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Simple French Food 40th Anniversary Edition (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Special Edition, 6. Mai 2014

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Amazon.de

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 -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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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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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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Von Ein Kunde am 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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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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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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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9968bf44) von 5 Sternen 53 Rezensionen
98 von 100 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92e73d80) 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.
110 von 114 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x921ad174) 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.
52 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92192720) 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.
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92193348) von 5 Sternen Simply Great 30. Mai 2009
Von Chambolle - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Many of the reviews posted here bemoan the fact that the recipes in this volume are not "simple" enough... they require careful selection of raw materials, attention to detail, heightened sensibility, occasionally some difficult technique. But the reference to "simple" in the title is not, as some might assume, a sort of promise that "Anyone Can Cook." It is, instead, an affirmation of Olney's approach -- a relatively short list of ingredients, a few central flavors and textures and not a lot of fuss for the sake of fuss. No complexity for its own sake, and no piling on of flavors and "stuff" to make it big or showy or "ethnic" or whatever.

His approach is definitely not for the beginner who cannot boil water or doesn't know veal from stewing beef. It isn't for those who are looking for "20 minute meals to impress your friends" or how to make chef so and so's signature dish. Indeed, while there are recipes, much of the book consists of mere suggestions. Look, for example, at Olney's chapter on salads. He begins with some general ideas about dressings -- how to select a good quality oil, what sort of vinaigrette you might want to make to dress greens and what sort to accompany cold meats, when you might want to consider adding strong mustard and when you might think of something else. Then he describes crudites - no recipe, just a few paragraphs of ideas and things you might consider when you shop and when you begin to put together a platter. Ditto the entry on asparagus -- how to pick the most flavorful, how to peel and steam and cool; and then he will counsel to "eat it cold, toss it in butter, throw it into a salad or an omelet, cover it with bechamel and buttered breadcrumbs and gratinee it, puree the stems and mix with the tips into a souffle batter..." The entry ends with that ellipsis, I didn't add it. That's the way Olney does things. And the book goes on like this, interspersed with a recipe here and some general observations and advice and ideas there.

Every one of the recipes cries out for experimentation, modification, customization to match what's in the market, how much "technique" you are willing or unwilling to bring to bear to complete the dish. Many a "recipe" is really just a formula or "modele" -- some are even called simply "impromptu," to let you know this is one day's improvised performance but tomorrow's could and probably should be a variation on the theme. It's jazz in the kitchen.

I've had this book since I bought my first paperback copy, copyright 1977. It's covered with sauce, oil, butter, wine, stock. I have a hardback first edition that sits in a place of honor -- the paperback remains the working tool and it can get as sloppy as it wanna be. And it is from this falling from the bone paperback book, along with the Joy of Cooking and the two volumes of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," that I went from a kid who didn't know that bread was something you could make at home with some flour, water, yeast, oil and salt, or that asparagus does not grow in cans, to a young adult confident enough to improvise and good enough to do so with success.

To use the book to greatest advantage, look at one of Olney's "you could do it this way, or you could do it that way, or you could do it this way and that way" recipes, like the "Saute-Type" formula (you really cannot call it a "recipe") in the Meats and Poultry chapter. You will begin reading Olney's meditation on "Stews (ragouts, daubes, sautes...)." That will get your juices flowing. Then thumb through the "Saute-modele for 4," which will give you a nearly infinite variety of options for the dish you will compose with Olney's guidance. He isn't giving you a recipe, he is helping you make your own "recipe," which you will then repeat, with this modification and that, for the rest of your life. He will tell you what you ought to do should you choose to use lardons in your daube, how to prepare and add various vegetables to add flavor and how to separately prepare vegetables to garnish the final dish, how you might want to use stock or wine or water as a moistening agent and eventual base for a sauce. You could start with veal, or lamb, or beef, or chicken, or rabbit -- and you just take off your training wheels, get up on your bike and go from there. If you fall, it won't hurt too much. You can try again.

I recall my first experience with this "saute-modele." I found a fresh local rabbit, cut up for braising. Carefully browned it in olive oil and butter, deglazed with wine, gently braised with homemade stock and a mirepoix, added a fresh bouquet garni, some garlic, some this and that and then, as Olney suggests, prepped and butter braised each of the vegetables I would use as a garnish for the final presentation, then strained and reduced the braising liquid, thickened with beurre manie, and assembled all on a large oval platter, ringed with triangles of fresh bread sauteed in foaming butter, the glistening crisp tips of the triangles dipped in finely chopped fresh herbs to make a crown all around, the sauce napped over all. It took a couple of hours or more, this is true, but the whole process was like going on vacation, with breaks to study for exams; and the eating, with a couple of bottles of excellent cru beaujolais and two couples at the table, was like landing in a very good bistro in Burgundy. Every time I have made this dish since then, it has been new, different, easier, never dull. Sometimes veal, sometimes rabbit, sometimes chicken, whatever.

Then there are some simple, elegant, "country cooking" recipes -- pork chops and apples in mustard sauce; fish filets with zucchini; fresh fig and mint salad. Every one of them requiring attention to detail for success, every one of them calling for just a few ingredients carefully chosen for freshness and flavor and amenable to improvisation.

Finally, some demanding terrines and charcuterie, or at least I've always thought they are demanding. Others may not.

So there you have it. Nothing is fussy, everything is "simple," but not undemanding. If you take some time, give it some thought, pay a lot of attention, this book will teach you to teach yourself to select and combine ingredients, to do your mise en place and prepare your meal, to take pleasure in a simple meal well conceived and executed, in a leisurely way, and paired with complementary wines.

Now I ask, what more could anyone ask for in a "cookbook?" No, it ain't a TV show knockoff. It won't tease you with glossy color photos of spreads prepped and lighted by a "food stylist" and a fashion photographer. There's no perky Rachel Ray on the cover or cutesy "yums" involved. But I promise you, slow down and listen to this book, work with it, and you will learn to cook and you will take pleasure in cooking and eating for the rest of your life.

That's what I call a great food classic. Olney wrote and edited a number of other books. Some are very good, but none of them comes close to this one. Five stars ain't enough.
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x921934f8) 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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