patricia Wells’ cookbook is predominantly French in flavor but she also adds recipes from elsewhere (Vietnam, Japan, Thailand). Most of the recipes are from her cooking classes, thus well tried out and practiced, virtually foolproof. They are sophisticated recipes, but (with some exceptions) not difficult. Yet these are not the average home cook’s quick weekday meals. Most are involved in the age-old French tradition, and a specialized market nearby is almost essential. Some ingredients will be hard to find (peach leaves, yuzu juice, and so on). Many photos illustrate the final outcome of the recipes. Experienced cooks will have no problem following them—they are well written—but the book is not for the beginners; in fact, it is more for food snobs. Under many recipes you find Secrets, Variations, and a Note, some with Wine Suggestions. Unfortunately, the layout is not cook friendly. For the sake of keeping the photos next to the recipes it suffers, and you’ll need to page overleaf and back in reading many of the instructions. Ingredient units also give metric equivalents. Wells often refers to her website to purchase some ingredients. The index is very good.
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