The Way To Cook by Julia Child

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Notes about this book

  • MaryLouise on May 02, 2017

    This is my "go-to" cookbook for technique and how to cook just about anything. My two personal favorites are the Boston Baked Beans (page 335) and the Spice Marinade for Pork, etc. (page 203).

  • jdepaula on August 09, 2010

    So many wonderful recipes here. If I want to try a new recipe for guests, this book is the one I go for. It's one of my faves.

  • SilverSage on March 07, 2010

    Covers the basics beautifully.

  • gcottraux on January 29, 2010

    I like the format of multiple short lessons that build upon and refer to each other.

  • phomchick on January 15, 2010

    The best all-around cookbook every written. Indispensable, if you are interested in learning how to cook with technique.

  • Cramnella on January 14, 2010

    This was the first cookbook that taught me how to cook.

  • Nancy Levy on December 31, 2009

    Good Basic Reference Book

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Split pea soup

    • featherbooks on January 10, 2010

      One of the best split pea soups I've made. Ended up using a qt of canned chicken broth to supplement my ham bone broth but it was worth it.

  • Sautéed chicken pipérade

    • Joan on August 26, 2010

      A good meal to do ahead and freeze. Nice company dish,

  • Braised salmon in aromatic white butter sauce

    • vickster on September 01, 2012

      I had a nice piece of King Salmon and my husband wanted a cream sauce. I was going to do something quick, but then looked to Julia Child. By no means a complicated recipe, but braising the fish with the chopped, sautéed vegetables in white wine and then using the braising liquid to make a cream sauce made for quite a gourmet, restaurant quality dish.

  • Curried scallops or chicken breasts with mushrooms

    • vickster on December 09, 2019

      This is a very cozy, flavorful dish. I made it with cut up chicken breasts and really liked it. I ended up adding 5 teaspoons of curry powder instead of two. My curry powder is pretty flavorful, but 2 teaspoons were just lost. I also added some cooked potato chunks at the end.

  • All-purpose Mediterranean soup base

    • Lindacakes on January 17, 2016

      Excellent soup, very simple, easy to make. Requires fish stock.

  • Scallops poached in white wine

    • lorloff on November 14, 2017

      This was absolutely delicious and came together so simply. I made the version with herbs using fresh parsley. Will definately make again. This time I had Nantucket bay scallops.

  • Green tapénade

    • lorloff on July 07, 2013

      Really great recipe. Used 4 cloves garlic a handful of parsley including the stems and a bit of anchovy extract. It was a great success.

  • Celeriac rémoulade

    • lorloff on February 02, 2020

      This is my favorite celery root salad recipe. I make the dressing first in the food processor and then remove 2/3rd of the dressing. I then grate the peeled celery root directly into the remaining dressing. This eliminates the need for the lemon juice as the dressing keeps the celery root from changing color. By eliminating a step this salad comes together very quickly.

  • Chocolate soufflé

    • Avocet on October 23, 2016

      We found this too sweet even using semisweet chocolate instead of the called for sweet chocolate.

  • The Cambridge cake

    • Couture911 on September 19, 2010

      One of the best cakes I've ever eaten.

  • French butter-cream filling and frosting

    • Couture911 on September 19, 2010

      This was the recipe that taught me to make a real buttercream. Candy thermometer required.

    • ashallen on September 19, 2019

      Just like Couture911, this recipe guided me the first time I made French buttercream after growing up on simpler confectioners sugar frostings. It's perfectly smooth and utterly delicious. Its richness and texture isn't appropriate for every kind of cake, but it's amazing when well-matched - the first time I frosted a genoise cake with this frosting, I immediately understood why people people make genoise! In retrospect, this wasn't the easiest recipe to use to learn the method - you have to flip between various pages in the book and no absolute temperature guidance is provided - instead the recipe uses traditional sugar-work terms like "soft ball stage," etc. Julia Child does provide her usual helpful tips, however, and I've since written up the recipe outside the book to avoid page-flipping in the middle of cooking.

  • Savory sausage and crouton stuffing

    • djkubica on December 03, 2010

      very very good. I added additional stock and cooked it covered in foil then removed foil for last 15 minutes for a light crisp crust

  • Sautéed ham steaks simmered in wine

    • mfto on December 10, 2010

      p. 206 - this is very simple, easy, and tasty.

  • Roast tenderloin of beef

    • mfto on December 10, 2010

      p. 222 - We serve this tenderloin for Christmas dinner every year. We follow these directions and it always comes out perfectly for us.

  • The gougères

    • notalice on December 12, 2010

      this is a must make for my yearly Christmas dinner.

