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Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

3.3 9
by Julia Child

The companion volume to the public television series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

Two legendary cooks, Julia Child and Jacques Pépin, invite us into their kitchen and show us the basics of good home cooking.
        What makes this book unique is the richness of information they offer on every page, as


The companion volume to the public television series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

Two legendary cooks, Julia Child and Jacques Pépin, invite us into their kitchen and show us the basics of good home cooking.
        What makes this book unique is the richness of information they offer on every page, as they demonstrate techniques (on which they don't always agree), discuss ingredients, improvise, balance flavors to round out a meal, and conjure up new dishes from leftovers. Center stage in these pages are carefully spelled-out recipes flanked by Julia's comments and Jacques's comments—the accumulated wisdom of a lifetime of honing their cooking skills. Nothing is written in stone, they imply. And that is one of the most important lessons for every good cook.
        So sharpen your knives and join in the fun as you learn to make . . .

        *—Appetizers—from traditional and instant grav-lax to your own sausage in brioche and a country pâté
        *—Soups—from New England chicken chowder and onion soup gratinée to Mediterranean seafood stew and that creamy essence of mussels, billi-bi
        *—Eggs—omelets and "tortillas"; scrambled, poached, and coddled eggs; eggs as a liaison for sauces and as the puffing power for soufflés
        *—Salads and Sandwiches—basic green and near-Niçoise salads; a crusty round seafood-stuffed bread, a lobster roll, and a pan bagnat
        *—Potatoes—baked, mashed, hash-browned, scalloped, souffléd, and French-fried
        *—Vegetables—the favorites from artichokes to tomatoes, blanched, steamed, sautéed, braised, glazed, and gratinéed
        *—Fish—familiar varieties whole and filleted (with step-by-step instructions for preparing your own), steamed en papillote, grilled, seared, roasted, and poached, plus a classic sole meunière and the essentials of lobster cookery
        *—Poultry—the perfect roast chicken (Julia's way and Jacques's way); holiday turkey, Julia's deconstructed and Jacques's galantine; their two novel approaches to duck
        *—Meat—the right technique for each cut of meat (along with lessons in cutting up), from steaks and hamburger to boeuf bourguignon and roast leg of lamb
        *—Desserts—crème caramel, profiteroles, chocolate roulade, free-form apple tart—as you make them you'll learn all the important building blocks for handling dough, cooking custards, preparing fillings and frostings
        And much, much more . . .

        Throughout this richly illustrated book you'll see Julia's and Jacques's hands at work, and you'll sense the pleasure the two are having cooking together, tasting, exchanging ideas, joshing with each other, and raising a glass to savor the fruits of their labor. Again and again they demonstrate that cooking is endlessly fascinating and challenging and, while ultimately personal, it is a joy to be shared.

Editorial Reviews

Laurie Glenn Buckle
In Julia and Jacques Cooking at Homethese two legendary cooks explore the classics of French home cooking, explaining the traditional methods of preparing the dishes and then offering up their own interpretations and innovations for a book that is as full of information as it is full of personality.
Bon Appetit
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Culinary grande dame Child and master chef Pepin pin define "the basics of fine food that looks good, tastes the way it should and is a total pleasure to eat." Chapters are organized into appetizers, soups, eggs, salads and sandwiches, potatoes, vegetables, fish, poultry, meats and desserts. Based on the vast experience of these chefs, the book takes a she says/he says approach to home-style French cooking: While Julia finds the dark digestive vein in shrimp "ugly" and automatically removes it, Jacques considers it "perfectly good protein to eat"; Julia prefers seasoning food with white pepper, but Jacques uses black pepper, and so forth. Child and P pin recycle familiar Franco-American classics, like Omelets, Souffl s, French Fries, Sole Meuni re, Roast Chicken, Steak Au Poivre and Cr me Br l e, with a contemporary sleight-of-hand (e.g., stocks that can be made within an hour; a microwave method for clarified butter). Eschewing today's trendy global pantry, recipes emphasize fresh, seasonal ingredients. There is also no shortage of shopping, preparation and technique tips from the pros, such as Jacques's perspective on buying a good steak: "it's more useful to have knowledge about cuts of meat than a lot of money." A charismatic tag team, veterans Child and P pin illuminate novice and seasoned home cooks alike, gently reminding readers that "eating, as well as cooking, should be pleasurable and guiltless." First serial to Gourmet; Good Cook Book Club main selection; author tour. (Sept.) FYI: Cooking at Home is based on a forthcoming 22-part PBS series. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
What could be better than seeing these two incomparable chefs cooking together in Julia's kitchen and having a wonderful time while they're at it? This is the companion volume to the authors' new PBS series, premiering in October, but there are many "bonus" recipes here, including some that had to be cut from the series because of time limitations and others created especially for this book. For each show, the two chefs started out with ideas and ingredients but no set recipes, so they improvised as they went along, cooking a lot of their favorite traditional dishes and coming up with new ones as well. The two didn't always agree--each recipe has one sidebar from Julia, another from Jacques, presenting each one's take on the dish and personalized tips. Dozens of boxes throughout the text provide information on a wide variety of topics, from "Julia on Getting a Good Chicken" to "P pin Peels a Pepper," and the more than 300 color photos show both techniques step by step and many of the finished dishes. An essential purchase, of course. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/99; BOMC/Good Cook main selection.] Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Jennifer Wolcott
Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home is every bit as entertaining as it is the program and even more useful. Colorful comments from each of these formidable cooks make it a good read and differing opinions on such topics as tools used to scramble eggs or what type of chicken to buy probe that cooking, like any art, is highly individual.
Christian Science Monitor

