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French Classics Made Easy Paperback – May 18, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The French classics come to life in this engaging and riveting cookbook. Everyone from the professional restaurant chef to the home cook will find foolproof recipes here. Bravo Richard, for making these delicious classics accessible to all.”
—Drew Nieporent, Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Corton, Centrico
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Many recipes lead to a Boeuf Bourguignon, but none comes even close to Richard Grausman’s for ease, clarity, sheer deliciousness, and an understanding of how home chefs can―and should―cook classic French food.  A Cordon Bleu-trained cooking teacher, Grausman has spent more than four decades making French food accessible to Americans. His culinary innovations and techniques reinvigorate the classics to fit our contemporary diet and schedule.

When a step isn’t crucial, he eliminates it. When a shortcut works, he uses it. When something can be done in advance, he does it. Plus he’s cut the amount of butter, cream, egg yolks, salt and sugar without compromising the flavor of the dish. It’s an amazing transformation: 250 splendid recipes for both gracious entertaining and cooking everyday meals with an unmistakable French flair.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Rev Upd edition (May 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761158545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761158547
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I believe I have been a secret Francophile for a lot of my adult life as a cook - at least when it comes to French cuisine and culture. Despite my Central Euro roots, and my passion for many other cuisines of the world, I have cooked many of the French classics that Richard Grausman, the author of "French Classics Made Easy" includes in this 'keeper' of a book. The best known classics such as Coq au Vin, Bouillabaisse, Boeuf Bourguignon, Cassoulet, Navarin D'Agneau to name a few of my favorites, are all included in this treasure of a book.

Actually, there are 250 French recipes that Grausman delivers to the home cook using ingredients readily available at your local supermarket. Add to that, the illustrated step-by-step techniques (for example, "How to Line a Tart Pan" as illustrated and described on page 65) and others throughout the book all add to the excellence of this cookbook.

The extent of Grausman's attention to detail in writing this book is to be commended. For ease of recognition to his audience, the recipe titles are in English, followed by the French translation. In addition, a personal favorite feature of any cook book is that the Table of Contents be comprehensive enough to include the page number where the reader can find not only where a particular Chapter can be found, but what page to find a particular category within a Chapter. That may seem like a "nit-picking" feature for me to get excited about, but trust me, when you've read, judged, and used as many cook books as I have in my professional culinary life, that feature is very useful to the reader!
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By bejoy on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an awesome cookbook! I bought this because I have absolutely no experience with French cooking, thought it would be fun to try, and am a grad student so I don't have hours on hand to spend in the kitchen. I'm so happy I bought it!

Richard Grausman puts a lot of himself in the cookbook in a way that makes me feel like I'm taking a fun cooking class taught by somebody I really like. He adds a lot of notes about why you should or shouldn't do things a certain way, which I think is a sign of a good teacher and helps me be a better cook. And it never comes across as patronizing.

The really nice thing about it, too, is that the recipes are actually affordable. Sure, a few of them have some pricier ingredients, but Grausman always gives the chef an out if need be.

If you want to try French cooking, buy this cookbook!
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Format: Paperback
Length: 3:54 Mins
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I fell in love with the Bonne Femme cookbook and yearned for more accessible French recipes. So, I bought this cookbook and eagerly awaited its arrival. It's a great cookbook for planning dinner parties or date-night meals when you have a large budget and plenty of time to dedicate to cooking. The fish section is all salmon and lobster. The poultry section is mostly duck, squab, pheasant and even rabbit. The beef section wastes no time in getting to the whole tenderloin fillet and telling you to ask for specialty cuts of whole lamb leg. This is not a cookbook to turn to for dinner on Tuesday night, or even Sunday night unless your budget allows for whole ducks on a regular basis. Even the first breakfast dish calls for a "medium black truffle, chopped."

The one thing I do love about it is the section for sauces (both sweet and savory) including variations and what to serve them with. I don't see myself getting a ton of use out of this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hands down, Richard Grausman's,
French Classics Made Easy, is the best cookbook I've ever used!
The book takes classic recipes and simplifies them to make
them hits at any meal. Suggested wine and side dishes are perfect
complements to each recipe, and every dish I've prepared never
fails to get rave notices from family and friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am extremely excited about this cookbook. It is one of my top 5 favorite cookbooks (I have 11 linear feet of cookbooks) and it's definitely the most user friendly in terms of techniques of the books on my list. Richard Grausman's recipes are not only fabulous, he is a wonderful teacher, making French cooking "easy"! No home-cook will find these recipes intimidating, as there are many shortcuts to the classic French recipes. All will find them amazingly delicious. This book is an absolute gem.

French Classics Made Easy has given me a great excuse to have numerous dinner parties this summer, each time rolling out impressive, flavorful meals that have been enormous hits. Guests always beg for the recipe! Stated prep/cooking times seem right on, and since many of them require less than an hour, it's pretty easy to pull together a meal quickly. I appreciate that the advance preparation and hold times for the refrigerator and freezer (if applicable) are given for the recipes. There are even serving suggestions to help in menu planning.

Everything has been absolutely excellent, but some of my favorites are Watercress Soup, Shrimp A La Provencale (Shrimp in Garlic Tomato Sauce), Chicken A La Portugaise (Chicken with Mushrooms, Tomato, and Olives), French Lamb Stew, Waterless Cooked Carrots, Sauce Beurre Blanc (White Butter Sauce), and Almond Cake with Raspberry Puree. The recipe for Chocolate Mousse is fabulous and a snap to make. Actually, I have made most all the recipes in the book, many over and over again, and found them all absolutely yummy.

As for ease of use, I think the pictures are really helpful, the directions are very clear and the recipes uncomplicated to prepare. The introduction includes good information about ingredients, preparation, and even equipment.
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