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The Art of Good Cooking

Paula Peck | Galahad Books

SKU: 459-THE

“Appetizers, soups and roasts, fish and fowl, salads and desserts — here at last is a complete cookbook with superb recipes for every course from the author of The Art of Fine Baking.

Paula Peck combines two great gifts. Her baking book immediately established her not only as an extraordinarily inspired cook, but as one who can share her inspirations. She is that rare person who invents and creates without limits and is then able to describe with complete clarity of detail what she does to produce each delectable dish. As a result it is easy to follow her instructions exactly, and, when one does, it is virtually impossible to avoid culinary success.

Paula Peck's recipes have, in addition, a wonderfully eclectic international flavor. She married a gastronome, and, as a young bride — she was then a totally inexperienced cook — had to learn to compete with her husband's favorite foreign restaurants. Wide travel in the years since has added to her repertoire, and Mrs. Peck's reci-pes, whether adapted or created or acquired from an original source, reflect her own enthusiasm for 

the cuisines of Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and the Orient as well as classic French and tra. ditional American cookery.

Quite as remarkable as her recipes are her original methods of doing things, discoveries she has made by refusing to take conventional methods for granted; these she sets forth throughout the book.

For example, she has found it unnecessary to brown meat before braising it (browning only toughens the meat and creates smoke, she says).

Hence her Basic Braised Beef — and variations that turn it into a curry, chili, paprikash or other kind of stew — is not only deliciously succulent but simpler and quicker to make than conventional recipes for this dish.

It is a measure of Mrs. Peck's sophistication that a perfectly broiled fish interests her quite as much as a Pâté a la Pugetoise (a recipe as complicated and beautiful as a Ravenna mosaic). In fact, it is the simple things she finds too often sadly and badly done: chicken overcooked to toughness when the meat can be perfectly cooked in as little as five minutes; vegetables and salads of a dreariness that can easily be avoided; cuts of meat carelessly selected with relation to method of cooking.

Thus her book deals with not only the preparation of a dish but also the selection of the raw materials, the choice of the right equipment, and the elegance of presentation at the table. Paula Peck goes beyond the individual recipe to communicate to the reader the essence of her art of good cooking.“

Condition + Era

Excellent - Minimal signs of wear, limited to surface-level such as light scratches, fading, or fraying.