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Michael Field's Cooking School: A Selection of Great Recipes Demonstrating the Pleasures and Principles of Fine Cooking Hardcover – July 1, 1977


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (July 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030184762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030184765
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

His untimely death in 1972 has kept Michael Field from maintaining the rightful place he once occupied beside James Beard, Craig Claiborne, and Julia Child in the 1960s and 1970s, teaching Americans about the preparation of real, good food. During that time, he taught, wrote, and was general editor of the landmark Time-Life Foods of the World cookbook series, for which he also wrote several volumes.

Michael Field's Cooking School was his first book. Written in 1965, it was reissued in 1998 as part of the Cook's Classic Library. Meticulously detailed instructions for every page make this a manual for technique. Its instructions are every bit as comprehensive as those in other classics of its time, like Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Field, however, includes recipes for dishes such as American Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy, Broiled Leg of Lamb with Avgolemono Sauce, Pesto Genovese, and Risotto Milanese.

One reason for Field's stature is his expertise. The other is the lucid and enjoyable way he shares it. His methods are reassuringly precise but not didactic, and his words are deliciously flowing and lightly literary. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

"This is a book for the serious student of the art of cooking," said LJ's reviewer of this 1965 volume (LJ 5/15/65). More than just a recipe book, Field's text tries to teach readers to cook, and each chapter begins with a summary of what they can learn from the dishes as well as afterthoughts at each section's close. This remains "a good purchase."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Fun for a Sunday afternoon.
D. F. MCFARLAND
The recipes are simple to follow yet produce a very accomplished and sophisticated product.
VIctoria
Back in the late sixties, when I was learning how to cook, this book was my bible.
Robert J. Newell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Denny on December 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'd never heard of Michael Fields when a family friend gave me this cookbook as a wedding gift in 1970. But even then, I was interested in cooking so I eventually started leafing through it -- and gradually, through the years, trying out this recipe and that. Now, 31 years and a second marriage later, it's one of the mainstays of my cookbook collection -- not because of the breadth of its offerings (it actually doesn't have that many recipes compared to other classics like Julia Child's The Way to Cook), but because of the quality of the recipes and his instruction.
Each of the sections (a fairly typical selection -- appetizers, soups, fish and shellfish, beef, lamb, etc.) has about 8 to 10 recipes, prefaced by a lengthy introduction about the ingredients at hand and why the recipes were chosen. The recipes themselves are also in narrative style (except for the ingredients, of course) -- and many indeed do include detailed explanations of a key basic cooking technique: how to make a hollandaise sauce or a basic chicken stock, or how to bone a leg of lamb, for example. You also get lessons on shopping for and preparing ingredients, and tips on serving your creations.
But even if you are already a reasonably accomplished chef, I would recommend this book simply for the recipes. I've never made one that wasn't simply delicious. And I really like the mix of best-of-breed classics (his coq au vin and osso bucco, for example) with less common preparations such as his halibut mousse with shrimp sauce (a killer if you want to impress company). Also, while many of the recipes do require a fair amount of time, some are simple enough to prepare after work (the broiled chicken with butter, lemon, soy sauce and garlic is a regular on my weeknight menus).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
When I was a newlywed, my wife one day tried to create a culinary masterpiece. Upon tasting her first attempt I exclaimed "Do you want to order a pizza?" Her reply was "Sausage and peppers!". Several weeks later I gave her a copy of this book. Since then the only pizza served in our home is baked in our home. The author assumes that you are a moron when it comes to understanding cooking terms. By the time you finish your first recipe, you will have an understanding of the color, texture and consistency of a "roux" in addition to knowing the term
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Stengle on November 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am delighted to see this book back in print as I can now start giving it as a gift again. The book has very thorough and comprehensive instructions on small list covering all types of meals. Everything in the book is awesome. It is particularly good for people that want to cook great meals but don't have experience as the author assumes nothing. The book is not lavishly illustrated and has no photographs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VIctoria on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have an original copy of the Michael Fields Cooking School book. I have used it faithfully since 1965. Perhaps my family's favorite recipe is Gougere Bourguignonne. The recipes are simple to follow yet produce a very accomplished and sophisticated product.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Back in the late sixties, when I was learning how to cook, this book was my bible. It taught me everything I needed to know about basic technique, and it did it through teaching me how to prepare a wide range of delicious dishes.

This book is indeed a cooking school more than a cookbook; the number of recipes is relatively small, but each one is presented in great detail and clarity. Anyone can follow Mr. Field's instructions and learn to be a good cook. With care and attention, these recipes are almost no-fail. If you read the instructions carefully, and follow them as written, you'll turn out one good dish after another; anything from spinach soup to Belgian beef with beer and onions, to a classic Coq au Vin and many more.

In all the years since those early days, I've turned back to this book again and again and never been disappointed. After a recent move, I lost my copy, so I bought another. If you're a beginner, start here. You will not find a better tutorial book anywhere. But if you're more experienced, even an expert, the recipes still hold up and are worthy of your time.
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