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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking by Anthony Bourdain

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Notes about this book

  • fprincess on October 15, 2010

    A great source for classic bistro recipes. Fun to read and most recipes are simple to execute.

  • she11ey on February 02, 2010

    The sections on stock and roast chicken are worth the price of the whole book! I also like the way Tony has organized the ingredients, tools, and steps for each recipe. But the main reason to own this is to read Bourdain himself, just for the sheer fun and joy of his writing.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Asparagus and haricots verts salad

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Simple and not bad in flavour but nothing to write home about

  • Beurre blanc

    • fprincess on February 25, 2011

      Classic French sauce. I was actually able to freeze it and it did not break (the texture was a little different though but still pleasant). So I would recommend making a double batch and it becomes an instant sauce for fish.

  • Blueberries with lime sugar

    • fprincess on August 02, 2011

      The lime sugar process was a little time consuming. In the end this is a good dessert if you have high quality blueberries.

  • Boeuf a la ficelle

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Did a rutabaga instead of a turnip and it was quite nice. Mustard is a bit strong so you should try bechamel with a little horseradish.

  • Boeuf Bourguignon

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Good but not as good as Julia's and odd that some of the garnish is missing.

    • fprincess on April 17, 2012

      This is still my go-to boeuf bourguignon recipe, with a few tweaks. For the meat, I used good-quality chuck roast that I cut in 1.5 to 2-inch cubes. It's important to make sure to brown the meat really well on all sides. I used an entire bottle of wine instead of 1 cup. I used demi-glace (about 1 tablespoon). I used 1 very large onion (4 onions in the recipe). I put my covered dutch oven in the oven at 325F so I don't have to use the stove for the braising step. At the end, I added a garnish of fried lardons (homemade tesa/pancetta) and lightly browned pearl onions. I made this recipe numerous times in the past and the sauce is not very thick. Using the whole bottle of wine resulted in a thick sauce that was wonderful as is and did not need to be further reduced. Picture here on eGullet: http://egullet.org/p1873605

    • fprincess on October 20, 2010

      This recipe has the advantage of being simple, however for me there are two major ingredients missing - the lardons (diced bacon) and the pearl onions.

  • Boudin noir aux pommes

    • okcook on November 05, 2013

      I made this for my husband and he thought the combination of the caramelized apples with the sausage worked really well. Our sausage was kind of thick so it took 15 minutes in the oven rather than the 10 minutes in the recipe. As he suggested, the mashed potatoes went very well with this dish.

  • Bouillabaisse

    • fprincess on December 01, 2010

      Made this once. It was quite a lot of work and sourcing the ingredients was challenging (I ended up going to 3 different asian supermarket to find the skate wings). The soup was delicious but my fish ended up being completely overdone (my mistake). I would make this again if I find a good fishmonger that can get all the ingredients for me.

  • Canard sauvage

    • Rroskey on November 03, 2018

      I have this book. Does any one know what to do with the liver? It never really says.

  • Carre d'agneau au moutarde

    • fprincess on December 02, 2010

      Easy & tasty recipe. I had to cook the rack longer than what indicated in the recipe (approx. 25 min for medium rare instead of 17 min).

  • Charlotte de marrons

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      It's a delicate, light recipe with a fantastic flavour. I had a hard time finding the chesnut puree, which Whole Foods seems to carry around the holidays. Ladyfinders from Trader Joe's. Picture: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/?p=2034510

  • Chocolate mousse

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Classic chocolate mousse. Delicious.

    • okcook on March 23, 2015

      I'm not a dessert maker but this was so easy and it's a make ahead dessert which is perfect for dinner parties. I served it with a crunchy biscuit/cookie. Thumbs up.

    • Cheri on April 03, 2011

      This came out grainy. Not sure what I did wrong. Flavor was good, but texture ruined it. Probably my fault....

    • westminstr on December 04, 2017

      I wanted to make a chocolate mousse for a dinner party and chose this recipe based on EYB reviews from people I trust (Hi Delys!) I made as written except I subbed cointreau for grand marnier and only used 1 Tbsp of it. I had never made chocolate mousse before and had no idea what to expect. There were more than a few points during the process where I thought it was ruined. I forged ahead and the final result was outstanding. So good that I don't see the need ever to try a different recipe. It was perfect. I used Guittard semisweet chocolate.

    • Delys77 on January 22, 2012

      Mush as the other review said, this is a classically done mousse which yields fabulous results.

