An incomparable culinary treasury: the definitive guide to French cooking for the way we live now, from the man the Gault Millau guide has proclaimed “Chef of the Century.”
Joël Robuchon’s restaurant empire stretches from Paris to New York, Las Vegas to Tokyo, London to Hong Kong. He holds more Michelin stars than any other chef. Now this great master gives us his supremely authoritative renditions of virtually the entire French culinary repertoire, adapted for the home cook and the contemporary palate.
Here are more than 800 precise, easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes, including Robuchon’s updated versions of great classics—Pot-au-Feu, Sole Meunière, Cherry Custard Tart—as well as dozens of less well-known but equally scrumptious salads, roasts, gratins, and stews. Here, too, are a surprising variety of regional specialties (star turns like Aristide Couteaux’s variation on Hare Royale) and such essential favorites as scrambled eggs. Emphasizing quality ingredients and the brilliant but simple marriage of candid flavors—the genius for which he is rightly celebrated—Robuchon encourages the beginner with jargon-free, impeccable instructions in technique, while offering the practiced cook exciting paths for experimentation.
The Complete Robuchon is a book to be consulted again and again, a magnificent resource no kitchen should be without.
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Joël Robuchon was born in Poitiers, France, in 1945 and began his apprenticeship at a hotel restaurant when he was fifteen years old. In 1981, he opened his own restaurant in Paris, Jamin, which had earned three Michelin stars by 1984. It was the fastest rise in the guidebook's history. Named "Chef of the Century" in 1989 by the Gault Millau, he now works as a consultant and runs L’Atelier restaurants around the world.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Flap Steak with Shallots
Bavette à l'échalote
The unusual cut we call flap steak is called bavette d'aloyau in France. It is difficult to find in the United States, so you might try substituting skirt steak. An exceedingly tasty and juicy cut, it must be cooked rare or it becomes tough.
1.Remove the meat from the refrigerator 15 minutes in advance. Prepare a cooling rack over a large plate or set a small overturned plate on top of a large one.
2.Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Put the butter in the skillet. When it foams, lay the steaks in the skillet, in a motion away from you. Sear the steaks over high heat for 2 minutes. Turn them and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Reduce the heat to very low and remove the meat to the rack. Season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper on both sides.
3.Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over the lowest possible heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. It is important that they not turn dark brown. When they are lightly colored, add the vinegar, turn the heat up just a little bit, and cook for 30 seconds. Season with a pinch of salt.
4.Put the steaks on a platter and pour the shallot sauce all over. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Potato and Leek Gratin
Gratin de pommes de terre et de poireaux
A mandoline will make slicing the potatoes easier, but you can also do it by hand.
1.Preheat the oven to 250°F and place a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
2.Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a saucepan. When it foams, add the leek and season with 1 pinch of salt and 1 dash of pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. The leek should not color.
3.In a bowl, combine the crème fraîche, 1 pinch of salt, 2 pinches of five-spice powder, and 1 dash of pepper.
4.Butter a baking dish. Put down one-third of the potatoes in a layer. Top with one-third of the potatoes in a layer. Top with one-third of the leeks and one-third of the seasoned crème fraîche. Repeat twice.
5.Pour 1 quart water into a deep sheet pan or dish large enough to accommodate the dish of potatoes and leeks. Put the gratin dish in the water and put both in the oven for 45 minutes.
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