Monday, June 27, 2011

Win This New French Cookbook

How can anyone resist a cookbook with the words “French” and “Easy” in the title? I mean, after all the food trends that have come and gone lately…after nouvelle and molecular and modernist cuisine…after fusion, sustainable, locavore, organic and vegan…gluten-free and carbon-neutral and low-carb and no-carb…after all that good and noble politically correct food…doesn’t a warm soufflé or coq au vin or bouillabaisse or beef bourguignon just sound so appealing right now? 
 
Does to me.
 
When Richard Grausman wrote At Home with the French Classics in 1988, it received rave reviews and sold close to 100,000 copies. And now, just this month, Workman Publishing has brought out a revised and updated edition with the new title French Classics Made Easy. The back of the book says it offers “a simpler, better way of French cooking” and I sure can’t find anything wrong with that.

If you have the original, you may not need the new. But if you don’t, this is an extremely inviting book, with 250 recipes made from ingredients readily available at the local supermarket. Recipe titles are all in English, followed by complete French translations. Many are illustrated with step-by-step techniques. The instructions are so clear and the measurements so fail-safe, in fact, that the recipes are used in culinary classrooms across the country. “If a high-school student can whip up poached salmon with beurre blanc, so can you,” the author says.
 
When possible, Richard has cut the amount of butter, cream, egg yolks, salt and sugar--without compromising the essential nature of the dish. No recipe made it into the book without passing test after test: Is it really delicious? Is it too rich? Too sweet? Too heavy? Too costly? Does it take too long to prepare? If the answer was yes, then he ditched it--or adapted it until it was more in tune with today’s concerns for taste, time, health and calorie counts.
 
So how do the new and old versions of the book differ? In the new one, for example, a few recipes were omitted such as lotte (monkfish), which is now endangered. He also left out Veau Orloff, “because the cut of veal I used is sooooooo expensive today, no one would make it.” For the most part, however, it’s not so much the recipes that have changed but more all the terrific content surrounding them.
 
So who is Richard Grausman anyway? He’s a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and was that famed cooking school’s first ambassador, teaching under their auspices all over the U.S., in Paris and on the French Riviera from 1969-1985. One of America’s foremost culinary instructors, he’s been working to make French cooking accessible to home cooks, chefs and culinary students for more than 40 years. He’s also a writer: his recipes and stories have appeared in scores of publications including the New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine and House Beautiful.
 
Lately, however, his energy has been focused heavily on the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), the non-profit organization he founded in 1990. C-CAP works with high school teachers and their underserved students in seven states and, with the help of some 600 industry professionals, has trained more than 12,000 students. C-CAP has also awarded $34 million in scholarships and donated $2.7 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms.  The program and one of its teachers in
Philadelphia was highlighted in the Emmy-nominated documentary Pressure Cooker.
 
The new book has a clean, easy-to-follow design. It has a nice chunky feel and a glossy wipe-able cover. It has no photos but I don’t think you’ll miss them. Plus, short snappy sidebars will bring you up to speed: the best skillets to use, how to prepare a lobster for grilling, how to truffle a chicken, what to look for if you’re thinking of buying a professional-style range and much, much more.
 
“It’s my hope that this will be a new book for a generation or two of new, young cooks and readers who haven't known the flavors of the classics,” Richard told me. “And I’ve heard from people who are happy to have this edition to replace their well-worn original.”  All royalties will go to help C-CAP.
 
OK, on to the free stuff! The fine folks at Workman Publishing are giving away three free copies of French Classics Made Easy to the readers of Provence Post. Simply leave a comment (by clicking comments below) and we’ll pick the winners next week. Make sure to let us know how to reach you. Otherwise, you can buy the book on Amazon by clicking here.
 
Bon App and Bon Chance! 

73 comments:

  1. Sounds right up my street as a cookbook addict and francophile!

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  2. Just when I thought I had enough cookbooks, I find another one I can't live without. Ah, the story of my life. How fabulous that it includes the recipe in French. It's a great way to learn to read French menus.

    Include me in the drawing s'il vous plaît. J'adore all things French.
    Sam
    email: samhoffer@gmail.com

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  3. Sounds like a very appealing addition to my library of French cookbooks. I like the idea that the recipes have been modified to be more healthful in some instances. Toujours la France!

    Cheryl Beychok
    fiatluxor23@roadrunner.com

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  4. I have 3 cook books. One is my highschool home economics book, one is the heart health book and the other is a Donna Hay magazine. I would love another book for my pitiful collection. I need something to inspire me and I can think of nothing better than a french cook book. I adore french food.