  • Coleslaw

    • amoule on June 29, 2013

      I made this with the caraway seed option rather than cumin seed. I didn't have celery seed and substituted 1 T minced fresh celery leaf in its place. My Fuji apple was large rather than small. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to the letter. I thought it was very good but was quite surprised at the rave reviews it got at a neighborhood block party. I was concerned that they would find the caraway flavor strange. Instead, they kept going back for more and asking for the recipe. Everyone kept telling me it was the best coleslaw they'd ever had. I would suggest using a large Fuji (sweet) apple. She calls for a small apple and doesn't say whether it's supposed to be sweet or sour. i think the sweet apple is the reason everyone liked it so much.

  • Cold pumpkin soufflé

    • amoule on November 22, 2014

      The ingredient list here is partly wrong; it calls for 3/4 cup of ginger marmalade, not ordinary citrus marmalade. It also calls for 6 eggs and 1.25 cups milk which are not listed here.

  • French vanilla custard ice cream

    • stockholm28 on January 21, 2017

      It is on page 403 as a pastry cream variation. This book has a terrible index.

    • GregandDiana on January 21, 2017

      Totally baffled! I own this book and this recipe is not in it.

  • Velouté soup base

    • Rinshin on September 04, 2017

      Very easy to make veloute soup base for all the cream style potage soups.

  • Cream of corn soup

    • Rinshin on September 04, 2017

      So simple and oh so delicious using fresh white corn. I used 3 ears of corn instead of 4 and it was perfect. I did cook the soup for about 35 min with the corn cobs for more corn taste after scraping off the corn a la Gjelina. Removed the cobs and pureed using a hand stick. Added a tiny bit of sugar and the creme fraiche from this book as well. I may add Mexican cheese with leftovers.

  • Sauté of lobster in wine and cream

    • wodtke on September 13, 2017

      I bow to no one in my affection for Julia, having had several of her recipes in rotation for 45 years. But this recipe cannot work; the lobster has to be over-cooked if warmed in the sauce as much as instructed. I undercooked the lobster to start (though not so instructed), but even so it was, indeed, over-cooked. Julia fail. What next?

  • Turkey wing ragout

    • wodtke on December 05, 2016

      Though I revere Julia Child's memory, this is a very strange recipe. For one thing, she doesn't give a target weight for the wings, saying "six to nine" for 6 servings. Obviously, she had small wings in mind; mine were apparently cut from 20 lb turkeys left over from thanksgiving, and each would serve 1 1/2 people, at least. Thus, 40 minutes braising was far from enough; I used a Thermapen to check the temp to decide when to take them out of the oven, which ended up being 70 minutes. Most importantly, there is no way 2 cups of beans works for 4+ cups of liquid; you end up with a lake of liquid and an occasional bean here and there. Won't make again.

  • Curried shrimp with mushrooms

    • stef on October 21, 2015

      A very quick delicious recipe. No white wine used 1/3 cup vermouth instead

  • Scallops in cream

    • stef on August 26, 2018

      After scallops were taken out I added mushrooms and they poached for about 5 minutes. Cream was added and sauce was boiled down. Scallops were added back and rested for 10 minutes in sauce. Scallops were very tender. Served with baked green beans and smashed potatoes. Wonderful supper

  • An all-purpose crêpe formula

    • stef on April 18, 2020

      A good basic recipe that gave me no problems. Mixture rested 45 minutes

  • A beef and pork meat loaf

    • stef on March 01, 2018

      A good basic meatloaf recipe. I had some bacon strips they went on top of the meatloaf. Gave a nice flavour to the meatloaf

  • Zinfandel of beef

    • stef on October 30, 2016

      The sauce was nice and rich. Used stew beef and it fell apart, didnt take long to put together but was in oven for 3hrs. Would make again

    • ashallen on October 12, 2019

      Great stew with a really nice, strong beefy-wine flavor. Beef is very tender and onions melt into the sauce if chopped finely enough. Sauce was reduced and thick enough at the end of cooking that I did not need to whisk in a roux to thicken it.

  • Duchess potatoes

    • stef on February 06, 2017

      These came out so good. Browned nicely on the outside, creamy on the inside

  • Scalloped potatoes Savoyarde

    • clcorbi on December 10, 2016

      Made for book club--this was an easy dish to assemble ahead of time which was a plus! I caramelized the onions, sliced the potatoes, and assembled the layers two days out. Then the day before, I added the stock and baked the potatoes. At book club I simply reheated and they were perfect and maintained their crisp top layer. I used cheddar cheese rather than swiss, and instead of mixing dried herbs in with the stock, I sautéed fresh sage and rosemary with the potatoes as they caramelized. The result was delicious, just simple, perfect comfort food. I came home with a little less than a serving left so I know they were a hit!

  • Sausage and onion quiche

    • clcorbi on August 16, 2017

      A little too onion-heavy for me, but otherwise, very nice. I didn't steam and slice the sausage; I squeezed it out of its casing and pan-fried it instead. I also substituted gruyere for the Swiss cheese which was very good. I think the 30 minute cook time is a little short and would increase by 10 minutes next time so that the crust could brown more.

  • Old-fashioned brown gravy

    • clcorbi on November 27, 2016

      Used this recipe for Thanksgiving and it worked nicely. However, the roux was so thick following these proportions that there was no way it could come to a boil as instructed. Even so, the gravy thickened beautifully and we all really liked the wine flavor.

  • Cream of cauliflower soup

    • XXOOL on April 24, 2017

      great technique for creamy low calorie soup.

  • Sautéed calf's liver

    • shannonstoney on October 15, 2017

      Make the wine and mustard sauce to go with this.

  • Spice marinade for pork, pâtés, and sausages as well as for goose and duck

    • MaryLouise on May 02, 2017

      This makes a big batch that keeps in a sealable container for a long time. Absolutely the best!

  • Genoise cake batter

    • ashallen on July 31, 2019

      Good recipe for a standard genoise cake.

  • Imbibing syrup

    • ashallen on October 13, 2019

      This light sugar syrup flavored with rum (or other liqueur of choice) is a great way to moisten dry cake layers (whether intentionally dry, like a sponge cake or genoise, or accidentally dry!).

  • Soft chocolate icing

    • ashallen on September 21, 2019

      Good basic chocolate frosting. Moderate chocolate flavor vs. the intense chocolate flavor you get from a ganache.

  • To form and bake almond or hazelnut meringue layers

    • ashallen on September 16, 2019

      I used this recipe to make cookies vs. cake layers - worked well!

  • Holiday roulade

    • ashallen on November 22, 2019

      This is a really delicious cake. The combination of sponge cake moistened with rum-spiked sugar syrup and plentiful fluffy whipped cream-italian meringue frosting creates a cake with a very trifle-like vibe - but it definitely has the looks of a roulade! Rum and hazelnut flavors were great. There are multiple steps (hazelnut praline, cake, rum syrup, frosting + assembly) so it's not a quick dessert. Instructions are scattered over multiple pages - consider photocopies to reduce page-flipping exasperation! As written, the recipe has you make ~1 cup of rum cake imbibing syrup, but 1/4-1/3 c was more than enough to make the cake super-moist. I wouldn't make the full cup in the future. One of the people to whom I served this dessert couldn't eat citrus - I was able to successfully substitute water for the orange juice and almond extract for the orange zest in the sponge cake. Leftovers wept a bit but were still delicious for up to 3 days (by which point it was all eaten up!).

  • Applesauce fruitcake

    • ashallen on August 24, 2019

      My sense is that this is a very fine version of this type of cake - but that I'm just not a big fan of this type of cake - it's a bit too lean and raisin-y for me. The spice mixture was nice, however. I used hazelnuts which added an interesting flavor layer. The recipe calls for wrapping and curing the cake for 24 hours before eating - I found that doing so made a significant difference in flavor and texture. I did not soak the raisins in anything before mixing into the cake - soaking them in some type of alcohol, juice, or tea might add interest.

  • Louisiana bavarian

    • ashallen on May 31, 2020

      This is a rich rice pudding that's firm enough from gelatin to hold its shape well when released from a pretty mold. It's also firm enough to handle being sliced without the remaining pudding falling into a heap. I actually skipped the mold and poured it into a covered storage container to save a few steps. I like that the gelatin preserves the light fluffiness from the whipped cream that was folded in (Day 2 and still no weeping!) but otherwise found the pudding to be firmer than I prefer. If I skip the mold again in the future, I'd see how far I could work down the gelatin without losing the fluffiness. Flavor's very good - I love the dark rum + creaminess. Store was out of dried currants, so I chopped dark raisins down to currant-size. I'd reduce the raisins/currants a bit next time - personal preference.

  • Apricot glaze

    • ashallen on November 24, 2019

      Good recipe for a basic apricot glaze for fruit tarts and other desserts. My leftover glaze got as hard as as a lollipop once chilled - not sure whether it's supposed to do that or whether I overcooked it! It made for a delicious apricot-flavored candy, however :)

  • A free-form fresh apple tart

    • ashallen on November 24, 2019

      It's amazing how good this is given how simple it is - apple slices laid out and baked on butter pastry and painted with an apricot glaze. The tart doesn't use the full recipe of apricot glaze - there will be leftovers.

  • To make a butter dough for pastries and pie crusts

    • ashallen on May 13, 2020

      Excellent basic recipe!