  • Clafoutis

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Love this classic recipe. It's super easy to make as long as you have a cherry pitter.

    • fprincess on August 09, 2011

      Made again. The clafoutis cooks very fast so you need to take a look at it before the end of the 40 min cooking time to make sure it does not brown too much. I turned down my oven a little from 450F to 430F. It only took about 30 min to bake (I used the skewer test).

  • Coq au vin

    • fprincess on December 01, 2010

      Made this once; was quite involved. Overall it was good but I still prefer boeuf bourguignon. Maybe it would taste better with an older rooster/chicken (which I could not find) than a regular chicken.

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Intense and super tasty

  • Coquilles Saint-Jacques with Champagne

    • Smokeydoke on January 02, 2018

      Love the flavors in this dish, I didn't follow it exactly, it's basically seared scallops with a deliciously creamy champagne cream sauce. I used both sea scallops (as the recipe directed) and bay scallops (as Mr. S requested) and, honestly, I liked the bay scallops better, I was able to get a better caramelization too. It was my first time searing scallops, you need a very hot pan! I tested my pan at 350 and it didn't get a good sear on my sea scallops, even with the unusually long 3 mins per side. Next time, I'll air-dry the scallops a bit and heat the pan to 400. Ghee is a must! Regular butter will smoke and burn at that temp. Photo included.

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      The flavors are great and I love the use of champagne in this sauce (plus you can drink the leftovers with the meal!). Make sure you get a nice sear on the scallops for optimal flavor.

    • fprincess on May 12, 2012

      Made this favorite recipe again with some leftover champagne that went flat. I use fish stock instead of fumet which allows me to skip a reducing step. Picture here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/page__st__210__p__1877122#entry1877122

  • Daube provencale

    • fprincess on November 02, 2016

      Made with lamb neck and homecured pork belly for the bacon. This is wonderful! https://forums.egullet.org/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/?do=findComment&comment=2079375

  • Faux-filet au beurre rouge

    • fprincess on September 29, 2011

      I love this. This is classic French at its best and it's simple too.

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Simple but fabulous. Prepared with a 5 oz filet using approiximately far less of the butter. Started the steak on the stove in cast iron and finished in in the oven, to make a total of just over 2 mintues per side and 2 minutes in the oven.

  • Fennel and tomato soup

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      This is very similar to the fennel and potato soup from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, except with tomatoes. I would say the actual tomato doesn't do much for the flavour,and while the soup is pretty good I think the version from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is better.

    • fprincess on October 09, 2011

      Good soup, a nice balance of flavors. I used sliced garlic and pastis (Pernod) to boost the taste, as suggested in the recipe. eGullet post and pictures here: http://egullet.org/p1842304

    • mirage on July 18, 2014

      Nice, light soup. Low fat, but tastes creamy.

  • Filet of beef, sauce porto with roasted shallots

  • Gigot de sept heures

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Another super easy and delicious classic recipe by A Bourdain. Leftovers are great with pasta.

  • Gratin Dauphinois

    • fprincess on November 05, 2010

      Classic potato again. Nothing to change, this is perfection. Picture: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/?p=2034508

    • Delys77 on October 22, 2012

      The addition of the herbs gives the cream a nice flavour but I have to say this isn't my favourite variant. I don't think all the cream is necessary, I often cut with a bit of milk and have had no ill effects. For me however this dish is missing the breadcrumbs in the topping. I ended up adding some to ming and dotted with a bit of butter, much better that way.

  • Grilled lamb steaks

    • saladdays on July 07, 2013

      Good clear grilling instructions. Recipe suggests marinading for several hours but I did it for one, out of the fridge, so the steaks weren't cold when they hit the grill pan. A simple tasty persillade to go with it as well. What more do you want on a warm summer's evening?

    • okcook on September 12, 2014

      A simple marinade. My steaks were marinated for 7 hours and they really picked up the flavours. This is a wonderful recipe for an uncomplicated dinner.

  • Leeks vinaigrette

    • fprincess on September 29, 2011

      Even though this is classic dish, I am not sold on this recipe. I guess if you like leeks a lot, this would be a good recipe. The sauce gribiche felt a little out of place to me. I'm more used to seeing a vinaigrette with leeks.

  • Les Halles fries

    • Smokeydoke on November 22, 2016

      Perfect frites! A bit labor intensive. Perfect served with the steak au poivre.

  • Mignons de porc a l'ail

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Excellent, go heavy on the garlic

  • Moules marinieres

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Dead easy, and ready in 15 minutes.