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.67(w) x 11.34(h) x 1.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

Potato Salads

Potato salad is perfect picnic fare, but it is a good side dish any time of year, dressed and garnished in various styles to suit the season. Julia's American-style potato salad is garnished with hard-boiled eggs and crisp bacon bits, chopped pickles, onions, and celery, all given a light coating of homemade mayonnaise. Make this at least an hour ahead of time so the flavors have time to ripen, and serve cool or at room temperature. Jacques's salad is particularly nice for winter meals — the hot potatoes are tossed with white wine and oil, sautéed onions, scallions, and garlic. Serve it warm, with slices of hot, homemade sausage arranged on top, or with other meats.

The best potatoes for salad are the firm-textured, low-starch "waxy" varieties, which hold their shape well, such as boiling potatoes, small new potatoes, or delicate fingerlings. All-purpose potatoes with waxy flesh, such as the versatile Yukon Gold, are particularly delicious. Whatever kind you use, dress the potatoes while they are still warm so that they best absorb the flavors, and gently fold in all the dressing and seasoning ingredients in one or two additions only, so the potato pieces don't get mashed from overhandling.

Julia's American-Style Potato Salad
Yield: About 6 cups, serving 4 to 6

2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, or other waxy, boiling potatoes
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1/3 cup chicken stock or potato-cooking water
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 or 4 slices crisply cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
2 to 3 Tbs finely chopped pickle, sweet or dill
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced thin
3 Tbs or so finely chopped fresh chives or scallions, including a bit of their tender green
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cup or so mayonnaise, homemade if possible (pages 117 and 120)
Sour cream (optional)

For garnishing
Crisp whole red-leaf or other lettuce leaves
Canned red pimiento, diced; sliced hard-boiled eggs; tomato quarters; parsley sprigs (optional)

Peel the potatoes and slice each one lengthwise in half, or in quarters if very large; then cut crosswise into half-round or quarter-round slices, about 1/2 inch thick.

Put the slices in a saucepan with water just to cover and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. It is essential that they be just cooked through. Bite into a slice or two to be very sure. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a colander, but save a cup of the cooking liquid for dressing the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Stir the cider vinegar with 1/3 cup of the potato water or chicken stock and drizzle this over the potato pieces, turning them gently to distribute it evenly. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.

Add the prepared onion, celery, bacon, pickle, hard-boiled eggs, and chives, and season carefully to taste. Top with 2/3 cup of mayonnaise (or a mix of mayonnaise and a bit of sour cream) and, with a large rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until well blended. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, or mayonnaise as needed.

Cover the salad and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving. If it is refrigerated longer, let it come back to room temperature before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning again.

To serve, line a bowl or a platter with red-leaf lettuce or other greens, and mound the salad on top. Decorate at the last moment, if you wish, with any or all of the optional garnishes.

