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Simple Cuisine: The Easy, New Approach to Four-Star Cooking Hardcover – 1990

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Trade; 1st edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131950592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131950597
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Groundbreaking when it was first published in 1990, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Simple Cuisine has since become a classic. Its author, chef-owner of Manhattan's Vong and the four-star Jean-Georges, pioneered the use of vinaigrettes, juices, flavored oils, and broths to produce light but deeply flavorful dishes with a minimum of fuss. The 1998 paperback version presents 200 recipes for these simple but sophisticated treats. They are based on the building blocks listed above, plus phyllo dough, cunningly employed as a puff-pastry alternative. Vongerichten fans and those seeking easy dishes with an haute cuisine pedigree will be delighted.

Beginning with recipes for Vongerichten's stockless basics, the book then explores simple sautés and steamed dishes, Asian specialties, cheese and potato dishes, sweets, and American fare such as burgers, all of which are given the Vongerichten touch (meaning that we end up with interesting combinations like lamb burgers with cilantro and goat cheese). Recipes such as Sea Scallops with Garlic and Saffron Oil, Salmon in Rice Paper with Citrus Vinaigrette, and Cheese Galette with Pecans are easier to prepare than their names might suggest. Desserts like Almond Milk Ice Cream, Hot Cherries with Honey Kirsch, and Bitter Cocoa Sorbet are followed by a chapter of 30-minute menus and a handy cross-reference of the building blocks to the dishes that contain them. As useful as it proclaims itself to be, the book works for all who want to cook the Vongerichten way--but at home and with minimum of effort. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Vongerichten is the inspired chef of Lafayette, one of New York City's four-star restaurants. Rather than using traditional sauces, he has created an array of unusual vegetable (and a few fruit) juices and vinaigrettes, broths, and flavored oils. From these easily prepared basics, he makes Lobster with Asparagus Juice and Salmon Leaves with Rosemary Oil, along with accompaniments like Crisps of Risotto or Potato/Basil Puree. These are not exactly "simple" dishes, and some require expensive ingredients, but they are uncomplicated enough for the home cook--and they are superb. Highly recommended. HomeStyle Books alternate.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

The first thing you should know about me is that I'm a country boy at heart. I grew up on a farm in Alsace where my mother and grandmother taught me to eat and cook according to the seasons. It was there I fell in love with food--fresh herbs and vegetables and the warmth of our local Franco-German flavors. Though I've been living an urban life since 1973, I'm still most at home in the country.

Since my departure from Alsace, I've lived, trained, and cooked all over France, in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Boston, and New York. Now, I'm rooted in New York, in my little Perry Street neighborhood and in the hills of Westchester County. But I also feel at home in my other restaurants around the world.

Wherever I go, I always want to cook both globally and locally. If you've been to my restaurants, you've probably guessed that I love Asian flavors. My first trip to the open-air market in Bangkok remains one of my most influential culinary experiences, and I've since adopted those herbs and spices as my own. Everything I cook has to have a little heat. (Even at home, my wife, who's Korean-American, keeps our fridge stocked with kimchi.)

As for life outside the kitchen, I enjoy relaxing with my family. In the country, I often go fishing in my little pond and, while the weather's still nice, chop wood for the fireplace. In the city, I take my chefs out to eat after work and catch up with friends when we're cooking together for charity events. The greenmarket is one of my favorite places to stroll. I guess you can see that I love food. It's my passion. It's my life.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Jean-Georges Vongerichten revolutionized the way we cook with this approach to cuisine. The beauty of it is that all these recipes really are easy to use and can awaken your senses to cooking creatively in your own home kitchen. Tons of excellent and easily transferrable preparation skills, too (e.g., a fool-proof way to cook a fish filet). Vongerichten's two cookbooks are the ones I turn to over and over again whether making dinner in the middle of the week for two, or entertaining a large group. The flavors will knock you out!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved it. I am a French-born average home cook and it opened up a lot of horizons. It gave me confidence about putting dishes together. Normally, when I read a cookbook it seems that the thing to do is follow the recipe. With this one you get the basic for creativity, not that there are not full-fledged recipes to be reproduced, but the bulk of my interest was on new approach to basics. And it is simple.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this because I saw it recommended by chef in magazine. Strange book, may be of some benefit if you are a professional chef, it is downstairs on my donate pile
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