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Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Hardcover – September 14, 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home + Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food + Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (September 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375404317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375404313
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home is the companion volume to Julia Child and Jacques Pepin's PBS series of the same name. The setup works like this: the two opinionated TV cooks confront different ingredients on each show, then make their way through to the finished dishes that make up a meal. The recipes reveal themselves along the way.

What's most important here--and it shows up in the cookbook--is that there is no one way to cook. The point of the book isn't to follow recipes, but to cook from the suggestions. And Julia and Jacques have many, many suggestions when it comes to home cooking in the French style. And many tips, for that matter.

Take chicken, for example. "Not everything I do with my roast chicken is necessarily scientific," Julia says. "For instance, I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it--and, more important, I like to give it." Julia sets her chicken on a V-rack in a roasting pan in a 425-degree oven that she then turns down to 350 after 15 minutes. Jacques roasts his bird at 425, on its side, right in the pan. "To me," he says, "it's very important to place the chicken on its side for all but 10 minutes of roasting." After 25 minutes he turns his chicken over, careful not to tear the skin, and lowers the heat to 400. The bird finishes breast-side up for the last 15 to 20 minutes.

This book is divided into chapters on appetizers, soups, eggs, salads and sandwiches, potatoes, vegetables, fish, poultry, meats, and desserts. The she said-he said format works throughout, and a lot of what's said you may realize you have heard before. There are no big surprises here. But it's good fun, a decent reminder of some of the classics of French tradition, and a chance to loosen up and simply cook at home with a couple of masters--one to the right of you, one to the left. You decide which hamburger's the right one for you. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

Culinary grande dame Child and master chef P?pin define "the basics of fine food that looks good, tastes the way it should and is a total pleasure to eat." Chapters are organized into appetizers, soups, eggs, salads and sandwiches, potatoes, vegetables, fish, poultry, meats and desserts. Based on the vast experience of these chefs, the book takes a she says/he says approach to home-style French cooking: While Julia finds the dark digestive vein in shrimp "ugly" and automatically removes it, Jacques considers it "perfectly good protein to eat"; Julia prefers seasoning food with white pepper, but Jacques uses black pepper, and so forth. Child and P?pin recycle familiar Franco-American classics, like Omelets, Souffl?s, French Fries, Sole Meuni?re, Roast Chicken, Steak Au Poivre and Cr?me Br?l?e, with a contemporary sleight-of-hand (e.g., stocks that can be made within an hour; a microwave method for clarified butter). Eschewing today's trendy global pantry, recipes emphasize fresh, seasonal ingredients. There is also no shortage of shopping, preparation and technique tips from the pros, such as Jacques's perspective on buying a good steak: "it's more useful to have knowledge about cuts of meat than a lot of money." A charismatic tag team, veterans Child and P?pin illuminate novice and seasoned home cooks alike, gently reminding readers that "eating, as well as cooking, should be pleasurable and guiltless." First serial to Gourmet; Good Cook Book Club main selection; author tour. (Sept.) FYI: Cooking at Home is based on a forthcoming 22-part PBS series.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

The book is fun, entertaining, and educational to read... oh yeah, and it has great recipes, too.
Esther Schindler
In this book, we have finally found the elusive solution to cooking great food from simple recipes and techniques.
SJ Port
They chose the best way or favorite recipes with the home cook in mind that are simple and easy to do.
jerry i h