Jacques's French Potato Salad
Yield: About 6 cups, serving 4 to 6

2 pounds fingerling potatoes or other small waxy potatoes
1/2 cup or so extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup 1/4-inch slices of scallion, green and white parts
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, mashed and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 tsp)
1/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 Tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 to 3 Tbs chopped chives
2 Tbs or more coarsely chopped fresh green or purple basil, fresh tarragon, or parsley
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more if needed
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (coarse), plus more if needed

For serving and garnishing
Large radicchio leaves, about 6, from the outside of the head
1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
Chopped fresh parsley

Scrub the potatoes and put them, whole, in a saucepan with water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook the potatoes gently until they are just tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife. Drain immediately and let cool slightly. (Scrape the skin from the cooked potatoes, if you want, as soon as they can be handled. For a decorative look with fingerlings, scrape off only a band of skin, about 1/2 inch thick, all around the long sides of the potato.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small saute pan. When hot, add the scallions and the onion, toss to coat well, and cook for about a minute over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, toss to mix, and cook for just a few moments, then remove the pan from the heat.

Slice the potatoes while still warm, cutting them crosswise into 1/2-inch sections. Put the pieces in a large mixing bowl, pour the wine and 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil over them, and toss gently to distribute. Add the warm vegetables from the pan, mustard, chives, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, and gently fold all together, mixing well but not crushing the potatoes. Taste the salad and add more seasonings as you like.

Serve the potatoes warm (no colder than room temperature). Arrange the large radicchio leaves, if you have them, in a close circle on the serving platter, with their curved insides up, to form a rough bowl. Spoon the potato salad inside the leaves, sprinkle chopped egg around the edges, and parsley over the top.

Meet the Author

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California and graduated from Smith College in 1934.  After college she worked in publicity and advertising in New York, and during World War II she served with the Office of Strategic Services in Washington DC, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and China.  After the war, at the end of 1948, her husband Paul Child was assigned to the US Information Service at the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris.  Together with her two French colleagues, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, they opened a cooking school, "L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes," which eventually resulted in their joint book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, published in 1961.

Julia and Paul eventually returned to the States, and after a television interview at WGBH-Boston, the station asked Julia to try out a series of TV cooking shows, and The French Chef was born on February 11, 1963.  After some 200 programs on classical French cooking, she branched out into contemporary cuisine with the television series Julia Child & Company, Julia Child & More Company, and Dinner at Julia's.  In 1984, she completed six The Way to Cook teaching videocassettes.

She has appeared on national television programs including: Good Morning America, The Johnny Carson Show, The David Letterman Show, Phil Donahue, and The Rosie
O'Donnell Show
.  She was host for the PBS Cooking with Master Chefs series, with a different well-known chef for each of the programs, and also for the 39-part series, Baking with Julia.  Her newest television venture is a 22-part series with Jacques Pepin.  It is a technique-based program aimed at teaching the serious home cook and would-be chef.  

Julia Child's books include The French Chef Cookbook (1968), Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes I and II, co-authored with Simone Beck (1970), and From Julia Child's Kitchen (1975).  Julia Child & Company and Julia Child & More Company, originally published in the late 1970's, were combined into four books issued in the fall of 1998.  Her large, fully illustrated book, The Way to Cook, was issued in October 1989, and is now available both in hardcover and paperback editions.  Cooking with Master Chefs was issued in the fall of 1993 to accompany the TV series, and was followed by In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs.  

Julia Child has been interviewed and written about in many publications, including:  Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, and TV Guide.  She has received honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College, Rutgers University, Smith College, and Harvard University.  She was awarded two national Emmy's: in 1995 for her Master Chefs series and in 1997 for Baking with Julia.

Mrs. Child is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and a co-founder of the American Institute of Wine & Food.

Jacques Pepin, celebrated host of award-winning cooking shows on National Public Television, master chef, food columnist, cooking teacher, and author of 18 cookbooks, was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon.  His first exposure to cooking was as a child in his parents' restaurant, Le Pelican.  At 13 years of age, he began his formal apprenticeship at the distinguished Grand Hotel de L'Europe in his hometown.  He subsequently worked in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the famed Plaza Athenee.  From 1956 to 1958, Mr. Pepin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

Moving to the United States in 1959, Mr. Pepin worked first at New York's historic Le Pavilion restaurant, then served for 10 years as director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company, a position that enabled him to learn about mass production, marketing, food chemistry, and American food tastes.  He studied at Columbia University during this period, ultimately earning an MA degree in 18th-century French literature in 1972.  Deciding then to devote much of his time to writing, he authored two groundbreaking step-by-step books on French culinary technique, La Technique (1976) and La Methode (1979).  These works, and others that followed, earned him a place in the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame in 1996, an honor bestowed each year on one author whose contributions to the literature of food have had a substantial and enduring impact on the American kitchen.

