Yes, I know - the year isn't yet over. But I have no doubt whatsoever that my award for book of the year will go to 'The Complete Robuchon
', which I've been working my way through, during the past few weeks. A lifetime's experience distilled into one authoritative volume. No-nonsense, spare, intelligent, and all-round excellent. There are no pictures - so not something for the coffee-table audience - and the recipes are well-structured and efficiently written. This is the sort of 'bible' to be compared with, say, Madame de Sante-Ange....and, dare I say it, it shows how far we've moved on since the late great Julia first published 'Mastering the Art...'
. Just off the top of my head, new discoveries for me from Robuchon have been a splendid tart of tomato and red pepper - light and exquisite - a recipe for red mullet in saffron cream; a version of scaloppine alla milanese
, in which prosciutto and cheese are sandwiched between the scaloppine; rabbit, roast in a mustard poultice; a cornichon sauce for pork chops; a different method for pintade au chou
; porcini with broad beans....the list goes on, and I'm still only a third of the way through the book!
For anybody thinking what to give themselves as an early Christmas present, I can't recommend this one highly enough!
Will be up at Brancoli, so I don't know what it will be; although I will be making an apricot and cinnamon cake
to take as a guest-offering. And then, tomorrow we leave for Venice for a couple of days, so dinner will be the responsibility variously of Vini da Gigio
and Fiaschetteria Toscana