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I Know How To Cook [Hardcover]

Clotilde Dusoulier , Keith and Angela Bradford , Imogen Forster
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: £29.95
Price: £20.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009
I Know How to Cook is the first English translation of France's ultimate cookery bible, Je sais cuisiner by Ginette Mathiot. First published in 1932, it is to France what the Silver Spoon and 1080 Recipes are to Italy and Spain: the indispensable cookbook for every household. With more than 1,200 recipes, Mathiot guides the reader through all the classics of French cuisine, both simple and elaborate, with a clear and authoritative voice. For the first time this classic work has been fully updated to suit modern kitchens, and the book offers up all the secrets of fabulous French home cooking, which have been known to domestic cooks in France for over 70 years.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; UK edition edition (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714848042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714848044
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 19.5 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


‘… admirably comprehensive and clear … beautifully illustrated, too.’
Nick Curtis, Evening Standard

‘Putting Ginette Mathiot on your shelf is akin to discovering a French grandmother you didn't know you had. ... this will teach you everything you need to learn about classic French cooking.’
Sally Hughes, Books for Cooks, London, The Bookseller

'Want the perfect coq au vin or crepe suzette? This is the book for you'
Daily Mail

‘I Know How to Cook … includes everything you need to know … to take on almost any reasonable home-cooking challenge with Gallic flair.’
The Wall Street Journal

‘A comprehensive collection.’
The New York Times Book Review

‘Pure French cuisine.’
Associated Press

About the Author

Ginette Mathiot (1907–1998), Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, taught three generations how to cook in France and is the ultimate authority on French home cooking. She wrote more than 30 best-selling cookbooks, covering all subjects in French cuisine. Je sais cuisiner was her definitive, most comprehensive work, which brings together recipes for every classic French dish.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Je Sais a good book 11 Oct 2009
This is to French cooking, what 'Silver Spoon' is to Italian, '1080 Recipes' is to Spanish and the recent 'Vefa's Kitchen' is to Greek. Which is to say, it's published by Phaidon, it's huge and it has many many recipes that are both authentic and usually very easy to make at home too. Not to mention, delicious.

The food is often such that you could not get at a restaurant, but would be served in many French homes if you went to stay for a few weeks. At least, that's the impression it gives... (and since i idealize the french I'm happy to go along with it.) The truth is, Ginette Mathiot was an exceptional cook with great flair and knowledge of French Home Cooking, and this is her masterpiece, first published in the 1930s I think.

Clotilde Dusoulier (of her blog/cookbook 'Chocolate and Zucchini' fame) has adapted the current edition, and it is absolutely, gobsmackingly, fantastically great. [any book that has a recipe called 'silly biscuits' is perfect by me].

Here's an example of what is so charming about this book: there's a recipe for crunchy Chestnut biscuits called 'Casse-museau'. Casse museau, we are told, translates as 'muzzle-breakers'. I love that kind of useless fun information. I like food with funny names.

The book is organized into the following chapters:

Sauces and Basic recipes, Hors-D'oeuvres, Milk eggs and cheese, soup, fish, meat, poultry, game, vegetables and salads, pulses rice and pasta, fruit, milk and egg puddings, ices,cakes and pastries, sweets preserves drinks.

