An Illustrated History of French Cuisine by Christian Guy is one of those bargain bin finds. I bought it because is was about French cooking and was $2. It seemed like a good idea. It was. This is no classic cookbook, but more of chatty culinary history ranging from Charlemagne to Charles De Gaulle. A bit of a weird layout, but quite tasty stories about food and the people who ate it. Like this tidbit about Dumas.
This recipe comes from Alexander Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers. After writing nearly three hundred volumes, he decided his last would be a cookbook. “It will be my last work, the one I shall outline the moment I catch a glimpse of Death on the horizon.” So one day Dumas looked up and noticed the Grim Reaper headed his way. He spent 6 months working on Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine. He finished the book, but did not survive to see it published.
Homard a la Portos
1. Brown in butter two onions and three carrots finely chopped, some thyme and parsley.
2. Cut a live lobster in pieces: cook it with spices, a bottle of extra-dry champagne, 1/8 pound of butter and some red pepper. Cook half an hour and serve hot.