55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
The master chefs cooks in your home with you!,
This review is from: Happy in the Kitchen (Hardcover)
This is one cookbook to cook with, ahead of your other cookbooks, and then just let your friends or guests rave..over your cookery skills.
This is as if a master chef, genie like, comes to your home and dispensed countless pearls of cookery knowledge..elevating a simple recipe to one that has you say "Oh my Gawd, why didn't I think of that...it's SO good".
He tells how to get certain foods "crunchy" to excite the experiences of taste..making vegetables and meats alike crunchy with flavor, yet not overdoing it. At the same time, he tells how to heat vegetables so they are soft and tasty, without overdoing it and giving that overcooked taste to them. Try his All-Crust Potato Gratin to see.
He "works" a vegetable to bring out it's best...with carrots, he braises whole carrots in chicken stock and orange juice, to give body, brightness and intense flavor, then finished off with touches of unusual spice combinations, and sprinkles the end product with orange zest. Heck, outside of glazing carrots, or eating baby ones raw, I didn't realize the fun I could have with the crispy critters. And onions..what magic he conjures up with cooked onions, as their soft sweetness, sometimes heightened with caramelization, are used as stuffed shells, a pasta-less pasta, a tart, and as a delicious component of a burger!
Have you read about trendy sous-vide cooking and the $2000 thermal circulator set-ups? Get a Foodsaver* to vacuum pack your food in plastic bags, or just wrap it in Saran-wrap* or other cellophane to keep in the flavors while cooking it at ~ 160 F. A steady burner/range, thermometer and some ice cubes will get you through most any sous-vide recipe in your home.
Want to WOW your guests, try his pureed sea scallops, and cook on low temperature as he describes, or make Chicken Faux Gras, Corn Nugget Crab Cakes, or various desserts even.
Try even his version of a lobster roll as a burger, for a fun appearance, and all the luscious taste of lobster.
I cook "higher end" meals for 8-24 people at a time, and often wonder how to serve something new and stunning...well, here's my source of ideas for the next few years! It's easy to see his recipe, and dream up another use for his technique with a different food or other variation. This is the measure of a great teacher..you are not bound to one recipe...he opens your eyes to all sorts of riffs, or variations you can do, and it's not too involved at all.
By the way, this is his second book, the first, Michel Richard's Home Cooking with a French Accent (1993), is a wonderful collection of fairly easy to make recipes with excellent general advice on preparation. Back then, he "tweaked" foods to reveal their best, i.e. adding a little mushroom to enhance a curry sauce, and possibly adding a little cayenne, for a different variation. These hints are even better in Happy in the Kitchen.
There are stunning photographs, and each recipe is well written.
BUY this book and start cooking and eating, and find yourself also Happy in the Kitchen.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 15, 2007 10:50:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2007 11:17:26 PM PST
Prairie Wisdom says:
This reviewer obviously enjoys cooking and writes with enthusiam and apparent insight - no doubt a fellow 'foodie'. Mr. Seligman's colorful writing inspires one to immediately relenquish hoarded Amazon gift certificates to purchase this seemingly delightful cookbook. If the food is as exciting as the reviewer states, there will certainly be happiness in the kitchen. Ideas and recipes notwithstanding, what a playful, artful, title to have displayed on one's kitchen shelf - cover image facing outward - a gentle, zen-like reminder to approach cooking, and life, with gusto!
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2007 7:06:38 PM PST
I. Seligman says:
Thank you for your kind words. The title similarly caught my attention, and I read a few pages, then bought it.
I have a few cookbooks on the shelves, and this has perhaps the least dust upon it, due to using it at the stove, and reading at night, making me quite happy that Mr. Richard wrote it.
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