If I'm not mistaken that pretty much covers everything you could desire. The sort of recipes you might expect are all here, like Beouf Bourguinon. But there are some surprises too... like... Melon Marmalade. I really want to try Melon Marmalade.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Je Sais Cuisiner 13 Oct 2009
By Topsy
At last in English! I have a battered copy of the French version which I worked my way through while living in Paris a few years ago. The English version is much prettier, than the rigorous, image-free, French original. Some of the recipes are very French, including several for snails and frogs legs, but most of them are quite simple and they have been through almost 80 years of testing - the book was first published in 1932. This is not a here today, gone tomorrow TV tie-in, but something that will be on your shelf for years to come. From the English edition I have tried making madeleines, easy and instantly devoured by the children (so no time for Proustian reflection), and the raspberry sorbet, very easy and a talking point at a recent dinner party. Highly recommended.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this and the current edition of the French version 'Je sais cuisiner' on the same day not long ago. Due to couriers' vagaries I received the English version first and it is very impressive: huge, heavy, crammed with yummy French home cooking classics and with not too many illustrations to reduce the space for recipes. The book is organised into a reasonably familiar order: Basic Recipes; Hors d'oevre, Milk Eggs & Cheese, Soups, fish, meat, poultry, game, veg and so on. There are hints and tips on presentation, dinner parties and so forth; also a short section of recipes by celeb chefs including at least one Brit, which is nice!
So what did I do? I turned immediately to the one French dish which is my particular bugbear: so superficially simple, yet so hard to get right, ie. Ratatouille Provencale. I followed the recipe in this book to the letter - and had to remove the cover from the dish and boil it much harder than suggested, in order to remove the excessive, sloppy amount of liquid. OK, the result was still delicious, but I did end up wondering what I had done wrong.
Then I received the French version, and it was immediately obvious! While the recipe in the English version of the book tells you to add 500 ml of water to the pot along with the veg, seasoning and oil, the French original gives the quantity of water as '1 verre'. That is, one glass. Oh my those crazy French people must use big glasses, then! However, on investigating, the French edition also gives a precise measurement translation of this quantity, at the front of the book amongst the forewords and kitchen hints; '1 verre' = 10cl. Yes, that's right; 10 centilitres, aka 100 ml. ONE FIFTH of the volume the English edition suggests.
No wonder my ratatouille turned out kind of sloppy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Since arriving here in France nearly four years ago, with my French wife, I have personally been looking for an English translation of this the bible of traditional French Home Cooking. Well this is it and one can immediately see and understand why it has been in constant print since it was first published in 1932 and is still a best seller here in France and sits proudly in most French homes.

The book is very well laid out in it's various recipe sections with further sections on cooking fundamentals, menus by celebrated chefs, some interesting general kitchen advice and an easy to understand and comprehensive index.

This book is now making the visits to the traditional French farm markets, butchers, traditional bakers and fishmongers all the more interesting as one sources the various ingredients which in France, at least thank goodness, is still done by season and local availability. Personally I like the recipe sections on Soup and Ices whilst there is plenty here to please and satisfy all other tastes of traditional French home cooking.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply my best French cook book
I love this cook book. It is quiet simply my best French cook book and the one to which I usually turn for ideas. Interesting reading and clear photographs.
Published 3 months ago by djt
2.0 out of 5 stars sometimes less is more
extremely compicated recipes and the results are not that great. simpicity is really much better... at least for my taste
Published 3 months ago by pavla
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and full of ideas
This is probably France's answer to Delia, though it predates Delia by decades. This is a great beginners book and perfect for quick ideas. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Rhaya
5.0 out of 5 stars You certainly do..
I would have to recommend this to everyone in the whole world....probably because the recipes like Roast Woodcocks take me back to a lovely time in my childhood when food was... Read more
Published 17 months ago by melock
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cookbook on French Cuisine
This book is very good and in detail when it comes to french cuisine.
Very good and easy to follow both for amateurs and for professionals.
Published 20 months ago by Mark Grech
4.0 out of 5 stars Real French cooking primer
And it is in English, so no more rummaging for the dictionary. The illustrations are not up to the original french edition photographs but if you wish to know how to cook a duck's... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mr. D. Greenwood
1.0 out of 5 stars Such anticipation...to be sadly disappointed
I bought this when it first came out, so excited about it's arrival. However, tonight I logged on to see if I could sell it here second hand. If you're interested let me know.. Read more
Published on 20 May 2012 by A. Rehlinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopaedic
Phaidon seem to have a hit a niche recently by translating or creating foreign cookery books. This is the best selling French cookbook translated with almost 100 pages. Read more
Published on 10 Feb 2012 by Syriat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
We have heard a lot about this book while in France and I must say if you like good cooking it is certaintly worth the money and great reading. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by AlanP
5.0 out of 5 stars Mens Health Got It Spot On
Pondering on what to by my better half for Christmas an article in Mens Health caught my eye. The usual perfumes were proffered nothing took my fancy, but after reading about this... Read more
Published on 11 April 2010 by Mr. H. Clarke
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