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

174 of 176 people found the following review helpful By "geoffbart" on February 16, 2004
Format: DVD
(Full disclosure: I'm a Julia Child addict. I grew up "cooking along" with her show in the 1980s by sitting before my aunt's television with empty aluminum bowls and a whisk and clanking in time to Julia's instruction. Twenty-some years later, and I'm still at it...)
I just finished watching all 10 (!) hours of this four-DVD set over several days, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is seriously interested in learning to cook time-tested, delicious meals at home. But be aware: this is old-school bourgeois cookery: roasts, stews, flans and crepe gateaus. This isn't foamed smoked salmon on a bed of organic flower petals or other such nonsense.
Rather, it is gratifying cooking that requires some practice and attention. That's why these DVDs are so great: You can easily play and replay the techniques that are often the most difficult in french cooking. Jacques Pepin debones a duck for an easy stove-top preparation, but if you were watching on PBS, you'd be likely to forget the exact steps and tricks for removing the hip bone or separating the breast from the carcass. It takes a bit of thinking, but if you go out and buy a duck, take it home, and review the DVD as often (and as slowly) as necessary, you will get it right. This is a great leap for home-learning.
These DVDs are a boon for Julia and Jacques's desire to convince America to return to homey, sensible meals, because it makes learning the techiques less forbidding. (I did the "serious amateur's" Saturday cooking classes at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo, where Pepin is a dean, and I especially appreciate the reminders that the DVDs provide; his technique and style is 100% FCI.
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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful By "katnet3" on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I accidentally bought this book, planned to return it, and now intend to keep it as a handy reference for all the basics of gourmet American food. Every kind of food that belongs on a well-groomed American table is explored in loving detail by both chefs, from salmon gravlax to the perfect omelet to quick stocks and fine chowders, hamburgers, roast chicken and turkey, fish, creme caramels and other simple desserts. There are great tips all over the place, from how to turn out a perfect omelet to seasoning food in stages, as it cooks, so that all the flavors are brightened instead of ending up with a salty, overseasoned dish. You could plan buffets and banquets from this one book, and while you won't be congratulated on the extraordinary originality of the food, both conservative eaters and gourmands will enjoy the quality and simplicity. Therein lies the greatness of Julia and Jaques.
There is a lot of information here, not only on how to cook but also on how Julia and Jacques think and feel about food, in the margins and in the recipes. They don't hesitate to explore their differences of opinion, from seasonings to what to do if you make a mistake. As a weekend gourmet cook, I find this extremely helpful. It has already enhanced my comfort and ease with the food I cook, and that, to me, is worth it.
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107 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Toni VINE VOICE on February 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Simply wonderful!! That's about how to describe a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend some time with two of the greatest French chefs!!

I have two opinions of this 4-disc set, with the first being the positive; the second opinion I label as OK, not negative, because there are no negatives when you watch these two veterans of classic French cuisine.

To begin with, you have an beautifully filmed series that brings you into the home of the great Julia Child, so you feel very much a welcomed guest. And the grand dame of French cooking has invited Chef Pepin to join her in teaching you the finer points of this marvelous cuisine, so you have much to anticipate for both eyes and palate.

They play off each other as old friends would, and you will be entertained as well as taught. You'll see Julia in a firefighters outfit ready with the extinguisher as she prepares for Jacque to make a flaming dessert or "calling all ducks" with a duck whistle; then you have Jacque in a Julius Caesar ensemble to introduce the namesake salad...............all of it as corny as you can get, and all of it exquisite morsels that hint of the friendship that existed between these two icons. You also cannot help but notice that our Julia has aged, and that makes the friendship between her and Jacque all that more touching. He shows his admiration and his loving respect for her by doing much of the physical work, but do not fret, she is as fiesty as always.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on May 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a companion to a PBS television series on cooking demonstrated by Julia Child and Jaques Pepin where they concentrate on largely French home cooking, with much of the `meat' of the book being created by differences in approach between the two great culinary educators. Julia Child's justly famous `Mastering the Art of French Cooking' and the long series of PBS cooking shows are well known. It may be less well known outside the foodie world that Jaques Pepin is one of the leading authors of professional level books on cooking technique. The best known of these volumes is `La Technique' and `La Methode'. Pepin is also a professional educator in his role as dean at the French Culinary Institute in New York City.
It is probably pure destiny that these two culinary legends should collaborate on one or more projects. Pepin came to the United States in 1959 and almost immediately got a position as a chef at La Pavilion, based on his great good luck of being the chef to the family of Charles DeGaulle while DeGaulle was President of France. Three years later, Julia Child's book was published and Pepin was dumbstruck, as he felt that this is the book he should have written himself. Pepin was lead from the strenuous world of the professional kitchen to a career of writing and teaching when he was seriously injured in an automobile accident and he could no longer spend the long hours of standing.
This volume is a delight to read, even if you prepare none of the recipes in the book. In fact, the recipes tend to take a back seat to the dialogue between the two principles credited with the creation of the book. The book also enjoys one of the best possible support staffs available for culinary literature. Alfred A.
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