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Jan 14, 2014 11:34 AM

Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Jews ??

I've tried a couple of Julia Child recipes lately, and, wow! Her coq au vin, for example, is not just chicken in wine with herbs. It transports chicken to a whole new level.

I almost ordered the book just now, then I thought, maybe not, or, at least, maybe I'll ask on Chow first.

My Question is - given that a great deal of what is northern French necessarily involves mixing of meat and milk (usually butter and heavy cream, actually, but let's not quibble) Well, given that fact, is there enough in that book that is useful to justify studying it?

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    1. re: Moishefrompardes

      Thank you. I regard your advice as dispositive.

      1. re: AdinaA

        thats a big word, seriously though, ill loan it to you if you want to see it first, its a must have up there with larouse gastronomique & escoffier.

        1. re: Moishefrompardes

          curious what your top 10 go to for inspiration, not necessarily recipes, cookbooks are

          1. re: shoelace

            hmmmmm well the oldies like escoffier,
            but my #1 is Inventing cuisine by michelle bras
            then El Bulli 98-2002. then French Laundry Cookbook,by Thomas Keller. then A Chef In Provence by Edward Loubet. the first Ideas in Food book. All of Charley Trotters early stuff. I have a crazy old cookbook by Vincent Price of all these 1950s restaurants you can see stuff like the 4seasons serving green tomato gazpacho & Veal Liver with Avocado & Lime & realize your not ever going to cook anything new :) far as newer books im into the robertas cookbook, Astrance, Noma, Mugaritz, Coi, Manresa...............not sure if i hit 10 yet :)

            1. re: Moishefrompardes

              thank god i have some amazon gift cards,i have some shopping to do

              some of yours are on my list, french laundry, i love trotter, but im surprised not to find anything on your list like ottlenghi- whose recipes i dont love bc theyre a little too complicated for me, but whose flavor profiles im inspired by

              1. re: shoelace

                aaahh, well you know, i wont lie i grew up eating lots of pasta bc my mothers side grew up in rome. tack onto that a vegetarian family & lots of israeli grub hummus falafel etc.......i never really bought too many books about either cuisine.

                1. re: shoelace

                  I found that Jerusalem is less complicated than his other books.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    Plenty, their earlier vegetarian book is totally transcendent...made veggy wife uber happy!

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      i have jerusalem, which i liked, but i LOVE ottolenghi- i wonder if i cant start another thread on favorite cookbooks that people have found easily kosher-able, without it being moved to another board

                      1. re: shoelace

                        Kosher-friendly cookbooks? Cookbooks that work especially well for the kosher kitchen?

                        It's a good idea.

                        1. re: shoelace

                          I find all of the Claudia Roden books to be especially kosher-friendly. One of my favorite old books of hers is A Book of Middle Eastern Food. I didn't realize until I had it for a while that it wan't specifically meant for the kosher cook.
                          Another oldie, which I still use quite often,is Mimi Sheraton's From My Mother's Kitchen. I very much enjoy the chapters in which she relates warm, loving stories about her traditional Jewish family and observant grandparents. It's always a shock, then, when she'll casually mention (or have a recipe for) something blatantly treif. But most of the recipes are for traditional Jewish foods.

              2. re: AdinaA

                and madelienne kaman's making of a cook.

                1. re: Moishefrompardes

                  Thank you. That's quite a reading list. But as long as I have decided to learn how to cook, I may as well sign up for the full course. I many not, however, have quite gotten through all of these before the next time I come in for dinner.

            2. You might be able to see the inside of the book on Amazon before you buy it.

              1. I borrow cookbooks from the library to see how they work for me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: magiesmom

                  I used to do that as a kid when I was interested in cooking but couldn't buy my own cookbooks! Nowadays I'm really into buying used cookbooks on Amazon or from used bookstores...they are usually really cheap and often in perfect condition.

                2. Buy it used ,both volumes!

                  1. As a kosher vegan married to a kosher carnivore, I discovered that checking out vegan versions of traditional gourmet cooking can provide substitutes that work in the meat versions because they substitute non-animal products for the dairy, pork and shellfish. Admittedly with varying degrees of success, but coq au vin can be satisfactorily reproduced with the appropriate bacon substitute. (Not easy to find, but obtainable kosher certified.) There is a lovely woman married to a protestant minister who is going through the entire Mastering the Art of French cooking creating vegan versions. She references the original recipes and demonstrates and lists her vegan substitutions. You might check her out. I've had great success with some of her "versions." Here's a link: