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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Je Sais Cuisiner
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...
Published on 13 Oct 2009 by Topsy

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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh my, had this and the French ed for like, 5 minutes, and already a bad translation mistake!
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...
Published on 20 Oct 2011 by magdalene42


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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 (East Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
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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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Je Sais a good book, 11 Oct 2009
By 
Colin J. Herd "colin j herd" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
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.

The chapters that stand out for me so far are the 'Milk eggs and cheese' (you could basically eat eggs a different way each day for months following this book) and the vegetables and salads section.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh my, had this and the French ed for like, 5 minutes, and already a bad translation mistake!, 20 Oct 2011
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
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!
Oh, and a further comparison of the two volumes also reveals other really irritating features. The French version numbers each recipe ('formule') making it very easy to refer from one to the other; if your recipe includes an ingredient which has cooking instructions elsewhere (eg. meringue, roux blond, etc etc) it simply refers to the required 'formule'; in the English edition it's all done by page number. I find this far less user friendly. Also, the French version is differently arranged, with an entire section on French regional cooking and another on 'recettes etrangeres' (forgive the lack of accents, can't do them in this window). While it is gratifying to note that the UK has the second longest entry in the latter section (second only to Italy! And yes, there is a marmalade recipe in there, please feel free to mention this to any French person who twits you about the English love of marmalade!) it is still slightly annoying that the translators / editors chose to rearrange and in some cases expunge altogether recipes in this section, presumably in order to make the book (in their view) more GB (and America?)-friendly. The recipes from the French Regional section have simply been moved to their main ingredient sections; for instance the Ratatouille recipe I referred to above is in the Vegetables section in the English edition, whilst in 'Je sais cuisiner' it is in the Regional section. I found this rearrangement a tad patronizing.
OK, it is nice to have a version (I hesitate to call it a 'translation' since that implies an attempt to be faithful to the original) of this book in English; but for future ventures into the world of French home cooking I strongly suspect I'll be sticking to the French original. Goodness knows what other mistakes are lurking in here if they can quintuple the quantity of fluid required in such a basic recipe as ratatouille.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional French cooking explained as the French do it, 3 Nov 2009
By 
Graham Richards (Miélan, South of France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good "bible" of french cooking!, 11 Dec 2009
By 
Marina Teoh "DivingDiva" (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
Anyone wanting to learn french cooking will appreciate that this translated-to-english, adapted modern version of this much loved french cookery "bible" has its recipe ingredients' measurements in both imperial and metric!
I appreciate Clotilde Dusolier's input in updating the recipes as the original french version has recipes like banana mushroom salad (yuck)and a myriad of other "international" recipes from the neighbouring countries of France.
You want a good intro to how-to-cook french food book? Look no further.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French Cuisine, 1 Nov 2009
By 
Mrs. J. Aldis "Joannie," (Dordogne, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
After reading about this book in our local French paper I ordered it from Amazon and wow, It is very good three generations of french families have grown up with this book and now being in English its great. I have tried several recipes and found that they are superb, I will have a big job of trying to cook all of the recipes because there are so many but I am going to have a good try. Worth every penny for value alone in content. Recipes excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cook book, 9 Jan 2010
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
This book is amazing - everything you need to know. I like the graphic style, the quality of the paper, the clarity of the setting out, subtle use of colour in the titles and the colour coded sections. The photographs aren't out of the ordinary but the graphics are excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the perfect present, 10 Jan 2010
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
For those who thrive on traditional recipes from our near neighbours this is essential , full of easy to follow recipes both current and forgotten ... I think we have enough new ideas to try for the foreseeable future
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, French Classic dishes, lack of photos, boost of recepies!!, 15 Feb 2010
By 
Marc Ingvorsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
Great book, if your looking for all kinda recipes, but it doesnt offer you the "Cooking for dummies" element, but a lot of the recipes are easy, so don't worry, it has most of the classic recipies you need, i might say that i like this better then 1080 recipies and the silverspoon. but thats problerly my own likes in the world of food!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply my best French cook book, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: I Know How To Cook (Hardcover)
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.
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I Know How To Cook
I Know How To Cook by Clotilde Dusoulier (Hardcover - 1 Oct 2009)
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