  • Cheese and bacon quiche

    • ashallen on November 23, 2019

      I've made this many times - it's a delicious quiche with the perfect proportion of filling to crust (i.e., the filling's ~1 inch thick). It's great as written but also handles variations well - parmesan and feta cheese work great in place of emmenthaler/gruyere/swiss. I frequently mix in some cooked veggies - well-dried spinach, Swiss chard, or mushrooms are all great. It's great with the full amount of bacon or somewhat less (or when replaced fully by veggies + cheese). The specified crust recipe can sometimes be fiddly during the partial blind-bake - the sides tend to want to slide down into the plate - but I've always somehow been able to rescue it when that happens by pressing it back up to the pan edge!

  • Mushrooms duxelles

    • ashallen on May 24, 2020

      I accidentally purchased too many fresh mushrooms during my last shopping trip - this simple recipe is a great way to "preserve" them in the freezer until I can get around to using them in other dishes. This is also delicious by itself!! I followed the cooking directions pretty loosely, skipping the squeezing of the diced mushrooms in a towel and choosing instead to cook them longer to drive off moisture.

  • Purée of parsnips mellowed with cream

    • ashallen on December 12, 2019

      Very nice (if you're fond of parsnips)!

  • Braised shredded red cabbage

    • ashallen on December 11, 2019

      I love this recipe - absolutely delicious flavor and a tender/al dente texture in the cabbage. Making a half-batch works fine. Note that recipe also calls for red wine and red wine vinegar.

  • Lamb stew printanière

    • ashallen on October 28, 2019

      Very good version of a classic French lamb stew. I use ~2.5 lb boneless lamb leg instead of shoulder. White wine or additional chicken stock works as a substitute for vermouth. Dried herbes de Provence is a great substitute for rosemary. We usually use 1.5 lb Yukon Gold potatoes and 1 lb carrots instead of the suggested veggies (and serve green peas on the side). We like the meat and vegetables to be very tender so I usually simmer the stew 90 vs. 30 minutes after adding the vegetables. The rosemary flavor seems to evaporate if I add it with the lamb (probably due to our longer cooking time), so I now add 2 tsp fresh rosemary with the potatoes/carrots. There usually isn't much fat from the lamb I use, so I don't bother degreasing and the sauce gets thick and flavorful - delicious! Freezes well.

  • Sautéed chicken

    • ashallen on October 17, 2019

      Excellent instructions for making pan-sautéed, bone-in chicken pieces. I remember when I first made this shortly after starting to cook for myself - my eyes popped at the first bite (and then I think I ate several pieces immediately) - I didn't know chicken could taste like this! Very simple dish, great result - tender juicy meat, well-rendered skin, and delicious browning. Also instructions for making a very simple but delicious pan sauce. The only thing I don't love about the recipe is the fine fat spatter during cooking, though it's nothing beyond the norm for a sautéed meat dish!

  • A fast sauté of beef for two

    • rgraham on September 22, 2020

      Also has pork tenderloin variation.

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Reviews about this book

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Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Cheese soufflé

    • Kitchn by Kelli Foster

      Based on ease and taste alone, I’d give this recipe a 10. Although the lack of clarity on the cheese left it a little disappointing.

      Full review
  • Salade niçoise

    • Noshing With the Nolands

      It would make a perfect brunch salad with some fresh French bread and a lovely glass of chardonnay. Perfection!!

      Full review
    • Baked by Rachel

      Last week’s recipe called for bacon. I had plenty leftover so I figured it was meant to be. Hopefully Julia wouldn’t have minded this one bit,,,

      Full review
  • Coq au vin

    • Noshing With the Nolands

      Julia was a master at all these techniques and again if you follow her recipe you will have a gorgeous meal!! We sure did!!! It was fabulous!!

      Full review
    • Baked by Rachel

      You’ll need a good portion of a bottle of wine for the recipe. So, if you’re planning on drinking more than a glass or two plan on getting two bottles. It never hurts to have extra on hand.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0394532643
  • ISBN 13 9780394532646
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 01 1989
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Alfred A. Knopf
  • Imprint Alfred A. Knopf

Publishers Text

Julia Child's masterpiece teaches the essentials by demonstration from and for a lifetime of good cooking.


As Suzanne Hamlin wrote in the Daily News, Nobody doesn't need this book. It's Julia at her grandest, her most ebullient, her most accomplished. Wiser, more relaxed and more opinionated than ever, America's whisk-whirling mentor has given us a new Joy of Cooking - classic techniques approached with freewheeling style, accompanied by a fusillade of side notes and color photos. If you cooked everything in this book - soups to cookies - you'd be proud, learned, maybe healthy and certainly happy. What we don't know, Julia does. Don't let a child leave home without it.



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