    • fprincess on March 08, 2013

      Can't get much easier than that. I call it French "fast food". Photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/?p=1911630

  • Mushroom soup

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Comes together very easily and yields a nice earth flavour complimented by the port.

    • fprincess on September 29, 2011

      I like this recipe because it's simple and flavorful, and requires very few ingredients. I am not exactly sure what the texture is supposed to look like in the end. In my version the mushrooms are not completely smooth in the end, there is are still small but distinguishable pieces.

  • Onglet gascon

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      This is super rich with the inclusion of bone marrow in the sauce. I use demi glace from d'Artagnan instead of stock.

    • fprincess on July 31, 2012

      In this recipe the hanger steak - one of my favorite cuts of beef, flavorful and a little livery - is served with a marrow bone. The rich sauce is obtained by deglazing the pan with white wine, reducing, adding stock and demi-glace, reducing further, adding the juices from the meat (which is resting at this point) together with plenty of butter and some Dijon mustard. The sauce sticks to your teeth and is pure umami. Note that I had run out of parsley so I used chives instead, but parsley would be my first choice. Picture here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/page__st__210__p__1886901#entry1886901

  • Onion soup Les Halles

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Classic onion soup recipe - absolutely perfect. I always keep inexpensive port wine from Trader Joe's on hand for this recipe. Aged gruyere can also be found at TJ.

    • fprincess on February 28, 2012

      If I am short on the chicken stock I use stock + water and a little bit of demi-glace. Works great! Pcitures here: http://egullet.org/p1868265

  • Palette de porc a la biere

    • owaint on November 22, 2010

      Really tasty but the crust is pointless, really doesn't add anything in terms of flavour. It is impossible to carve so don't even try, better served as pulled pork.

  • Pate de campagne

    • fprincess on October 26, 2010

      Some of the ingredients can be hard to source (pork liver, caul fat, etc) but it's well worth the effort.

  • Pommes fondants

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      The flavour is really nice but it was hard to get them in the right shape, and they took far longer to cook. Had to use quite a bit more chicken stock

  • Pommes puree

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Not exactly light but absolutely delicious.

  • Pot-au-feu

    • fprincess on May 16, 2011

      I would skip the cabbage and add extra carrots. Other than that, it is absolute perfection.

    • fprincess on June 22, 2011

      Also, it's probably a good idea to degrease the broth before serving it, otherwise it's quite greasy.

    • fprincess on October 04, 2011

      eGullet post with picture http://egullet.org/p1841212

  • Poulet basquaise

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Generally nice flavours and a relatively juicy chicken but far too much sauce with not enough flavour

    • Foodelf on March 12, 2013

      This was a terrific weeknight dish, easy and fast to prepare - the flavours were great. I found it worthwhile to reduce and cook down the ingredients and sauce as mentioned in the recipe - it resulted in a rich tomato, onion, pepper sauce that was ideal for the chicken. This recipe can be as spicy or mild as you prefer and I'd definitely be more generous with seasoning next time. It reheated well and I suspect it would be a pretty good candidate for freezing, too, but it doesn't look like I'll have enough left to test that.

  • Roasted chicken (Poulet roti)

    • Cheri on March 13, 2011

      Excellent. Roasted 6 lb. bird at 375 deg. convention for 1 hr 45 min. Sauce is good. Very moist and tender. Served with big salad and hearty hearth bread.

    • Cheri on March 31, 2011

      Made this again. This is the best roasted chicken recipe I have ever made.

    • fprincess on June 22, 2011

      I tried this recipe with some shortcuts (week night, I was trying to get dinner on the table fast) and used butter instead of herbed butter. The chicken was very tasty and the sauce a nice touch (I got rid of the fat in the roasting pan before making it although that was not specified in the recipe).

  • Red-wine vinaigrette

    • Delys77 on June 18, 2012

      Pg 256 Perfectily balanced vinaigrette. I would suggesty mincing the garlic with a bit of salt to really bring out the garlic flavour.

  • Rillettes

    • fprincess on October 26, 2010

      This is really easy to make and absolutely delicious.

  • Roasted veal short ribs

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      After testing a dozen different short rib recipes, this is THE one! I typically make it with beef (veal is very hard to source). It's extremely easy to make and the flavors are great. I get the sherry vinegar from Bristol Farms.

