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Cooking by Hand (Anglais) Relié – 19 août 2003

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For 4

To buy condiment-grade balsamico and aceto balsamico tradizionale, see Sources and Resources, page 260.

4 very ripe Bosc or Winter Nellis pears
Unsalted butter
1/2 cup very fresh ricotta (preferably sheep's milk)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Balsamico extra vecchio, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel and core the pears and arrange them cored side up in a buttered baking dish. Bake the pears for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender to the tip of a sharp knife.

Serve the pears while still blood warm with a dollop of fresh ricotta and a scattering of walnuts. Spoon any juices remaining in the baking dish over and around the pears. Drizzle balsamico extra vecchio over each portion at the table.

Présentation de l'éditeur

One of the most respected chefs in the country, Paul Bertolli earns glowing praise for the food at California’s renowned Oliveto restaurant. Now he shares his most personal thoughts about cooking in his long-awaited book, Cooking by Hand. In this groundbreaking collection of essays and recipes, Bertolli evocatively explores the philosophy behind the food that Molly O’Neill of the New York Times described as “deceptively simple, [with] favors clean, deep, and layered more profusely than a mille-feuille.”

From “Twelve Ways of Looking at Tomatoes” to Italian salumi in “The Whole Hog,” Bertolli explores his favorite foods with the vividness of a natural writer and the instincts of a superlative chef. Scattered throughout are more than 140 recipes remarkable for their clarity, simplicity, and seductive appeal, from Salad of Bitter Greens, Walnuts, Tesa, and Parmigiano and Chilled Shellfish with Salsa Verde to Short Ribs Agrodolce and Tagliolini Pasta with Crab. Unforgettable desserts, such as Semifreddo of Peaches and Mascarpone and Hazelnut Meringata with Chocolate and Espresso Sauce, round out a collection that’s destined to become required reading for any food lover.

Rich with the remarkable food memories that inspire him, from the taste of ripe Santa Rosa plums and the aroma of dried porcini mushrooms in his mother’s ragu to eating grilled bistecca alla Fiorentina on a foggy late autumn day in Chianti, Cooking by Hand will ignite a passion within you to become more creatively involved in the food you cook.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x87f9121c) étoiles sur 5 39 commentaires
122 internautes sur 125 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x87f3ed14) étoiles sur 5 Graduate Level Courses on Prima Materia 1 décembre 2003
Par B. Marold - Publié sur
Format: Relié
You buy this book for culinary inspiration and insights into how the very greatest chefs think. It's most proper neighbors on your bookshelf are titles such as Eric Rippert's `A Return to Cooking', James Beard's `Delights and Prejudices', and Mario Batali's `Simple Italian Food'. Each of these volumes, in their own very personal ways explore the authors' inspirations and love of food.
This volume combines monographs on ingredients, personal memoirs, and exacting techniques into a web of very enlightening recipes and insights.
Paul Bertolli is the owner and executive chef of the restaurant Oliveto in Oakland, California and a former head chef at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse. Unlike Jeremiah Tower, Bertolli makes no mention of Waters except for the obviously shared devotion to fine, local ingredients. Instead, I am delighted to see him acknowledge assistance from Harold Magee and several other culinary academics.
If Mario Batali gives us the college courses in proper Italian cuisine, then Paul Bertolli gives us the post-graduate training, citing in the introduction the Elizabeth David epigram that `Good Cooking is Trouble' meaning that good cooking requires painstaking effort with lots of circles and switchbacks in one's path to mastery.
The book is in no way a traditional cookbook and anyone who buys it just for the recipes will be missing over half the value. The eight chapters comprising the bulk of the book deal with some materials and techniques at the heart of Italian cuisine.
The first topic deals with respect for fresh ingredients. This begins Bertolli's illuminations on the life of ingredients such as polenta, artichokes, zucchini, spring vegetables, eggplant, olives, mushrooms, and pears. The book reveals something new and exciting about each material and breaks a few rules along the way. In explaining the methods for curing olives, the author also begins offering the reader an entrance into a wonderland of new ways to be involved with our food.
The second main topic is an essay on `Ripeness'. It stresses that good cooking does not come from recipes but from looking at and listening to your ingredients.
The third topic is tomatoes and looking at them for color, juice, essence, shape, sauce, conserva, complement, braise, container, condiment, and side dish. This section contains many tomato based recipes, but the real gem is the discussion of `conserva', a preparation similar to tomato paste, but a much more potent carrier of flavor.
The fourth topic is an essay on the techniques for making balsamic vinegar plus the ways of using young, middle-aged, and old balsamico.
The fifth topic is a primer on pasta making. This takes one beyond Mario's well method into a world of fussiness about the quality of the wheat which rivals the obsessions of the very best artisinal bakers. This chapter is worth the price of admission.
The sixth topic is entitled `Bottom up cooking' and introduces at the reader to meat `sugo' which is created by the repeated browning and deglazing of meat and broth until you reach a concentration of flavor I have never seen discussed before in depth, although it is similar to the French notion of `jus'.
The seventh topic treats pork and the many ways of curing pork including the making of sausage and ham. While there is enough information here to give one a credible start at salume, the author points out that this is a skill which requires a substantial amount of practice. Even if one never touches a sausage casing or a meat grinder, this chapter is well worth the background it gives to assist one in respecting their ingredients.
The last major topic is devoted to menu building, mostly by working backward from the dessert. This section should be very familiar to Chez Panisse devotees, where daily menus were built upon the produce of the day. Like Chez Panisse and some other very high end restaurants, Olivato presents fixed price tasting menus with several courses, each paired with an appropriate bottle of wine.
I suspect there are people who will buy this book and be disappointed because all they wanted was a book of good Italian recipes. If that is what you want, check out Marcella Hazan, Lidia Bastianich, or Giuliano Bugialli. This book has very good recipes, but it includes so much more. I give Bertolli and his editors extra credit for giving a complete list of all the recipes at the beginning of the book, since the recipes are not organized by chapters one commonly uses to find them.
The book also includes a better than average list of sources to support the author's emphasis on excellence. There are few photographs and very few color photographs. I don't miss them.
61 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x87f454a4) étoiles sur 5 Farmhouse cooking raised to high art 13 juillet 2006
Par J. V. Lewis - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
There are many cookbooks out there that treat food as secondary. Their first concerns are time [Rachel Ray's focus on 30 minute recipes], waistlines [a new diet cookbok every day], money [cooking on a budget], impressing the neighbors [cooking quick, vapid, and flashy tray-foods], etc. It's remarkable, even in our food-neurotic culture, that so few cookbooks deal first and last with FOOD. Paul Bertolli's Cooking by Hand isn't just focused on food, it is passionately, single-mindedly, worshipfully, crazily in love with food and with ingredients, and with food's ability to draw friends and family together. This lusty focus generated a book like no other. In it, Bertolli efuses about tomatoes, engages in much hearty gesticulating about pork trimmings, goes on for seven pages about home prosciutto-making, writes a tear-jerking letter to his infant son about balsamic vinegar, and philosophizes at some length about terroir as a metaphor for human development. And, somehow, he pulls it off. His enthusiasm is infectious. My overwhelming sense of Paul Bertolli after reading this book [and cooking from it] is that he is totally, profoundly, madly in the thrall of good food. He makes other chefs look tepid or undercommitted. I'd probably have a hard time working for him, in the face of such over-riding passion every day, but I will be travelling 1,000 miles to his restaurant this fall because he's ignited in me a hunger that eschews caution.

