Cookbook of the day – Le Répertoire de La Cuisine
October 2, 2009
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Repertoire de La Cuisine, Le: A Guide to Fine Foods
Publisher Barron’s Educational Series (December 31, 1977)
ISBN 10: 0812051084
ISBN 13: 978-0812051087
I found this handy little volume yesterday in my local used bookstore. I suspect that it’s going to prove handy as a reference in the future.
It assumes that you know how to do certain things like poaching, reducing, masking, etc. Quantities aren’t listed and the reader is on his or her own in determining how much of something to add to the “recipes” or determining cooking times or order of cooking, which are along the lines of Escoffier. As Jacques Pépin points out in the preface, “The professional chef will use the Répertoire mostly as an aide mémoire (reminder) to find out the necessary ingredients for a garnish, as well as to get the correct spellings for different proper names and names of dishes”. he goes on to point out that amateurs can also use the “pamphlet” to “clarify confusion” and simplify the organization of a menu.
Whether you need the definition of ancienne (“small braised onions without colouring”) or come across a reference to “Turtles Baltimore” (“cooked pieces of turtle, tossed in nut brown cooked butter, dressed in cocotte, with the thickened gravy, and a glass of Xérès wine”), this book covers the gamut of esoteric and obscure French cooking terms. If you’d like to do filets mignons marly, you’ll quickly discover that it’s filets cooked in butter, coated with madeira half-glaze and garnished with artichoke bottoms filled with carrot balls. You’ll find it quickly because each main ingredient is followed with a multitude of preparations.
This is a small format book (hence the use of the word “pamphlet” in the preface) and is a handy helpful adjunct to Escoffier.
If you can find this hardback and jacketed book for $2.00, as I did, you’d be a fool to pass it up. and if you have to buy it from Amazon for $12, it’s worth it if you wish to have a complete culinary reference library.