Julia Child may have been responsible for helping American cooks ease into French cooking techniques, but it was Pierre Franey who brought it all home with his New York Times recipe column, "The 60-Minute Gourmet." Franey took the fear and drudgery out of stylish, flavorful cooking and injected healthy doses of fun. Many were his fans, and many a weekly dinner menu was planned with a hole in the middle to allow for Franey's latest culinary exploration. The best part was the timing. With the basic ingredients on hand and with a little skill under the belt, any home cook could, in fact, get out of the kitchen in 60 minutes and put on the table what many would consider a gourmet dish.
Thanks be to Bryan Miller and to Pierre Franey's family for gathering up 300 of the great teacher's recipes from his column and assembling them for Cooking with the 60-Minute Gourmet. So true to context are these recipes that you can hear Franey tell you what the ingredients are as you read the list, and hear him explain how a dish goes together as you read through the directions--which is to say, there's magic in these pages.
In chapters that include appetizers, salads, soups, poultry, beef, pork, veal, lamb, seafood, pasta, vegetables, and desserts, you will find the likes of Garlic Potatoes, Ziti with Mussels and Broccoli, Salmon with Sorrel Sauce, Broiled Skirt Steak Cajun Style, Indonesian-Style Chicken Breasts, Pumpkin Sage Soup, Tomato and Lentil Salad, and a Cold Lobster Appetizer with Spicy Mustard Sauce. Check out Franey's spicy mango barbecue sauce (he serves it with roasted baby chickens). There are celebrity chefs today who call such a sauce new and bold, which only shows how far out ahead Pierre Franey always was. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
In this sensible, sophisticated cookbook, 60 minutes is really 60 minutesAand often less. Franey, who died in 1996, is a cook's cook. As Jacques P?pin writes: "Although he was able to organize and run a large kitchen, his heart was at the stove." Franey's French heritage is evident in this collection of rediscovered recipesAthe poultry, meat and seafood sections are the book's strongest pointsAyet international influences (Bitochki with Stroganoff Sauce; Russian chicken burgers) abound. Franey's recipes appeal to American tastes with numerous easy, low-fat turkey, fish and chicken breast recipes (Baked Chicken Breasts with Ricotta-and-Herb Stuffing; Indonesian-Style Chicken Breast). Genial sidebars and asides demystify Franey's secrets, such as which fish are best for soups and how to cook duck (Roasted Duck with Figs) as easily as chicken. The little touches are what count: cayenne pepper in the Poached Halibut Steaks with Lemon Sauce gives the dish warmth. Despite a perfunctory dessert section (too many recipes like Prunes in Beaujolais) and a few superfluities (instructions for preparing a box of wild rice), this is a cookbook that, like Franey's other titles (Cuisine Rapide, etc.), will stand the test of time. Author tour. (Aug.)
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