View Full Version : Fun with Larousse Gastronimique

08-18-2012, 11:53 AM
L.G. is my absolute favorite cookbook/guide of all time. If you don't own at least one, you probably should. I always try to snatch up the older versions/printings when I'm at a used bookstore, and usually end up gifting them to my chef friends. The older versions include preperations for rat, donkey, dog and some other various and strange creatures.
Anyway, a while back I was in the habit of randomly scanning through Larousse and preparing whichever dish my finger landed on, but haven't tried in a long time. Time to get back on the horse(not horsemeat, but I'm assurred it's tasty) and continue this fun. I'll begin to catalog, photograph and do reviews. Might be at least a week before I get started, but will definitely share.
I challenge some of you to do the same. Would be cool if Steeley dug up some random Larousse pics and facts too.
Do you love Larousse Gastronimique too?

Cutty Sharp
08-18-2012, 12:05 PM
I do, and it's prob my fav too. And if you can actually 'randomly scan through Larousse and prepare whichever dish my finger landed on, but haven't tried in a long time' then you must have been cooking with it for a few decades. Wow!

"The older versions include preperations for rat, donkey, dog and some other various and strange creatures."

I didn't know this. I've just got the 2001 version.

08-18-2012, 12:13 PM
I do, and it's prob my fav too. And if you can actually 'randomly scan through Larousse and prepare whichever dish my finger landed on, but haven't tried in a long time' then you must have been cooking with it for a few decades.

A couple decades, but let me add that I'll try to cook anything within reason! Some Larousse entries are outrageous, and I'm not going to be cooking my dog up anytime soon.......................unless the Zombie Apocalypse happens.

08-18-2012, 02:17 PM
I love the book Knyfe. I have an original 1961 first English edition, and the 2001 Boxed edition. I'll join you in the random page game, and try to post pics here!

08-18-2012, 11:53 PM
I just got a copy for my birthday, haven't gotten too deep into it yet, just some browsing here and there.

08-21-2012, 10:58 PM
Every one really interested in cooking should have a Larousse. Not really a cook book but an awesome volume of information. There's always some thing more to learn.


08-23-2012, 08:28 PM
Supremes de Volaille Ambassadeur

Tonight I had a couple chix breasts to use for dinner, so I adapted this recipe from Larousse using the ingredients I had at hand. Keep in mind that a lot of the things in this dish are things my wife will not eat. Things like mushrooms and truffles which I happen to love.
So, a supreme should be an "airline" breast seared in butter. It should be atop some croutons fried in butter and surrounded by mushrooms and truffles, and lightly topped with supreme sauce(chix veloute).It is also traditionally served with buttered asparagus.
I used tomatos and onions instead of truffles and mushrooms and a boneless breast instead of an airline. I also subbed english peas for asparagus.

It was pretty good. Super-rich. It tasted "old school" and I feel as though it took at least a couple of years off of my life-and I scaled back the butter content significantly!
My wife loved it and she is happy, isn't that all that really matters???

Cutty Sharp
08-23-2012, 08:39 PM
Looks good, but why such concern over butter? :dontknow: Your wife won't eat mushrooms? Good heavens!

08-23-2012, 09:06 PM
that looks great!

08-24-2012, 01:37 AM
Larousse Gastronomique was first printed in 1938

During the First World War (1914 – 1918) Chef Prosper Montagné organises the central kitchens of the French army and also sets up the famous ‘Ecole des Cuistots’ (Cooks School). With endless enthusiasm he takes it upon himself to take his teachings and thoughts to the four corners of the country and to lecture to very enthusiastic audiences.

Then in 1920, on the corner of Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the Rue de l'Echelle, Chef Montagne, he opens an establishment whose signage carries its new title, simply: ‘Montagné, delicatessen’. It is immediately a hit and in his crisp, white chef’s jacket, the master officiates in front of his customers and prepares the most exquisite dishes for them. But despite its seeming success, the business world was not in his veins and probably due to poor management it is forced to close. He leaves it as poor as when he started it.

He retires to Sevres, to again pick up the pen and publishes ‘La Grande Livre de Cuisine’ in 1929 which he collaborates on with Pierre Salles. It is a clearly a titanic task; where this well read man with his vast professional knowledge continues to share on each page his unquestionably wealth of all things gastronomic.

Prosper Montagné, in his last years, was called in as a quality technical adviser by Mr. André, the director/owner of the Restaurant de la Reine Pédauque. Where he was again able to work in front of the customers as it had formerly done in his own establishment.

The Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur of the Legion of Honour; Chef Prosper Montagné passed away in Sevres, France on April 22nd, 1948 at the age of 83. Carrying with him forever the high regard of his peers and the thoughts of his many pupils, apprentices and friends.
Amongst his written culinary works are:

1900 - 'La Grande Cuisine Illustrée’ (The Great Kitchen Illustrated) with Prosper Salles; his first venture into culinary written work
1913 – ‘la Cuisine Fine’ (The Fine Kitchen)
1929 - ‘La Festin Occitan’
1929 – ‘Grand Livre de la Cuisine’ (The ‘Large Book of the Kitchen’)
1941 - ‘Cuisine avec et sans ticket’

The ‘Larousse Gastronomique’ has gone through many editions and revisions in its time. Something I am in two minds about:
On one hand it is great to have a book that is updated and includes modern information on ingredients etc On the other hand should a classic like this be altered?

