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Simple French Food 40th Anniversary Edition
 
 

Simple French Food 40th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]

Richard Olney , Mark Bittman , James Beard , Patricia Wells
4.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)

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Richard Olney, best known as a general food writer, is one of America's most erudite experts on authentic French cooking, but it's difficult to find anyone who knows much about him, except for such authorities as Patricia Wells and the late James Beard. The reprinting of Olney's classic and indispensable Simple French Food offers readers the chance to learn more about this most idiosyncratic and accomplished of cooks. No pared down, paint-by-numbers recipes here: Olney is obsessed not only with showing you how to cook, but how to see, smell, feel, listen, and taste as well. Read, for example, Olney's description of Scrambled Eggs and you will understand what you are missing when they are not properly prepared (as they almost never are): "correctly prepared, the softest of barely perceptible curds held in a thickly liquid, smooth, creamy suspension." To scramble eggs, Olney insists on a wooden spoon, a generously buttered copper pan or bain-marie, and a precise control of the temperature--very simple to accomplish, as all his recipes are, as long as you take care to absorb fully his sensuous and exact instructions. --Sumi Hahn Almquist

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Praise for Simple French Food (1992 Revised Edition):

 

"For twenty years Richard Olney's Simple French Food has been one of my greatest sources of inspiration for cooking at Chez Panisse." --Alice Waters

 

"I am unable to find an adequate adjective to express my enthusiasm.... I find Simple French Food marvelous. I have never read a book on French cuisine that has so excited and absorbed me." --Simone Beck


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4.8 von 5 Sternen
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A DEAR OLD FRIEND 19. Juli 2000
Format:Taschenbuch
I bought this book many years ago and it is still close to my heart. Once, a friend was poking in my kitchen bookcase and asked, "Is there such a thing as simply French food?" Yes! I read this book and Elizabeth David's books many time during the first years of my first marriage and both gave me a basis for preparing delicious and non-fussy meals for my family. My only criticism of this book is that vegetable section is weak.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Vinegar Recipes 17. Januar 1999
Format:Taschenbuch
Fog City Diner cookbook states that it cannot say enough about the importance of good vinegar in its recipes and recommends this book as the source on turning left over red wine into spectacular vinegars.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This is a must for any cookbook library. 5. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
I don't need to say much more than that this book is a must for your cookbook library. It is well written, thr recipes are well tested and all work and if you want to understand the aesthetic of this kind of French cuisine, this is a great book to learn it from.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic. 24. April 1998
Format:Taschenbuch
This is a modern classic, and regularly acknowledged as such. Its charm is in several parts. First, there is Olney's distinctive prose, which is a literary pleasure in itself, then there is the way he avoids as much as possible set recipes (though there are lots of splendid recipes here): his idea being rather to communicate an attitude towards preparing good food, illustrated with possibilities (if you happen to have some of this to hand, do this, if you have that, then do the other, alternatively, try something else entirely).
It also says something about his definition of simplicity that while he is, to put it mildly, uncompromising in his attitude to food, it is possible for someone living in a shared student flat to learn a lot from him (as I did). I'm currently on my second copy, the first having deteriorated, in the course of years, into a bundle of loose sheets.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  31 Rezensionen
78 von 78 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Probably the best French cookbook ever written 26. März 2002
Von Christopher G. Kenber - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Olney is acknowledged by the best in the food field (like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley) as an unimpeachable source of excellence in understanding, tasting, and (by the way) cooking French food. He is, I must acknowledge, opinionated, even arrogant -- he is also almost always right. This book should be read as well as cooked with; absorb it through the skin if you can. My favorites include roasted calf's liver -- absolutely sublime -- and lamb shanks with garlic (unforgettably good). As a european, I acknowledge his view of scrambled eggs as they should be -- soft and creamy, not the overcooked, dried-out buffet eggs of the american breakfast table. And his recipe for poached eggs is perfect -- boil water, turn off the flame, break in eggs, cover, leave.
Simple french food doesn't mean simple cooking; it actually takes real work. But this is the best overall treatise I have read (among hundreds). My second copy is falling apart, I have given it to many friends and I will go on buying it until they take me to the great restaurant in the sky. Don't be without it.
88 von 91 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Important Book on French Cuisine, Alton Brown prototype 29. Januar 2004
Von B. Marold - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
For Americans, Richard Olney is one of the three most influential writers on French cuisine, along with Julia Child and Elizabeth David, although these three all approach their subject from a different direction. Child is the great popularizer who succeeded in communicating `la cuisine Bourgeoise' without compromising on the techniques used by housewives in Paris and Lyon and Provence. David was the `culinary anthropologist', possibly less interested in culinary technique as in rustic culinary traditions and thinkings. Olney is the ambassador of haute cuisine to American restaurant kitchens. He was a colleague of James Beard, who recommended Olney to Time Life to edit their popular series on world food. The California gang, Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower also cite him as the ultimate authority on French cuisine.
Olney's notion of `simple' is quite different from what you may expect from modern fast home cooking proponents such as Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee. His explanation of `simple food' requires a rather closely reasoned seven pages in his Preface. Olney's position is like my favorite anecdote of Mario Batali commenting on a trainee's `rustic' dice job, he says `No dude, that's just lazy'. Olney recognizes that what many people call simple is really an excuse for the lazy cook. At the other extreme, Olney dismisses fancy architectural constructions on the dinner plate. This is certainly not lazy, but it is not simple either. Although Olney does not dismiss expensive ingredients like truffles and foie gras, he does indict them as crutches used to replace imagination in the kitchen.
Some people may promote being true to simple tastes as being the hallmark of simplicity. Olney rules this out by citing the many rustic methods used to transform base, inexpensive ingredients such as many vegetables into `something transcendental'. Here, he identifies the source of perceived complexity not in the kitchens of the Sun King (Louis XIV) or even in the Lyon three star kitchen, but in the efforts of peasants to turn marginally tasting ingredients into good food. Olney quotes Curnonsky's statement that `In cooking, as in all arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.' Olney adduces from this the notion that the value of simplicity is not in the method but in the outcome. He is definitely opposed to efforts to make a leg of lamb imitate venison. One of his primary concerns is that we have respect for our materials.
In a nutshell, he says `Simplicity-no doubt-is a complex thing' and finally arrives at what he considers the essence of the issue of simplicity and, irony of ironies, ends up sounding like Alton Brown, that glib satirist of the doctrines of French cooks. Olney says that understanding your ingredients and understanding the logic of your procedures is the thing which turns disasters resulting from blindly following recipes into great results. Olney says that like all art, cooking rules can be broken, but they can only be broken to good effect if you know them in the first place and know why they are the rules! This, then lays down the basis for how Olney presents his material. Unlike most books, certainly unlike those by Child and David, Olney addresses a culinary subject very much like Alton Brown in giving a roadmap to a general subject such as terrines, gratins, and egg dishes.
This is not to say Olney would disagree with Child or David. In fact, I almost fell over when I ran into Olney's introduction to making an omelet where he says that `no method is better than any other'. This comes straight out of the mouth of Elizabeth David who says that the best omelet recipe is the one which works for you. One must be fair and say that both authors still have a pretty clear idea of what an omelet is and how it is different, for example, from scrambled eggs, for which, by the way, Olney gives an excellent recipe.
Olney's book is like many of David's books in that you can read it from cover to cover and feel much richer for it without having made a single recipe. But, unlike David, Olney's recipes are as finely detailed as Childs, with the added attraction that he explains what is going on and why. One of my favorite examples is his explanation of why finely sieved hard boiled egg yolks go so well with bitter greens, as they perform a function very similar to salt in balancing the bitter with the fatty and making the combination that much more worthy to eat.
Olney is a great fan of vegetables. His discussions and recipes for vegetables are some of the best and this must be one of the things which attract Ms. Waters to his writings.
This book is a classic and easily high on the list of choices for my ten best. The Preface summarized above is a bit tough but if you have any interest in food other than something you need to keep you alive, this book will reward you.
39 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic. 24. April 1998
Von Sean.Matthews@mpi-sb.mpg.de - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is a modern classic, and regularly acknowledged as such. Its charm is in several parts. First, there is Olney's distinctive prose, which is a literary pleasure in itself, then there is the way he avoids as much as possible set recipes (though there are lots of splendid recipes here): his idea being rather to communicate an attitude towards preparing good food, illustrated with possibilities (if you happen to have some of this to hand, do this, if you have that, then do the other, alternatively, try something else entirely).
It also says something about his definition of simplicity that while he is, to put it mildly, uncompromising in his attitude to food, it is possible for someone living in a shared student flat to learn a lot from him (as I did). I'm currently on my second copy, the first having deteriorated, in the course of years, into a bundle of loose sheets.
20 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A fine book, but not a great cookbook 9. September 2009
Von J. Mercik - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I always enjoy reading this book. The author comes across with a real and tangible point of view on every page. Some books on cooking micromanage the reader into producing really good meals; others might succeed in conveying some sort of grasp of the the overall philospohies imbedded in a given cuisine or dining tradition. In my opinion, this book is all about attitude. Open up to any random page of Simple French Food, read a paragraph or so, and you'll get the gist of this book. I'll always end up reading through a whole section or two, just for enjoyment. In addition, I find that the text usually inspires me to work harder at my improving my grasp of French cuisine.

