Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is an absolute must-have cookbook. My copy sits on the first shelf of my cookbook bookcase and is part of my go-to cookbook collection.
The cookbook is and was essential long before its appearance as the “leading role” in the Julie & Julia book and movie, because it really is one of the foremost primer’s on classic recipes and essential techniques. It has hundreds of recipes and, unlike Julie Powell, I have not tried them all. A few, however, are particular standouts from the one’s I’ve tried.
I discovered Suprêmes de Volaille à l’ Écossaise (Chicken Breasts with Diced Aromatic Vegetables and Cream) one evening when my husband and I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store and needed to figure out something we could cook with ingredients we had on hand.
Calling for only carrots, celery, and onions (staples we tend to stock) along with chicken and a few other staples, the recipe was delicious and easy to make. It’s not for the calorie-conscious, but the richness and elegant simplicity are hard to resist. The recipe is perfect to make when good friends pop over for dinner. It will look like you slaved all day in the kitchen and will taste that way, too!
Before Julia, my scrambled eggs — another of the recipes I love in this book — were mediocre at best. Her recipe revolutionized my breakfast. (Hint: The secret is low heat and continuous stirring.)
Child’s book would be a perfect gift for newlyweds or aspiring chefs. I know I can’t wait to tackle more of it!