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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 [Hardcover]

Julia Child , Simone Beck , Sidonie Coryn
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 12, 1970 Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Book 2)
The sequel to the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Here, from Julia Child and Simone Beck, is the sequel to the cooking classic that has inspired a whole American generation to new standards of culinary taste and artistry. On the principle that “mastering any art is a continuing process,” they continued, during the years since the publication of the now-celebrated Volume One, to search out and sample new recipes among the classic dishes and regional specialties of France—cooking, conferring, tasting, revising, perfecting. Out of their discoveries they have made, for Volume Two, a brilliant selection of precisely those recipes that will not only add to the repertory but will, above all, bring the reader to a yet higher level of mastering the art of French cooking.
This second volume enables Americans, working with American ingredients, in American kitchens, to achieve those incomparable flavors and aromas that bring up a rush of memories—of lunch at a country inn in Provence, of an evening at a great Paris restaurant, of the essential cooking of France.
Among its many treasures:
• the first authentic, successful recipe ever devised for making real French bread—the long, crunchy, yeasty, golden loaf that is like no other bread in texture and flavor—with American all-purpose flour and in an American home oven;
• soups from the garden, chowders and bisques from the sea—including great fish stews from Provence, Normandy, and Burgundy;
• meats from country kitchens to haute cuisine, in master recipes that demonstrate the special art of French meat cookery;
• chickens poached (thirteen ways) and sauced;
• vegetables alluringly combined and restored to a place of honor on the menu;
• a lavish array of desserts, from the deceptively simple to the absolutely splendid.

But perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this volume is that it will make Americans actually more expert than their French contemporaries in two supreme areas of cookery: baking and charcuterie.
In France one can turn to the local bakery for fresh and expertly baked bread, or to neighborhood charcuterie for pâtés and terrines and sausages. Here, most of us have no choice but to create them for ourselves.
And in this book, thanks to the ingenuity and untiring experimentation of Mesdames Child and Beck, we are given instructions so clear, so carefully tested, that now any American cook can make specialties that have hitherto been obtainable only from France’s professional chefs and bakers.
With the publication of Volume Two, one can select from a whole new range of dishes, from the French bread to a salted goose, from peasant ragoûts to royal Napoleons. Each of the new master recipes is worked out, step by infallible step, with the detail, exactness, and clarity that are the soul of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And the many drawings—five times as many as in Volume One—are demonstrations in themselves, making the already clear instructions doubly clear.
More than a million American families now own Volume One. For them and, in fact, for all who would master the art of French cooking, Julia Child and Simone Beck open up new worlds of expertise and good eating. Bon appétit!

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 + Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, 40th Anniversary Edition + Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
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Editorial Reviews


It will gladden the heart of all good cooks alchemist's stone which enables any cook to turn base ingredients to gold -- Caroline Conran Sunday Times As close to a divine text as you can get -- Matthew Fort Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Revised edition of the classic cookbook, originally published in 1961.

Product Details

  • Series: Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (October 12, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394401522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394401522
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.6 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
452 of 457 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary, superb finish to the complete work April 7, 2004
Rarely are we able to say with certainty that a book is at the top of its subject in regard and quality. This book, the continuation of `Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child and Simone Beck is certainly in that most unique position among cookbooks written in English and published in the United States.
This volume is truly a simple extension of the material in the original work, which was recently published in a 40th anniversary edition by its publisher, Alfred E. Knopf and its principle author, Julia Child. As told in Ms. Child's autobiography, the original manuscript brought to Judith Jones at Knopf ran to over a thousand printed pages. About two fifths of that material was put to the side and most of it appears in this second volume. All this means is that you are unlikely to really have a full coverage of the subject of French Cooking as intended by the authors unless you have both volumes.
The first chapter has a clear sign that this volume rounds out the work in that it gives soups a much more thorough coverage than the first volume. Most importantly, it includes recipes for that quintessential French dish, bouillabaisse. To complement this subject is coverage of seafood such as a tour of the anatomy of a lobster that would put seafood specialist cookbooks to shame.
The biggest single addition to the subject in this book is its coverage of baking and pastry. Here is one place where the book may be seen to diverge from its focus of the French housewife's cooking practice. As the book states clearly in the first chapter, practically no baking is done at home, since there is a Boulangerie on every street corner.
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75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French bread as it should be June 29, 2009
I love both volumes. This volume has a French bread recipe that is the real thing. I was successful the very first time I tried. You can make bread as good as any you can buy. Just follow the instructions to the letter. Even if you screw it up, it's the best bread you ever ate.
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Culinary memories... triggered by "Julie and Julia" August 21, 2009
Along with Vol. 1, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 2 was my inspiration and my guide when I was a young cook.
Recently seeing "Julie and Julia" brought back floods of memories of those hours immersed in Julia Child's directions, and the resulting absolutely glorious eating. I embarrassed my dear love -- who wasn't with me during those early culinary adventures -- by moaning and sighing over the food shown in the movie; that movie is like porno for foodies. When we got home, he extracted a promise that I would cook Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon (Vol. 1, on my very splattered page 315) within two weeks.
I'm hoping that the movie will send a new generation of cooks to explore this exquisite cuisine. There will be the concern about all that butter, but oddly, when I was cooking and eating a lot of Julia Child butter-drenched recipes I was at my thinnest, and my cholesterol was low.
We were in Paris for three days a little over a month ago, and the only overweight people I saw seemed to be tourists. It is a puzzle: we ate all our meals in restaurants, mainly non-touristy ones, and the slender and chic women were eating their croissants and creme brulee right along with the men. No picking at lettuce leaves for them.
I highly recommend this book, and hope everyone who buys it will use the recipes as little adventures if they haven't been cooking this way, perhaps setting aside some Sunday afternoons to play and explore (this is not eight minutes in the microwave cooking, for sure).
And go see the movie.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A note on the index. August 13, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An earlier reviewer gave this item one star because they thought the index was useless. The Index in volume two is an index for both volumes. I believe the previous reviewer misunderstood that. For example the Mushroom Appetizer recipe they were looking for says "I: 202" meaning volume 1, page 202. This may have confused the reviewer but it is not a defect in the book.

On another note the book is well bound so it should last for many years of kitchen use.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate. Truffles. November 6, 2007
By Natmama
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fabulous book. Worth the price simply to learn how treacherously simple it is to astound and amaze your friends with home made chocolate truffles. I recommend 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier in place of 4 tablespoons of any other orange liqueur, though.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think Again! September 4, 2009
If you think you know how to roast a chicen (like I did) then think again. Until you roast one the way Julia does it in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" you don't know what good roast chicken tastes like. It's a little more work but makes all the difference in the world. The same can be said for the Coq au Vin and the Boeuf Bourgignon. I don't know why I waited so long to own this book but it's fantastic.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oldie but goodie March 25, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very helpful. I have been trying to figure out how to make my french bread crust crispy. The directions of Julia came about as close as you can get without a commercial oven.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, should be on every shelf June 27, 2008
By LeDoux
Everyone should know this is a must have cookbook. It teaches the novice the basics and explains everything clearly. Just the information regarding the sauces is worth the purchase. Timeless information that will allow anyone to set a good table.

I just purchased this for our eldest daughter who is to be married but never developed any skill in the kitchen. She will now have to sink or swim in her own kitchen. This classic teaching book will serve her well and I am not worried about her success.
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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2
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