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  5. I am always looking for new/old French cookbooks that I don't already own. Love the recipes that make me feel like I am in France preparing a meal, or some part of it. Merci!

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  6. Love your blog! As a true Francophile (and particularly a fan of anything Provencal)it always hits the spot. The cookbook looks amazing. Right now I'm currently devouring "Around My French Table" so would love to take a look at this one as well.

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  7. I've never attempted French food for fear of the difficulty, so this sounds great! My contact info is on my profile.

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  8. Sounds interesting...never enough cookooks

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  9. karolwilson@hotmail.comJune 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Can't wait to try some of the recipes..simple is good!

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  10. Wonderful! I'm all about saving time in the kitchen! Sounds like I'll be sneaking another cookbook into the house.

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  11. That sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the draw!

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  12. Easy French food with less butter and cream? Sounds like a dream.

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  13. I don't have the original of Richard Grausman's book, so I'd love this one. As a fan (and student) of French cuisine, easy recipes of French classics are much welcome! At 392 pages, it's good to know it's also already digitized for the Kindle. So perhaps both?
    One to stain and rumple over the years with jus drippings and spatters of oil and one to enjoy over a delicious, digital read when I'm traveling.

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  14. Simpler, French deliciousness - the perfect addition to my kitchen!

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  15. That looks like it belongs on my cookbook shelf. Am sure the toubib (?) will appreciate me cooking without butter/cream

    Steve

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  16. I have a small collection of French inspired cookbooks, and this sounds like a great one! Love that the recipes are also in French!

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  17. Love new books....run a Culinary College in Oklahoma, and always looking for the next great book.

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  18. Sounds great! I would love a copy!!

    -Mark

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  19. My French husband never complains about my cooking, but we're planning to move to France--Provence, in fact, because he misses the food so much. I'm really going to try to learn how to do it right! :)

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  20. This is another book to add to my provence colection ( I hope)

    cigalechanta@hotmail.com

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  21. Looks amazing! I love cookbooks, but especially all of my French cookbooks in particular! Modified for healthier living--it doesn't get any better!

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  22. What!French Cooking made easy.You mean I can get on my bike-pedal to Publix, buy simple ingredients (Are you listening Sandra Lee) pedal home and in one hour I can have a pot-au-feu or a stew a little salad on the side dish it up sit downI am now cooking French-a-fied.

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  23. I would love a copy of this book, Cuisine francais is my specialty and I am always looking to leartn something new

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  24. Oh yes please - count me in!

    Love the idea that he has tried to make things 'healthier' and hopefully the English / French recipe instructions may help improve my language skills!

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  25. Would love to enlarge my extensive cookbook collection with this new French cookbook.
    Might even bring it with me to Maussane-les-Alpilles this September.

    AlpillesGal (ermcwold@aol.com)

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  26. What a way to remind me of my trip to France in 1999. I spent 5 days in Provence, 3 days in Nice and 4 days in Paris. As a Chef my training is of the european style. Particularly French. This book would be a great addition to my repetoire.

    Gordon Bowman
    gordonrbowman@gmail.com

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  27. You're right Julie, I can't resist "French" and "easy" in the same title. Nor can I resist a cookbook! Please put my name in the hat.

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  28. awesome outfit &post!!!!
    congratulation honey!!=D
    xxx

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  29. I think I just fell in love with a blog :)

    I am off to Provence in three weeks and till then I am gonna read every single post of yours. Cannot wait!

    Would be nice to win the book - even if I am a complete cooking disaster!!! :)

    Know any vineyards in Provence that offers okey accommodation that is not too pricy?! :)

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  30. what a great way to bring France home. Thanks for the offer.

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  31. O'la la ...la livre de resistance!
    I can almost smell the lavande dancing in the mistral winds and feel the warm sun bursting through my kitchen windows as I prepare one of the edible art forms from this book ...that I win ! ;)

    Merci en advance mes amis ;
    Parisian dancer ~

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  32. It's a perfect addition to my collection! The "sidebar" feature sounds great.

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  33. Having a classic book on one's shelf will give anyone confidence and motivation. Yeahhhhh!
    Very generous of you.

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  34. Appears to be the perfect collection of recipes to start my two girls cooking. Thanks for including me.
    Maisonmarcel.blogspot.com

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  35. Sign me up! I love to cook.

