Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 21, 2010 01:36 PM

Anybody used the French Laundry cookbook?

Any recipes worth trying or to avoid?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think if you use his cookbook as a starting point, but many of the recipes are very involved (not so much in ingredients but in execution). But, for example, I have made his salmon tartare but the cornets he serves them in are way too labor intensive for me. And I can't imagine hanging a torchon in my frig overnight (though eating his foie gras is like eating velvet!).

    1. I make the Parmesan Fricos with goat cheese mousse every year. Very simple, probably the only simple recipe in the whole book.

      I bought it to peruse through and drool over, to remember the time that we dined there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Phurstluv

        Mm, lucky you, the closest I got was a drive by, while on vacation in SF.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Yes, extremely lucky. It was back before I was married, so around '95 or '96. My BFF's mom is a travel agent and literally spent days trying to get through on the phone to make a reservation. Once we got a reservation, then we made the trip up there - had to work around it!! I think it was a lunch reservation too, not even dinner!!

          Nonetheless, best meal I have EVER had. EVER. And to this day, I still can't get a dinner reservation, even tho I only live about 10 hours south and would drive up in a heartbeat if I could!!

      2. The deep-fried pastry cream with caramelized pineapple is quite simply the best dessert ever. Kind of a large time investment, but HOLY CRAP!!!

        Great book, everything I've made in there has been large on effort, but totally worth it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Indirect Heat

          Interesting, that's one of the dishes that didn't quite turn out for me. The pastry cream didn't set and it didn't deep fry well. The caramel also split, but that was my fault.

          Some of my favourites were the coffee and doughnuts, and lobster pancakes with ginger-carrot emulsion. The lobster technique is brilliant and easy to follow, and so is the technique for herb oils. All the agnolotti recipes are great and there's a great method for filling them quickly.

          To stay away from: powders, all mine have ignited in the microwave, Ile Flotante, I was kinda disappointed with that. I had some trouble with the pommes anna browning as well as the pommes maxim browning. Other than that everything I've tried is great.

          Like the below poster, I too check out the carol cooks keller blog for tips on each recipe before I make it.

        2. I found this blog a while ago. What's nice is she discusses which recipes are worth it and which aren't too bad to make.

          1. I had a weekend away with friends one year and the main activity was cooking dishes from French Laundry or Bouchon. The salmon cones were delicious. I made some variant on the cones because I was not buying molds. they are worth making flavor wise, maybe as flat crackers or something (can't remember what we did). I also made his deconstructed clam chowder, which I loved, but was definitely involved. it's like 4 or 5 different subrecipes. three of us cooked most of the day to make dinner, albeit it was an intentional activity.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cocktailhour

              Oh, G*d!! Those salmon cones were unbelievable, they were the amuse bouche we got when we were lucky enough to eat there. Just amazing.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                I know that Food & Wine had a simplified version of the salmon cones (they were flat instead of cones for starters) that Keller wrote about a year ago. Worth checking out for a simpler version! I love that app!