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Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine Hardcover – October 31, 2006

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As Chef Boulud explains in the introduction, "Every chef has a dish so fundamental to the psyche that whenever he tastes, smells, or even just imagines its flavors, it immediately brings him to where he had it first." Hence, he offers this personal and informative cookbook that focuses on braised meat. Boulud begins with notes on the technique, key equipment, ingredients and helpful tips before embarking on the more than 100 neatly organized recipes such as Veal Breast with Cinnamon and Green Olives; Milk-Braised Pork Loin with Hazelnuts and Pepper; and Royal Shoulder of Lamb with Saffron, Raisins and Pistachios. (Some recipes include nonbraised sides like Celery Root Salad.) There are also chapters on poultry and rabbit, seafood (e.g., Spiced Grouper with Fennel, Cashew and Mango; Sea Scallops with Salsify, Shiitake Mushrooms and White Miso), vegetables and beans, and even desserts, like the unexpected Sweet Eggplant with Pistachios. Headnotes give insight into the cultures that inspired these recipes—all of which, as one would expect from Boulud, are intriguing and innovative—and side notes on ingredients help make exotic dishes less intimidating. (Nov.)
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Review

“I look forward to the comforting scents and tastes of slow cooked food … ultimately tender and delicious.” (Thomas Keller)

“Only Daniel, the expert of slow cooked food, could bring such energy to the art of braising.” (Jean-Georges Vongerichten)

“The most exciting book on braising…incredible techniques… thank you for so brilliantly sharing your talent with us.” (Eric Ripert)

“What a treat... sends you running for the kitchen. I can’t wait to cook from this book!” (Suzanne Goin)

“Yum-braise with one of America’s greatest chefs.” (Emeril Lagasse)

“Daniel Boulud is an undisputed creative genius… Braise is the book he was destined to write… a classic!” (Robert M. Parker, Jr.)

“I love Daniel’s food and it tastes so wonderful.” (Nobu Matsuhisa)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1st edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060561718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060561710
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 170 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
`Braise' by leading New York restauranteur and chef, Daniel Boulud and leading culinary writer for hire, Melissa Clark is high on my list of books I look forward to reviewing for both the authors' track records and the importance and value of the subject. The fact that another recent book, `All About Braising' by Molly Stevens covers the identical territory makes reviewing this book even easier than usual for a book by someone of Boulud's stature.

The very first observation I must make about Boulud's book is that Stevens' book contradicts the comments on Boulud's back jacket which suggest Boulud and Clark have written the last word on the subject, as there are many things about Stevens' book which make it a superior first book on braising, and even give one grounds for passing on Boulud's book, if money or bookshelf space is tight.

Being simpleminded, I first check the size and recipe count of the two books. While Boulud / Clark has 228 pages, Stevens weighs in at 480 pages, over twice as much for a similar list price. Another simpleminded comparison shows that while Boulud / Clark give us nine (9) pages of introductory material on braising technique, Stevens gives us 33 pages, including some superb illustrations of the variety of braising pots. Boulud / Clark speaks about these briefly, but offers little illumination on the great range of pots used for braising. They say enough, but certainly don't cover the field thoroughly. And, in the appendices on sources, while Boulud / Clark give us only sources for their wide range of ingredients, Stevens also gives us sources for braising cookery such as Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma, Lodge Cookware, and Big Tray. I am surprised she doesn't give a reference to Le Creuset.
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63 of 76 people found the following review helpful By lotus eater on February 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had been excited to read of Daniel Boulud's Braise. He is a great chef, and having become comfortable with the braising technique from Molly Steven's book, I was looking forward to Daniel's ideas.
I tried seven dishes. Of the four beef dishes my family ate, only the Beef Shoulder with Jerusalem Artichokes and Carrots was tasty enough to be served again. It was complex and the Jerusalem Artichokes were exotic but did taste like they belonged in a beef stew.
We also ate the Paleron de Boeuf au Vin Rouge, which was merely an adequate variation on a daube,and Smoky Beef Chili, which uses lime juice instead of tomato for its acid,but cooking dimished the tang, so the final flavor seemed tamed and dull. We tried the Braised Ground Beef with Split Peas, Apricots and Apples and the Red Cabbage with Apples and Honey,and they were both way sweet. My daughter loved the cabbage candy.
I also cooked the Veal Breast Braised with Cinnamon and Green Olives, which was edible(unlike the two previous) but, well, maybe the nuance of the 20/lb serrano ham is lost after being braised for 2 hours. Again, the cinnamon seemed to give an excessive sweetness to the dish.
I tried the dessert braise of Mangoes and Carrots With Honey and Ginger-Lime Whipped Cream. The cream was outstanding, but the braise was a what was I thinking moment.
Over all, I've been disappointed. Maybe I'll have tastier times with fowl and pork.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Squibbs on February 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've now cooked from both Molly Stevens' _All About Braising_ and Boulud's _Braise_. None of the five recipes from Stevens were tasty or interesting enough for me to want to cook them again. So far I've cooked four from Boulud (Tender Beef with Horseradish, Parsnips, & Celery Root; Chicken Basquaise with Artichokes; Red Beans with Bacon & Chorizo; and the one referenced below), and I will definitely make all four again. Some friends were over the other night for the Tamarind Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Okra, and they couldn't stop raving about it. Boulud's reputation as a master is wholly justified by his careful attention to every flavorful detail in these recipes. They may take a bit of time (many call for overnight marinating) and a great knife (veggies cut into 1/4" dice, for instance) to prepare. And you'll surely have to make a trip to a specialty grocery for some ingredients. But the superb results wholly justify the time and effort. I really can't recommend this book highly enough for those who love to cook, and to eat, truly great food. Now it's time to make that Cubano Chicken with Tomatoes, Peppers, & Citrus......
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on February 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
More years ago than I would like to remember my mother would start to cook something every Sunday morning. She would put meat, potatoes, veggies into a great cast iron pot and set it to cooking very slowly. We would go to church and when we got back it would be done. I didn't realize it at the time, but what she was doing was braising.

She is long gone now, but I wish I could have given her a copy of this book. Here are about a hundred recipies cooked this way. The variety, the spices -- it seems that every type of cooking has dishes that are braised. Here the dishes come from Thailand, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Lebanon, France, Russia, China and many other places. There is the distinctive flavors of each of these cooking type, but each dish has been thought about, modified, tested and made Boulud's own.

Tonight I'm serving Ropa Vieja, a Cuban braised flank steak with peppers, tomatoes, and onions. I started it marinating last night. I started it cooking a couple of hours ago. It smells wonderful.
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