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  36. My parents are moving to France and it'd be a good start for them to blend in with the locals

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  37. Can't wait to try some of the recipes..

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  38. I am also a Francophile and maybe more so a passionate cook. I learned from my grandmothers and have used cookbooks as my teachers after that initial 'at the knees' training. French food has always been one of my favorites and this cookbook sounds like a great way to try some of the classics. Thanks for keeping us informed and for a great blog!!

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  39. The francophile in me would be oh so happy to be able to cook from this book.

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  40. You had me at coq au vin! Please enter me into the drawing.

    Wendy Hoke
    wendyhoke@gmail.com

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  41. What i am thinking ,You have done great job .From that book You can do is create some feution items .I always love new french menu and new methods is really handy for you .

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  42. always room on my shelf for one more awesome cook book
    thank you

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  43. there is always room for one more awesome cookbook
    thank u

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  44. Ooh, I'd love a copy to add to my cookbook collection. Greetings from a Canadian in Annecy!

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  45. Sounds absolutely wonderful! With 5 kids, new, easy recipes are exactly what I'm looking for! :-)

    Merci Workman!

    Tony
    mediatcp@yahoo.ca

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  46. Oui oui oui, Julie!
    Ca serais bien et je veux gagner!!!
    (Hope that is some kind of nice French), normally I can only order food in French and speak some view words. Nevertheless I am a huge fan of French cuisine and love to cook.
    Je me tiens les pouces.... :-)
    Angie

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  47. Julie - I would love to win this cookbook since I try to cook as many French meals as possible for my family. Needless to say, I am a diehard francophile. Thanks for giving us all the chance to win!

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  48. I love cookbooks, I love everything French, and I love easy! Oh random counter, please land on my comment!

    If I'm one of the lucky winners, you can reach me by leaving a comment on my blog.

    Merci!

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  49. I always welcome a new cookbook! And even as a culinary school grad, I could use some help when it comes to certain French cooking. I hope I win!

    chifilmbuff@yahoo.com

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  50. It sounds like a wonderful cookbook. I don't have the old version so this would be a great treat to try wonderful yet simple French recipes and then blog about it.

    Thanks for the offer!

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  51. Oops, forgot to include my contact info in case I win!

    vkb2@hotmail.com

    Thank you

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  52. Boy it would be worth it to see if he can do a decent cassoulet without taking an age......... I've pared down mine but can't anymore......Good tip Julie!Maryanne xo

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  53. Looks like a yummy book. Would love a copy!

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  54. freanch and made easy together is enough to water my mouth. Wishing to get it!

    Best regards,

    Parikshit Joshi
    +919899427864

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  55. This sounds like a great book. As a chef trained in French technique I love the idea of bringing this to the average cook by making it simple. Easy to cook plus great flavor is a winning combination and I look forward to reading it!

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  56. Hope this comp. is open to Aussies as I would love to win a copy of this book. being a Mum of young ones I am always looking for tasty meal ideas, and I just love a well written recipe book!
    soniabuxton@yahoo.com.au

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  57. What does a chef need - yes a New French Cookbook.

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  58. This is what a chef needs - a New French Cookbook.

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  59. Having been blessed with a European HS and culinary education, I look very much forward to revisiting my past and revitalizing my culinary future by re-tracing my two years as a starving student in France in the late '70s, with this book.

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  60. Having been blessed with a European HS and culinary education, I look very much forward to revisiting my past and revitalizing my culinary future by re-tracing my two years as a starving student in France in the late '70s, with this book.

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  61. You can never have ENOUGH French cookbooks! Would love to add it to my kitchen library.

    Fiona
    fionafile@verizon.net

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  62. Enter me for this!

    lorence_f [at] hotmail [dot]com

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  63. Oui!
    Tesch5@comcast.net

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  64. This is great, as I don't like to eat out. It'd be nice if I can cook good French food at home.

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  65. I'd love to learn how to cook French food at home!

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  66. This would be PERFECT for those dinner parties where I feel pressured to impress my French friends and family!

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  67. That sounds really interesting. I would like to enter the draw.

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  68. Please include me! Thank you! cathilynnk@yahoo.com

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  69. Wow, to be back in France again. Even if only by a wonderful book to transport me there!It is truly the birthplace of my culinary skills and passion for this art.

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  70. I was born in Marseille. & would love recipes to prepare that I grew up on.
    Suzanne
    scsuber@hotmail.com

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  71. Could this be the book that helps me make an even better cassoulet?

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