A new series hosted by Mr. Pepin, his sixth produced by KQED in San Francisco, is currently airing on PBS-TV stations throughout the United States.  Entitled Jacques Pepin's Kitchen: Encore with Claudine, it is a second season of 26 cooking shows with his daughter.  The first season of this series, entitled, Jacques Pepin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine, was a James Beard Award winner (Best National Cooking Segment, 1997).  His other recent television series include the acclaimed Jacques Pepin's Cooking Techniques and three successful seasons of Today's Gourmet with Jacques Pepin, which received a Beard Award (Outstanding Culinary Video) in 1994.

Several of Mr. Pepin's series have companion cookbooks.  The most recent, like the series entitled Jacques Pepin's Kitchen: Encore with Claudine (1998), follows Jacques Pepin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine (1996), which received a Julia Child Cookbook Award (Best General Cookbook) at the 1997 Conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).  He has also published Jacques Pepin's Table (1995, a compilation containing all the recipes prepared on the three seasons of Today's Gourmet with Jacques Pepin), Sweet Simplicity: Jacques Pepin's Fruit Desserts, and a five-tape video guide to the fundamentals of cooking, Jacques Pepin's Cooking Techniques (1996).

A former columnist for the New York Times, Mr. Pepin writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine.  He also participates regularly in the magazine's prestigious Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and at other culinary festivals and fund-raising events worldwide.  In addition, he is a popular guest on such commercial TV programs as The Late Show with David Letterman, The Today Show, and Good Morning America.

Mr. Pepin teamed with Napa Valley Kitchens and KQED in 1997 to produce a line of specialty food products bearing the "Jacques Pepin's Kitchen" signature.  In collaboration with Bourgeat, Inc., he has a line of copper cookware ("Jacques Pepin's Signature Series") created to his specifications, and, with Lamson & Goodnow Manufacturing Company, a line of kitchen textiles featuring his designs.

Mr. Pepin is the recipient of two of the French government's highest honors: he is the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997) and a Chevalier de L'Ordre du Merite Agricole (1992).  The Dean of Special Programs at The French Culinary Institute of Wine and Food, a member of the IACP, and is on the board of trustees of The James Beard Foundation.  He and his wife, Gloria, live in Madison, Connecticut.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
August 5, 1912
Date of Death:
August 12, 2004
Place of Birth:
Pasadena, California
Place of Death:
Santa Barbara, California
B.A., Smith College, 1934; Le Cordon Bleu, 1950

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Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
avidreaderJC More than 1 year ago
I am such a fan of Julia Child's, especially after reading her biography recently. What an interesting, fascinating woman she was. Her personality shines through in this book, and her descriptions of the dishes she prepares are witty, funny and down to earth. Jacques Pepin puts his own spin on the same recipes with slightly different results, some of which I intend to try next. Anyone can easily learn to present a sauce, dessert, main course or an entire dinner. I have prepared three recipes so far, all of Julia's, fresh peas, sauteed mushrooms (delicious over rib eye steak!) and her special hamburger, which was better than any I have barbequed. It is also a beautiful book, with step by step color pictures for many of the recipes. A definite book to give as a gift to anyone you love, who also loves to cook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home was a birthday gift back in 1999 when it was first released. It is a wonderful cookbook: well written, beautifully illustrated, good recipes and educational. It is still one of my favorites 10 years later. In fact, I just purchased two copies to give to friends as a gift. And, another friend who looked at my book is also going to purchase one for himself and one for each of his sisters. This cookbook is timeless and will remain a valuable reference for all cooks. Thank you Julia & Jacques! Bon Appetite!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's fun to read the recipes -- even if I don't want to do all the work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ordered this in early November because it was listed as being in stock. I was later told that it was backordered and would ship on 12/17. It is now 12/27 and no book and no word on when I can expect it. A promise of a book is not a very nice gift for mom.
ExperenciedHome More than 1 year ago
This is such a fun cookbook for those that recall the Julia Child years and want to share those with younger cooks who can still see Jacques on PBS. The recipes range from very complex to medium complexity but one could also order the DVD for the series and get hands-on guidance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have long considered Julia Child the epitome of cooking instructors. She not only explains what to do, but does it so well that you can see her hands moving as you read her instructions. With this book, I am also introduced to Chef Jacques Pepin. This is also the first time that I have seen a cookbook with two different methods/ideas on the same recipe, and it works. I find myself taking something from both of them and building my own skills at the same time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not for everyday meals after you come home from working a full day. Too gourmet and fussy. Can you believe that Julia calls for white ground peppcorns on her fish so she won't see black specks? The ingredient lists are long, prep time is long, and cook times are long.