22 June 2010

A Man's Cookbook

One of the big stars of French culinary television was Raymond Oliver. He owned the three star restaurant, LeGrand Vefour, a truly legendary establishment. Kind of like James Beard, he has fallen a bit out of style in modern day culinary adventures. He is probably best known in America for his participation as one of the eleven judges at the Judgement of Paris, made famous in the movie, Bottle Shock.

In the late 1950's he wrote a book on cooking for men -- or a cookbook aimed at men -- to get them to cook -- for themselves. OK it sounds a bit more complicated than it should be. It was a guy's cookbook by snotty French chef. It made it to America in 1961 as A Man's Cookbook.

The book is a wonderful period piece complete with small black and white drawings of food items. He gives basic info on how to cook on a gas stove, an electric stove and the ever-present wood and coal range, which should give you some idea of how old this book is!

Above all, Oliver is a French Chef in the heyday of French cuisine. That means that he is not adverse to include a recipe for oeuf en gelée, which I always think of a a dish for a man's man. So how about pig's feet?

Pig's Feet
Les pieds de porc

Split in half, these are excellent pan-fried in bread crumbs or broiled. They may be truffled, that is, served with slices of truffles. Cook them in a well seasoned bouillon, drain them, and let them cool pressed between two planks. Once they are cold, cut them lengthwise, cover with bread crumbs, and broil. Serve very hot.

Or you could just have an oeuf en gelée.

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