I am happy to report that the recipes stand up to all the heavy breathing. The conserva of tomatoes has revolutionized my sauce-making. The illuminating instructions for sugo have caused some very quiet, almost prayerful pasta courses at my table. The Bitter Orange Cake with Compote of Blood Oranges is one of those foods that will end a meal in such a way that you will feel haunted for weeks until you get it in your mouth again.

I highly recommend this book, both as cookbook and as a gospel.
57 internautes sur 63 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x87ea8168) étoiles sur 5 Essential 18 octobre 2003
Par Syzygies - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is brilliant, at once over-the-top and completely accessible; it will raise the level of anyone's game. It is conceptual, grouping related dishes by modes of thought like Colicchio's "Think Like a Chef", only written at a more literary reading level. It is an unapologetic account of what happens in a particular and remarkable restaurant kitchen like Keller's "The French Laundry Cookbook", only free of that book's pretensions and skyscraper food. While one can only hope to lift the odd stunning technique from Keller, one can aspire to cook from Bertolli cover-to-cover, and be thrilled every step of the way. In short, this book is everything that is right about Italian cooking. For a reader searching for the most insightful words in print on Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese and southeast-asian noodles, "Hand" is essential reading for the Italian pasta chapter alone. One immediately craves a hand-turned stone flour mill; improvising a cellar for curing meats will have to wait.
47 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x87ee3bd0) étoiles sur 5 Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli 3 septembre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Paul Bertolli's first book, "Chez Panisse Cooking", is a wondrous book of recipes and thoughts, and his years at Chez Panisse produced many meals that helped validate that restaurant's stellar reputation. His new book, "Cooking by Hand", definitely satisfies expectations. The essay style of Bertolli's ideas and approaches goes even broader and deeper than before, with more fascinating information and suggestions for achieving elemental cooking that coaxes the true and utmost tastes from the ingredients. His descriptions of how to find the most flavorful cornmeal for polenta, the curing of prosciutto, and numerous other techniques is seldom shared information that is both fun and instructive to read. My only demerit for the book is the lousy paper that it is printed on. I'm suprised that Clarkson Potter, charging [so much] for this volume, cheaped out on paper where the type bleeds through the pages and the nice black and white photos are not given the resolution they deserve. These deficiences are in marked contrast to the high quality of authorship and overall concept. Hopefully a later edition will remedy these shortcomings. Meanwhile, enjoy this book - a valuable addition to the cook's library.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x87eaef48) étoiles sur 5 Inside the mind and heart of a great cook 14 novembre 2006
Par R. Attorri - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I have thoroughly loved reading this cookbook. Even if you never make any of these recipes, you will love learning how this great chef looks at the world of ingredients. Fortunately, the lion's share of his insights surround common foods which you and I enjoy all the time, such as tomatoes and artichokes. His chapters on pasta and "bottom-up" cooking are wonderful culinary reading. This book would make a great gift for someone who loves to cook but already has the big name cookbooks.
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