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The Tante Marie's Cooking School Cookbook: More Than 250 Recipes for the Passionate Home Cook Hardcover – April 29, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (April 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743214919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743214919
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Operating a full-time cooking school in San Francisco since 1979, Risley brings an authoritative voice to her serious instructive approach. Don't even think of cooking leeks al dente, she declares, due to their fibrous quality. Eschewing the chumminess prevalent in cookbooks today, she resolves to teach the user every home cooking technique necessary. After proceeding through the book, cooks of any stripe can learn hors d'oeuvre from the simple Parmesan Cheese Twists to Caviar in Beggar's Purses, a first course like Whole Artichoke Filled with Roasted Garlic Souffl‚ and entrees as uncomplicated as Linguine with Roasted Peppers and Sausage or as sophisticated as Magret of Duck in Cassis Sauce. As the title suggests, French is the dominant accent, but international favorites appear throughout, as in Osso Buco with Risotto Milanese, Paella and Chicken Saute with Preserved Lemons and Olives. The fat police should beware of such dishes as Mushrooms Filled with Garlic Butter, and Mussels with Mashed Potatoes Gratin‚e, each of which contains three sticks of butter and serves four. Sidebars appear frequently to describe how, for example, to deep fry properly or butterfly a leg of lamb. Desserts run the gamut from the familiar Blueberries in Lemon Mousse to the far more demanding Hazelnut Dacquoise. Directing with a firm but gentle hand, Risley has earned the mantle of culinary tutor.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The Tante Marie's Cooking School Cookbook similarly grounds itself in classic French cuisine, but San Francisco cooking teacher Mary Risley expands the traditional repertoire to include currently popular pasta and risotto among her recommended recipes. In fact, Risley draws on other national cuisines as well. Her Spinach Triangles may use a cream-cheese pastry instead of phyllo, but the feta-cheese filling reflects Greek inspiration. Her Poulet au Vinaigre couldn't be more classically French, but Chicken Pot Pie uses artichokes and shiitake mushrooms instead of the usual vegetable complement. A pair of ducks becomes two separate meals, one with the breasts in sweet cassis sauce, a second with legs and thighs braised into an earthy bacon and lentil casserole. Juniper-scented rabbit stew crowns cakes of polenta enriched with both Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Rather tiresome, really.
John W. Etsweiler
The recipes are explained well and easy to follow.
Here is why I am such a huge fan.
Education Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Ann Paul on September 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If Mary Risley had stopped after training some of my favorite San Francisco chefs, she would earn my undying gratitude. But what she's done with this book is invaluable. It's so much more than a book of recipes. She really teaches you how to cook -- with a recipe or off the cuff.
Tante Marie's Cookbook sits on our kitchen counter as a constant checkpoint, no matter where we get recipes from. I always use it as a cross-reference against other books. I'll open a recipe in the Silver Palate, but I'll check Mary's techniques for cooking that kind of meat, fish or vegetable. When I incorporate her suggestions, it always comes out better - and I understand more thoroughly the principle behind the recipes. So this is a cookbook that will enhance every other cookbook you own.
We are passionate cooks, but this book has taught us what we've never been able to do before -- cook without a recipe. In fact, at the beginning of every chapter Mary tells you how to select the discussed meat, fish or vegetable, what cooking methods are best for it, and how to cook it without a recipe. Mary straddles the difficult divide of providing a resource that teaches the experienced cook but is accessible enough to the beginner. In fact, if you own only one cookbook, this is the one to get.
In addition to wonderful recipes, tricks, techniques and the how-tos that change okay to fabulous, this book is filled with great anecdotes and recipes from some of the Bay Area's best restaurants. All made accessible by Tante Marie herself, patiently explaining the difficult, offering alternatives for when you can't find some exotic ingredients, but firmly telling you when you simply can't compromise. (Mary declares "seared tuna has no place in Salad Nicoise!")
We have a new vocabulary in our kitchen: "What does Mary say?" and "Mary says. . ." I promise you, if you let Tante Marie guide you, you'll never eat another so-so meal at home.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Janet on May 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I love a cookbook like this! As a good cook who is completely self taught, I love how easy this is to use and how enjoyable it is to read. The recipes I tried are well written and delicious.
This book is laid out really well. The "Contents" lists each food section in red and all the recipes that follow with page number in black. This makes it easy to find what you want to cook. Few cookbooks offer this helpful layout.
The recipes are explained well and easy to follow. Again, the 2 color format really helps make this cookbook user friendly.
I like how each chapter starts with an informative overview of the food and cooking techniques. It includes a paragragh called "The Big Problem". Here you'll get tips on what problems you could encounter and how to avoid them. Boy, is that a big help. Then the last paragraph is "How to Cook Without A Recipe". This is a great help so you can improvise and not be a slave to the recipes. Then all the recipes follow.
After each recipe are helpful tips and information that can only come from lots of experience. This is where a cooking instructor like the author really shares all her knowledge.
The recipes I tried were simply delicious and simple to follow.
Some recipes require more work but they are still easy to do. The instuctions are so well written it makes it fun to cook.
This is a "MUST HAVE" book!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ralph White on September 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I selected five recipes more or less randomly from the book and made them in preparation for this review. Over the course of a couple of months I made the roasted almonds, paella, boned leg of lamb with tapenade stuffing, vegetable charlotte, and tiramisu. Normally I take recipes as guidance (which Ms. Risley recommends), but for this exercise I followed them as closely as possible (except that I used blanched almonds, and I barbecued the lamb). I loved all of the dishes and my guests did, too. My learning curve was very steep, and I extended my culinary technique considerably. For instance, I'd never considered butterflying a leg of lamb before. Now? No problem! Ms. Risley composes her chapters and recipes very like Julia Child, by which I mean that she interposes considerable guidance on culinary technique among her recipes. It works for Julia and it works for Mary, too. I have one regular houseguest who now pulls this book from the bookshelf in the kitchen and requests me to make anything from it. I figure there are enough excellent recipes in this book to make me look good for years to come.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By gman on June 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful cooking experience was had by all for myself and family. For some extra fun, my family and I sometimes decide to pick out a cookbook and make a meal entirely from that book. Using this cookbook we all picked out one recipe apiece to try out to make a full dinner. Our experence ranged from fairly competent and experienced to the true novice in the kitchen. We made our different courses and the at the end we were very happy with the results. We all agreed that the recipes were well thought out and easy to follow with excellent intstructions and sidebars to answer just about all of our questions. They were practical and informative with the net result being a pleasureable cooking experience for us. Being from the San Francisco area, we are exposed to many wonderful foods and restaurants which I think have increased our appreciation of well prepared foods. We think this cookbook will be enjoyable for all who use it. Chin chin!
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