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Bistro Cooking at Home Hardcover – October 14, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767912764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767912761
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gordon Hamersley's Bistro Cooking at Home makes a much-explored culinary style newly exciting. Hamersley, chef-owner of Hamersley's Bistro in Boston, has won praise for fare that, though straightforward, is often flubbed, due to poor ingredients and technique. Bistro Cooking repeats his success, providing 150 classic and innovative recipes for irresistible dishes like Tian of Summer Vegetables Provençale and Spicy Lamb Shanks with Couscous and Preserved Lemons. Immediately appealing--open the book to any recipe and you'll want to start cooking--the book also boasts cook-friendly asides like "How to Make a Great Vinaigrette."

The organization is equally enticing. Beginning with "The Art of the Salad," which includes a particularly good version of frisée salad with lardons and poached egg, and "Small Plates," like Wild Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Sandwich, the book then pursues savory tarts, gratins and galettes, such as Fresh Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Walnut Tart; starchy dishes including Crabmeat Risotto with Peas and Mint and bistro-style fish like the quick-and-easy Halibut with White Wine, Shallots and Basil. Meat and vegetables are equally well represented--there's a mini-repertoire of roast chicken and duck confit dishes--as are simple but "finished" desserts like Souffléed Lemon Custard and Chocolate Mousse Cake. With a useful section on techniques (moderate-temperature "walk away roasting" ensures juicer results, says the author), good pantry-stocking advice, and color photos that further excite kitchen action. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Serving Bostonians some of the best French fare in the city at Hamersley's Bistro, James Beard Award winner Hamersley presents his hearty yet simple dishes for all occasions, like Walk-Away Roast Chicken with Onions and Potatoes or the elegant Pot-Roasted Pork with Prunes, Armagnac, and Walnuts. Instructions are succinct and helpful, for example how to test for doneness in Fiona's Easy Halibut with White Whine, Shallots, and Basil (when the fish is cooked, the bones can easily be picked). Bistro staples like Onion Soup Au Gratin, Mushroom Duxelles, and Tian of Summer Vegetables Provencal are familiar to most serious home cooks (thanks to Hamersley's teacher, Wolfgang Puck) and are classics that, like a good trench coat or pair of black slacks, never go out of style. Home cooks can't go wrong with Mixed Greens with Fried Walnut-Coated Goat Cheese and Sherry Vinaigrette, followed by Grilled Salmon with Peas, Potatoes, and Mint. There is an especially pleasing chapter on Savory Tarts, Gratins, and Galettes and plenty of vegetarian options like Autumn Vegetable Stew with Cheddar-Garlic Crumble Crust and Creamy Gratin of Celery Root, Onions, and Black Truffles. Hamersley and Smart (an editor at Fine Cooking magazine) include a generous dessert chapter with an assortment of tarts, such as Apple Tarte Tatin, cakes, like Chocolate Mousse Cake and others, like Profiteroles. While there's little new here, this volume-with its bold photos and bistro menu-inspired design-makes a fine, comprehensive bistro cookbook.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I've made quite a few of the recipes and each one was delicious.
M. K. Foley
The recipes are easy to follow -- yet the end result are dishes that taste infinitely more complex, and are incredibly delicious.
A. Dunham
Your next Sunday afternoon should be spent making the Beef Short Ribs Braised in Dark Beer with Bacon and Red Onions.
SML

