the appetizer:

James Peterson explains Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making with recipes like Oysters with Champagne Sauce; Tournedos Rossini (Filet of Beef with Sauce Périgueux); and Sautéed Pigeon Breasts with Giblet Sauce.

Cookbook Profile

Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, Third Edition

by James Peterson

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The winner of the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year Award when it was first published nearly two decades ago, Sauces is a modern cookbook classic—and an essential reference for every serious cook.

More than twenty-five years have passed since the first edition of Sauces was published, and in that time Americans have become a much more sophisticated dining public—expecting a sauce to accompany all but the simplest dish. Professional chefs have expanded their repertoires to meet this demand, and in doing so, have ventured beyond the canon of classical French cooking, adopting culinary traditions from around the world. With this in mind, James Peterson has updated his award-winning classic. Sauces: Classic and Contemporary Sauce Making, 3rd Edition embraces the traditions of diverse cuisines and features more than 60 all-new recipes—nearly 450 recipes in all—as well as charts for easy reference on Classic White Sauces, Derivative Brown Sauces, Classic French Fish Sauces, Crustacean Sauce Variations, and more, and all new color photography that highlights the beauty of the finished dishes.

More than just a guide to sauce making, Sauces, 3rd Edition serves as an all-around cookbook with advice on cooking techniques and methods that enhance the overall dish. Peterson devotes more time to Integral Sauces—sauces that are the direct result of a cooking process. "A jus made from the drippings of a roast, the braising liquid from a stew, a deglazed saute pan sauce are all integral sauces that in order to be made well must be derived from a properly executed dish," says Peterson. New to this edition are recipes for Coq au Vin, Chicken with Morels, Braised Osso Buco, and a traditional recipe for Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy—an omission sorely missed in previous editions.

This third edition of Sauces also contains added historical material, with special attention paid to French and Italian cooking. While many medieval and Renaissance recipes can be difficult to translate for the modern palate, Peterson beautifully communicates the flavor and character of historical dishes like Gold-Plated Chicken with Ginger, Saffron, and Almonds and Chicken with Capers and Oysters.

Peterson leaves nothing to the imagination, with 20 exhaustive chapters and hundreds of recipes for every type of sauce and the dishes they complement: from the classic Sauce Bechamel and Bordelaise Sauce Made with Red Wine Stock, to the exotic Dashi and Ponzu Sauce, and everything in between. Many sauces have been lightened in accordance with current culinary trends, and Peterson has clarified the terminology for the desired consistencies of sauces, since consistency is the most important—and most difficult—aspect of sauce making to convey.

Comprehensive and steeped in research, Sauces, 3rd Edition provides a classical foundation from which anyone, from home cooks to professional chefs, can draw inspiration and gain new insights. With Peterson's genuine and unpretentious voice as their guide, seasoned chefs and new cooks alike will discover how sauce making provides fertile ground for culinary creativity.

About the Authors

James Peterson fell in love with food while picking grapes for a winemaker in the south of France. He studied in France at Le Cordon Bleu, and later worked at the then three-star restaurants Vivarois and Chez La Mere Blanc (now Georges Blanc). Peterson returned to the United States in 1979 and was partner and chef at Le Petit Robert in New York's Greenwich Village, and has also taught and developed the curriculum at The French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and taught at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School (now the Institute for Culinary Education). A fourtime James Beard Award winner, he is the author of 13 books, including Glorious French Food, Splendid Soups, and The Complete Book of Fish and Shellfish.


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This page created November 2008