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February 2000 Issue
Three Selections
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen

About the Authors

    The Culinary Institute of America, one of the nation's most influential training school for cooks, is a college offering bachelor's and associates degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. Courses are offered at the independent, not-for-profit college's main campus in Hyde Park, New York and an additional campus in St. Helena, California.

About the Cookbook

    Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen is much more than a cookbook. It strives to immerse a reader in the history and techniques of garde manger -- which was a term originally used to identify an area used for storing preserved foods. Today, it has come to refer to an entire area of specialization in professional culinary arts. Garde Manger takes the reader on a journey through the history of cold food preparation and then carefully covers a wide variety of related topics ranging from the art of making a great sandwich to the steps involved in making your own sausage. Taking full advantage of the resources available to the Institute, contributors to the book combined intelligent discourse, creative recipes and tips and brilliant color photography to create a book that strives -- and succeeds -- at being much more than just another cookbook in your kitchen.

    Garde Manger offers over 350 splendid recipes for entertaining and preserving foods. Every chapter begins with an overview of the topic and some general information about relevant techniques, important ingredients, notes on presentation and tips on preparing your own recipes. Whenever a technique or unusual ingredient is mentioned color photographs are provided to aid the reader. The recipes are then presented in a simple, but easy-to-follow format. When applicable, alternatives are presented at the end of a recipe in highlighted boxes for easy location. While some of the recipes are time-consuming, most of the results are well worth the effort and the Seafood Sausage practically make the book worth adding to a cookbook collection on its own!

    Because of the emphasis on entertaining, the recipes in Garde Manger yield larger quantities. I found that most recipes are easily reduced; however, certain recipes -- such as sausages or cheeses -- are best made in the quantities suggested. Recipes included in chapters such as Salads and Sandwiches lend themselves easily to variations according to a given cook's tastes. However, unless you are very experienced in making foods like sausages and cheeses, it is suggested that you follow the recipes closely.

    For the home cook that loves to spend time in the kitchen and entertain guests, Garde Manger presents a perfect opportunity to add new techniques and ingredients. However, it is not well-suited to beginning cooks nor to those that spend little time cooking or entertaining. Most of the recipes presented in the book are easy to follow and, although some are very time-intensive, many can be prepared in short order and with little advanced notice.

    To give you some ideas about the recipes included in Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen, here is a portion of the Table of Contents and some examples of the recipes you'll find in it:

    1. The History of the Garde Manger
    2. Cold Sauces and Cold Soups (like Mango-Lime Salsa or Cold Carrot Bisque)
    3. Salads (like Roasted Pepper Salad or Cobb Salad)
    4. Sandwiches (like Spicy Catfish Sandwich or Cucumber Tea Sandwich)
    5. Cured and Smoked Foods (like Smoked Shrimp or Corned Beef)
    6. Sausage (like Mexican Chorizo or Summer Sausage)
    7. Terrines, Pates, Galantines, and Roulades (like Venison Terrine or Chicken Galantine)
    8. Cheese (like Mascarpone or Mozzarella Cheese)
    9. Hors d'Oeuvre (like Profiteroles or Chicken Croustade)
    10. Appetizers (like Beef Carpaccio or Smoked Duck Tart)
    11. Condiments, Crackers, and Pickles (like Yellow Pepper Ketchup or Red Pepper Oil)
    12. Basic Recipes (like Barbeque Spice Mix or Pasta Dough)

    If the examples above have you wondering what else is offered, Garde Manger will probably be a welcome addition to your cookbook collection. It is one of those rare jewels that will do more than sit next to your stove. You could actually curl up with it by the fire and learn something about the art of the cold kitchen. Happy reading!

Where to Buy

    If you are interested in purchasing Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen by The Culinary Institute of America, you are likely to find it among the general cookbooks at any large bookstore, such as Barnes & Nobel or Borders. You can also buy it online right now and save 30% off the list price by clicking here. The publisher's list price for the cookbook is $54.95.
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