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Elinor Lipman on January 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I borrowed BISTRO COOKING AT HOME from the library, thinking I might steal a few tempting recipes, but upon reading it promptly purchased my own permanent copy. The recipes are delicious yet accessible (my last meal was his Orange and Ginger-Glazed Roasted Swordfish with a Carrot and Tarragon Vinaigrette, which caused swooning at my table. It was so good that I wondered, "Why would a chef give away a recipe like this?" ) The side dishes take delicious basics and rachet them up a notch, i.e. Roasted Asparagus with Pancetta and Shaved Asiago or Lemony Braised Endive or Garlicky Cherry Tomato Confit with Toasted Pine Nuts. If you love a flexible chef, one that can accept your vanilla extract if you don't have a vanilla bean on hand, this book is for you. My best summary is: Unpretentious, friendly, practical, and fabulous.
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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Hamersley's "Bistro Cooking at Home" belongs next to Julia and Marcella in your cookbook collection. The 'presentation' is terrific; easy to read with many helpful pictures. There is a wealth of background information, all the way from techniques to sources for hard to find ingredients. The writing style is as comfortable as his restaurant. There is a full range of selections that will satisfy every taste. Recipes are presented with alternatives for technique and ingredients. I'm not the first one to say that the Roast Chicken p. 182 is worth the price of the book, but it's true. But Fiona's Easy Halibut, Seared Sea Scallops with Garlic Tomato and Olive Compote, Roast Pork with Apples, Onions, and Sage, ..............there's just no end to it. Best of all, the consistent end result is flavor, flavor, flavor. Buy the book, work your way through and start again.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By SML on January 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
you open "Bistro Cooking at Home". Your next Sunday afternoon should be spent making the Beef Short Ribs Braised in Dark Beer with Bacon and Red Onions. It's incredible. The dishes are comparatively easy to make, unpretentious, earthy, and deeply soul satisfying. While not for the completely novice cook, Hamersley helps out with wine suggestions, accompaniments, and helpful preparation notes with almost every dish.
Highly recommended.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By An Amazon Customer on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm picky when it comes to cookbook shelf space. My habit is to only keep around cookbooks that I love. After 20 years of cooking, I have kept only about two dozen books (aside from the vintage Foods of the World series by Time Life).

Having said that, *Bisto Cooking at Home* has become one of my go-to books. Just as a previous reviewer said, the Chicken recipe on p182 alone is worth the price of this book.

What all my favorite cookbooks seem to have in common is that they not only deliver great recipes, but they also educate as to why they taste great. This book is no exception.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Gordon Hamersley has done what no other restaurant cookbook author has done before ( or wanted too). He has successfully written a cookbook that yields results from home that rival that of his restaurant. Having visited his restaurant on several different occasions, I was skeptical about how close the recipes would turn out. With my first bite of the roast chicken I'd prepared, all the sights, sounds, aromas and tastes returned, as though I was sitting in the dining room of Hamersley's Bistro.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Boston Home Cook on February 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Cooking is my true passion. There is nothing I enjoy more than creating beautiful and delicious dishes at home, and sharing them with friends and family. I own a hundred cookbooks, and this is my hand's down favorite, especially for entertaining. The recipes are easy to follow, economical, big on flavor and presentation, and great for entertaining. Let me explain in more detail.

Easy to follow - The dishes are all beautiful and look very difficult, but they are far from it! Gordon Hamersley has really designed some wonderful recipes that are very easy for even the most novice home cook. The book is also full of great tips throughout. Many cookbooks will just instruct you to do something, for example, "Caramelize the onions", but they won't tell you how. Hamersley not only tells you how, but he goes a step further by providing tips on how to make them even darker and sweeter.

Economical - I have made many recipes from this cookbook, and I've never had trouble finding the ingredients in my local supermarket. Roast chicken, coq au vin, braised short ribs, beef bourginion - these dishes will not bust your budget, but they will come out looking like they did. A few of the dishes have some more expensive ingredients, but if you are hosting a dinner party or holiday dinner, you might want to splurge on those special ingredients, to give your friends and family something new and different to try.

High on flavor and beautiful presentation - All of the dishes I have made have been both visually appealing and delicious. His use of fresh herbs and slow braising techniques give the dishes a wonderful depth of flavor and an incredible "wow" factor.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By fleurdelys on January 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
no other cookbook will do! I stumbled across this gem at my local library one warm summer day. The rest, as they say, is history: my other cookbooks have been gathering dust ever since.

Every recipe I've tried has been really fabulous - truly, there isn't a dud in this book. The Curried Zucchini Risotto (a dream of saffron, sherry, fresh mint and cilantro - along with the titular ingredients) was an instant hit, the roast chicken recipe IS as good as they say, and the Lemon Lavendar sugar cookies were the star of holiday care packages.

Another nice feature is the range of options here: though we enjoy meat, we only eat it once or twice a week, and Hamersley offers a wealth of delicious vegetarian dishes - from hearty salads (the roasted vegetable salad with romesco sauce is a regular on our table, well worth the lengthy prep time) and soups to delicious gratins and tarts.

There's a lot to love about this book!
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