Easy Gourmet Cooking (1962)

Easy Gourmet Cooking (1962)

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Title: “Easy Gourmet Cooking”
Author: Elsie Lee
Publisher: Prestige Books, New York, USA
Year of Publication: 1962
Pages: ~160
Copyright Status: Public Domain in the United States and countries following the rule of the shorter term

Introduction from the book:


Have you ever eaten at Maxims in Paris, or any of the really fabulous places whose specialties are as tempting to look at as they are to eat?

Elsie Lee’s EASY GOURMET COOKING is a rare and unique collection of these very special recipes that you can prepare in your own home. From subtle and exotic Oriental dishes to the superb cuisine of the Mediterranean, they are all here designed to make the simplest table elegant and please the most discriminating palates.

Your friends will be delighted and you will probably be amazed because these delicious recipes are easy to understand, and easy to cook, too. A shopping guide (where and how to buy some very special ingredients) has been included for your convenience, plus a variety of culinary secrets gleaned from years of experience by the best chefs of the world.

Sample From Chapter One…


These days, nothing is more fun nor more socially acceptable than “messing about in the kitchen.” What with pressure cookers, electric broilers and blenders, packaged mixes, bottled sauces, every possible herb or spice from the Indies, and something new every day in the frozen food section of any supermarket, Cookery is the latest game, the newest fad.

Now that women find it’s fun to cook, and men are remembering that every great name in gastronomy from Epicurus to Escoffier is masculine, the next step is Gourmet Cookery and turning yourself into a Cordon Bleu is no longer difficult.

In this book we present a selection of great traditional dishes, as well as some “novelties.” All are designed to be prepared in a limited time for the modern day reproduction of a Lucullan Feast and all are proportioned for four hungry gourmets. Note, too, that all gourmet recipes are intended for adults because a child’s palate does not develop until the late teens.

Even ten years ago, many of these recipes could not have been included, and there is no denying that some great culinary masterpieces still cannot be prepared in only thirty minutes. Even with a pressure cooker, the true Coq au Vin, Blanquette de Veau or Boeuf BourguigNonne, while edible cannot possess the suave blend of flavors that comes from leisurely simmering.

Time is essential too, for chilling or resting of some dishes that can easily be prepared in a few minutes. Therefore, a few recipes are included that require 30 minutes or less to prepare but which must be allowed to stand overnight before the final minutes or preparation and service.

These are marked Two-Step Cookery; neither step requires more than 30 minutes but if you like to think this a quibble, we can only recommend that you try the dish and hope it will be found worthy of inclusion.


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