  • Salade d'onglet

    • Delys77 on June 18, 2012

      Pg 123 I scored this reciped a 4 out of 5 because it yields very interesting results, with a lovely interplay of asian ingredients such as soy and ginger, with the richness of French butter. I served the beef topped with the salad and it made for a lovely presentation. My only qualms are with the level of salt. He has you salt the dressing and the salad, the salad is quite salty, and then you salt the meat which has been marinated in soy. You finish by saucing the beef with the butter and soy sauce. There is just far too much salt in this reciped. I would omit the salting of the greens and cut the soy in the sauce back by about 25%. Also be very careful when salting the steak. With these modifications it will be even more of a winner.

  • Skate grenobloise

    • fprincess on July 29, 2011

      Made with halibut instead of skate (which I love but is really hard to find). Absolutely love this. Classic French cooking at its best. It's very flavorful and the croutons are a beautiful touch.

  • Soupe au pistou

    • VineTomato on April 23, 2017

      An all time favourite in our household.

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Very good don't go too heavy on the parmesan

  • Soupe au vin

    • fprincess on February 04, 2013

      Very nice, like a thinner version of the boeuf bourguignon sauce. One thing I will do next time will be to degrease the soup slightly as there was a lot of bacon fat. Photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/page__st__210__p__1908036#entry1908036

  • Steak au poivre

    • fprincess on September 29, 2011

      Wonderful as all the other steak recipes in that book. Very old school.

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Make sure you don't overheat the pan or the sauce will be burnt

    • Smokeydoke on December 27, 2016

      I've never had steak au poivre before, it is a very spicy dish! Much too spicy for me, I could barely swallow it with the mashed potatoes. But Mr. Smokey says this is how it is suppose to be. I made it again, but only added black pepper to the butter sauce per taste and it was wonderful, but it was hardly steak au poivre. I used Costco's Black Malabar Peppercorns which are very strong. Make sure to open all the windows and have the vents going. The dish is a stinker!

  • Tomato salad

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      Simple, classic, delicious and authentic.

    • fprincess on September 12, 2012

      Excellent tomato salad recipe but requires excellent tomatoes! The tomatoes are liberally pre-salted, peppered and degorged to concentrate the flavors. The salad bowl is rubbed with garlic. The version I made recently was the olive oil/balsamic vinegar/basil version of the dressing, but the olive oil/red wine vinegar/parsley version is also very good (and much more French). There is also a very thinly sliced red onion in there (red shallot for the French version). I love this so much I usually end up drinking the juices from the plate as a special treat once I have finished the salad... Photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/53228-les-halles-cookbook-by-anthony-bourdain/page__st__210__p__1890648#entry1890648

  • Vichyssoise

    • fprincess on August 02, 2011

      This is a good soup but I had some texture issues even though I used a stick blender. I need to give this recipe another try.

  • Whole roasted fish basquaise

    • fprincess on September 29, 2011

      This is a very pretty dish with the whole fish and the bell peppers.

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  • ISBN 10 158234180X
  • ISBN 13 9781582341804
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 15 2004
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publishers Text

In this long-awaited cookbook, Anthony Bourdain reveals the hearty, delicious recipes of Les Halles and the provocative tricks of the trade that have made him a celebrated name across the globe.

Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, Anthony Bourdain spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matches Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain gives us his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado.

So bring a sharp knife, a big appetite, and a willingness to learn, as Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you're being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix, and foie gras au pruneaux, you'll feel like he's in the kitchen beside you - reeling off a few insults when you've scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right.

As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook is a can't-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.

Advance praise for Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook:

"Don't be misled by Anthony Bourdain's witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fare. From the onion soup to the veal kidney to the gratin dauphinois, this is the honest, unpretentious, comforting, and abundant food I loved as a youth in France and am always ready to enjoy with my family and friends. Anthony has given us an instant classic." - Jacques Pépin

Praise for Anthony Bourdain:
"Bourdain's enthusiasm is so intense that it practically explodes off the page...Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country's best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy." - New York Times Book Review

"The kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your coworkers by declaiming whole passages." - USA Today

"Bourdain's prose is utterly riveting, swaggering with stylish machismo and a precise ear for kitchen patois." - New York Magazine

Anthony Bourdain is the author of A Cook's Tour and Kitchen Confidential, as well as the satirical thrillers Bone in the Throat, Gone Bamboo, and The Bobby Gold Stories, and the Urban Historical Typhoid Mary, all published by Bloomsbury. A twenty-eight-year veteran of professional kitchens, he is currently the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan. He lives in New York City.

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