Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking French
Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook : French-American Recipes for the Home Cook
Published: November 3, 1999
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Daniel Boulud is one of America's greatest chefs. Known for his inventive yet deeply flavored French-American food, Boulud has earned nothing but superlatives for his cuisine at Daniel and Café Boulud, his two Manhattan restaurants.
The challenge was to translate his dishes into recipes that home cooks could use and make their own--a test that he and food writer Dorie Greenspan have more than met. Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook contains 150 recipes for superb food for
every course and every season, and while the recipes, in their elaboration, clearly belong to a chef, they have nevertheless been "translated" by Greenspan with meticulous attention to what everyday cooks can manage when it's cooking they want to do.
Those seeking a comprehensive view of Boulud's work, as well as cooks wanting to make food "just like the master," should be very pleased.
The book, like Café Boulud's menu, is divided into four sections: "La Tradition," which contains dishes
influenced by the traditional cooking of Boulud's upbringing; "La Saison," a source for recipes prepared with the freshest seasonal produce; "Le Voyage," Boulud's world-cuisine dishes; and "Le Potager," devoted to vegetarian specialties. Each section
encompasses a range of dish types; "La Tradition," for example, presents Onion Soup with Braised Beef Shank, Chicken Grand-mère Francine, Chick Pea Fries, and the Café's celebrated Chocolate Mousse Trio, among other offerings. Readers will also delight
in Lobster with Sweet Corn Polenta in "La Saison," Morels and Pea Shoot Gnocchi in "Le Voyage," and Lemon-Lime Risotto with Asparagus in "Le Potager," among others. The authors also provide an exemplary glossary of ingredients and techniques, an
investigation of equipment, and a list of sources for less readily available materials. Thirty-two pages of color photos show readers what they're aiming to achieve, and what can actually be done, with Boulud and Greenspan at their side. --Arthur
"Cook the sauce another minute, then add just a touch of olive oil," urges Daniel Boulud in his kitchen at Café Boulud in New York City. "Not too much. That's it," he exclaims. His voice carries his passion as he
swirls the copper pan holding the finished dish. Over the tops of his glasses he assesses the color and takes in the aroma of the sauce. Then he brings a few drops of it to his lips. After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the chef knows
what he wants. "I'm looking for balance," he explains. "A hint of herb, a little acidity -- sweet seafood needs a bit of sharpness -- and all the brininess and flavor of the scallops." It is a simple but perfect recipe and it has been given all his
attention, commitment, and talent -- as have each of the recipes in this simple but perfect cookbook.
Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook contains all his creative cooking skills made accessible. By means of Dorie Greenspan's expertly written
recipes, Daniel accompanies you into your home kitchen, where his inspiration becomes yours and his instructions are easy to follow. With little effort, you find yourself reproducing his magic on your own stove.
One ingredient for a perfect dish
is family tradition. In the book's first section, La Tradition, we are transported to the original Café Boulud run by Daniel's grandparents on the outskirts of Lyon -- France's culinary capital. Daniel's education as a cook began with his grandmother and
the Poulet Grand-mère she lovingly prepared for her guests. It continued with great chefs that shaped his unique interpretation of home cooking. Recipes such as Skate with Brown Butter and Capers, Hanger Steak with Shallots, and splendid Pommes Frites
reveal the influences of his French roots.
But tradition also includes respect for seasonal ingredients. In the next section, La Saison, Daniel accompanies us through the market. We select peas and sugar snaps that are ready to tumble into the
pot for the Chilled Spring Pea Soup. Fresh corn becomes the surprise ingredient in Lobster with Sweet Corn Polenta. Complet
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