Montagne’s Larousse Gastronomique, published in 1938 with a preface by Escoffier and gold flames licking embossed spit-roasting chickens on its dark-green cover.

Inside, its simple A-to-Z format contains the entire world of French cuisine, including six pages on butter. Even a cursory read makes one thing obvious: Little that appears on trendy 21st-century menus, from cardoons to beef cheeks.

08-24-2012, 01:41 AM

First English translation 1961 .



08-24-2012, 01:47 AM
Chef Prosper Montagne.

there is a elite dining club named for him.


Keith Neal
08-24-2012, 05:26 AM
When you go to Larousse Gastronomique on Amazon, it has the usual "click to look inside" offer, but in this case virtually the entire book is there. You can read or look up something easily.

08-24-2012, 07:29 AM
I culinary school I dragged that book around just for giggles. Chef would do the random "stab" and that was the supprise menu item. Sometimes it even came out as intended :p I also have the 2001 ed.

08-25-2012, 06:58 AM
Oiseaux sans Tete

-Literally translates to "Bird without a head". Though I have no idea why it's named this, maybe it does kind of resemble a dead headless bird when it comes out of the oven.
This is small filets of beef or veal pounded thin, stuffed with some type of stuffing(usually breadcrumbs soaked in milk with bacon) rolled up and tied with butcher's twine. This is then cooked in the oven with a little beef stock. It is traditionally served with mashed potatoes and a sauce made from the reserved cooking liquid/stock thickened with roux.
Today I found a couple petite sirloins on the cheap for my meat. I made my stuffing with bacon, onion, garlic, a little celery and just a sprinkle of panko to soak up the excess bacon grease. Tonight I did white rice instead of potatoes(time saver) and some julienned carrots for some veg.
The meal was pretty good. The flavor of the stuffing really permeates the rest of the dish. However, the beef "rolls" or "headless birds" really look like dog turds before they are sliced. How do you say "dog log" in french ???

Cutty Sharp
08-25-2012, 12:34 PM
Good choice! Jeez, my mum would cook like this all the time.

Did a little research: It's also known as 'L’oiseau sans tête' (which makes more sense as oiseou is singular, and oiseux plural for 'birds') and one good way of putting it is that the dish is no more a headless bird than a hot dog is a heated hound, although the name still succeeds in scaring children. It's actually considered a Belgian dish (no wonder my family likes similar stuff) and the French name traces back French Belgium and to Flemish and farther back to Dutch and a butcher from Amsterdam, and relates to an old dish called Blinde Vink or 'blind finch' possibly because of some similarity in appearance to roasted birds (they kept birds in those days that were blinded to prevent them from being distracted from singing). The dish can also be made with beef, lamb, veal or chicken, apparently, and you're supposed to have it with beer (the same used in cooking) or red wine.

Apparently, these days you don't actually cook it yourself; you buy it ready to cook from the butcher.

08-25-2012, 08:47 PM
:chef:CUTTY nice post I eat this stuff up .

No seriously can i get a bite.

08-25-2012, 09:29 PM
I was doing some random thought ideas and I'm looking for a way to make it work. Random # generater and a quartering bit so I can get a random page and a page quarter to pick random recipe :)

09-08-2012, 01:32 PM
Ballottine Time
These are a couple ballottines I did recently. Not very traditional, but still delicious. Both are chicken. And yes, the Pepin video is the way to go.[http://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/Food/IMG_4651.jpg
This one is stuffed with quinoa pilaf. That's my 300mm Tojiro yanagi with Mike Henry turd handle.http://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/Food/IMG_4113.jpghttp://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj640/landon_chris/Food/IMG_4117.jpg
This one is stuffed with sausage, ricotta and some herbs. That's my 300mm Yoshihiro Tako.
I'm probably going to do another one this week. Any requests for the stufffing?

Cutty Sharp
09-08-2012, 02:25 PM
Nice knife, the food and bread look great, but maybe just not the plastic plates! :tongue:

:chef:CUTTY nice post I eat this stuff up.

Thanks, Steeley. Yes, I've noticed your great historical photos so I'm not surprised! ;) Me, I'm always interested to hear about food history. Larousse or the Oxford Companion to Food are brilliant for this stuff. In fact, I was surprised the OCTF wasn't also mentioned before - Larousse still very French and the Oxford Companion eccentric and British. Alan Davidson's a former British diplomat and was Ambassador to Tunisia, and so I'm chuffed to say I used to play soccer beside and have visited his former house. :groucho:

09-08-2012, 02:54 PM
Nice knife, the food and bread look great, but maybe just not the plastic plates! :
O, those are for my kids.

Cutty Sharp
09-08-2012, 03:01 PM
The KNIFE?!! :bigeek:

Hehe - yes, sure, definitely looks like a family-sized amount of food.

09-08-2012, 04:24 PM
We call those KKF chickens around here! Nice looking ones, too!
One of my last ones was stuffed with chicken forcemeat, I did the two knife chop the sh!t out of the meat routine. It worked out really well.

09-08-2012, 07:32 PM
classic french food with high end j knives yup sounds about right