As for SFF being a cookbook: I have tried about half a dozen of its recipes and I am still looking for one that causes someone to request that I make the same recipe again. Now, clearly, this may be a comment on my cooking ability: In fact, I don't at all consider myself to be a great cook, but I am an avid cook and I have had my share of good fortune in the kitchen. I just find the recipes in SFF to be sort of exotic in an unappetizing way, and I am jealous of the other, more positive, reviewers here who have had successes with these recipes.

In summary: I have given up on it as a source for meal recipes, but it's a legit addition to any cookbook shelf ... there are things to be learned from this book.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Olney was the real thing 16. April 2007
Von Anne - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In the 1970s, I picked this up in a San Francisco book store. The table was stacked with what must have been 50 copies and they were on sale for a couple of dollars. Now I wish that I had scooped them all up to give out to friends, as, for a time, it was hard to come by this book. This reissue in hardcover is most welcome.

Olney--to me--was an American Elizabeth David, however, his recipes did offer more detail. He was an excellent cook and writer. His menu book is also excellent, as he takes the designing of a menu very seriously.

It is this book, however, that I come back to time and again. The first recipe I tried back in 1974 was the Hot Onion Omelet with Vinegar (Omelette a la Lyonnaise) on page 94 of the original. It is pure heaven and I have made it about once a month since then (that makes about 360 omlets). It is a perfect meal with a simple salad of arugala or mesclun and a light vinaigrette.

On the subject of vinaigrette Olney states, "As I understand it, it is made of salt, freshly ground pepper, good red-wine vinegar, and first cold-pressing olive oil. It is so easy to make that to prepare a quantity in advance to be stored is risibly impractical. Its commonest faults are: An excess of vinegar; poor oil; poor vinegar." He goes on to say that the best olive oil he has found on the American market is James Plagniol. While this is a nice olive oil we have many, many superior choices now available to us in "America".

Several of the recipes reflect the fish and seafood he had readily available to him in the south of France, where he lived. I especially like his vegetables recipes for their diveristy and often interesting treatment.

While I have not prepared every single recipe in the book, I can say that I have made most without one loser.
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