Culinary fads come and go, but the classic dishes of French cooking are, with any luck, forever. From coq au vin and bouillabaisse to cassoulet and boeuf Bourguignonne, these wonderful plates form the backbone of a great cuisine-- perhaps the world's greatest.Saveur Cooks Authentic French, compiled by the editors of the eponymous food magazine, offers vivid testament, in words and pictures, to this huge achievement and the traditions that define it. Even cooks who think they've seen enough of these recipes will welcome the Saveur collection, which provides particularly good examples. Those just beginning to discover French cooking will want the book for its approachable, well-edited selection.
Arranged by courses or food types, from hors d'oeuvres through to desserts, the book presents 125 authentic regional recipes. In addition to the above-mentioned dishes, readers will find recipes for other beloved standards, such as soupe a l'oignon gratinée, confit de canard, and soufflÚ au chocolat; they'll also discover superb less-familiar dishes including cotriade (Breton seafood in broth), volaille fermiŔre au vinaigre (farmhouse vinegar chicken from Alsace) and Úpaule d'agneau Ó la Catalane (Catalan-style shoulder of lamb). A chapter devoted to foie gras, frogs' legs, snails and truffles is a particular pleasure, and will inspire readers to produce (with a co-operative pocketbook) such delights as seared foie gras with green grapes. With informative sidebars that place the dishes in context and more than 400 colour photos, the book is a complete evocation of its rich subject as well as a working kitchen companion. --Arthur Boehm,Amazon.com