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Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites Of Delight Before the Meal Begins

May 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Culinary Artistry

Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites Of Delight Before the Meal Begins

  • ISBN13: 9780375507601
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!

Amuse-bouche (pronounced ah-myuz boosh) are today what hors d’oeuvres were to America in the 1950s: a relatively unknown feature of French culinary tradition that, once introduced, immediately became standard fare. Chefs at many fine restaurants offer guests an amuse-bouche, a bite-sized treat that excites the tongue and delights the eye, before the meal is served. Nobody does it better than the celebrated executive chef/partner of Chicago’s Tru, Rick Tramonto. Amuse-bouche are a fa-vorite of

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3 Responses to “Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites Of Delight Before the Meal Begins”
  1. fair_deal_guy "BB" says:
    80 of 82 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    What a dazzling way to start a meal, October 22, 2002
    fair_deal_guy “BB” (Prior Lake, MN USA) –

    This review is from: Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites Of Delight Before the Meal Begins (Hardcover)

    I expected the worst when I first bought this book. You know, the usual “just five minutes from raw ingredients to table” sort of promise that ends up being as hollow as a celery stalk. This book actually delivers on its rather bold premise. The recipes are technique-heavy, but ingredient light. If you have the items on hand (some are downright exotic), you have a poretty fair chance of getting these tasty openers in your guests’ mouths in very little time. This is not a cookbook for beginners, but if you are comfortable with fairly involved techniques, then you’ll have a GREAT time trying out these interesting and challenging recipes. A true must-have for the complete entertainer!

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  2. B. Marold "Bruce W. Marold" says:
    80 of 83 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Interesting, but lacks intensity, January 11, 2004
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites Of Delight Before the Meal Begins (Hardcover)

    I recieved this book as a gift, and so far have made the “Champagne Saffron Sorbet” which was expensive to make- it required a whole bottle of champagne for 1 quart of sorbet, but nonetheless it was the best sorbet I have ever had in my life. I also tried the “charred lamb with oven dried tomatoes” and the “fig with prosciutto and marscarpone foam”. I found the amuse juice section unique- the “pomegranate juice with clove” is painstaking but rewarding (juicing 7 pomegranates) and the “carrot juice with ginger syrup” was refreshing.

    The photography is beautiful, but the book requires some special equipment: a juicer, a terrine mold, an ice cream machine, and a foam charger. If you are a serious chef, as I am, you will enjoy this book immensely, although it is very focused, and is not going to produce a meal!

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  3. Anonymous says:
    111 of 118 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great book for professionals and serious foodies., May 27, 2005
    B. Marold “Bruce W. Marold” (Bethlehem, PA United States) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites Of Delight Before the Meal Begins (Hardcover)

    `amuse-bouche’ by Chicago Tru restaurant owner / chef Rick Tramonto is all about a newly trendy corner of French cuisine which arrive before the appetizer, are generally offered for free by the restaurant, and are `Little bites of food to amuse the mouth, invigorate the palate, whet the appetite…’ as stated by author.

    The value of this book is based largely on the fact that, to my knowledge, there is no other book on the subject available in English which even addresses this subject, let alone does it as well as Sr. Tramonto. The primary value of `amuse-bouche’ to the average amateur cook / entertainer is that it gives one the chance to present a small amount of relatively expensive ingredients such as caviar, truffles, foie gras, or sushi grade tuna in a dramatic setting. The dish has the added virtue of challenging the host’s ingenuity in presenting these `little bites’.

    The disadvantages are that for a single bite of food, these dishes can be a lot of work. As Tramonto prepares them, there is a relatively large amount of pureeing, straining, blanching, grinding, mixing, and reducing going on to distill the ingredients into a powerful taste which has but one chance to make an impression. Compare to this the utterly simple composition of many antipasti, often based on nothing more than a joining of bread or cured ham or olives or fruit or cheese with one another, possibly with the addition of olive oil, a tapenade, or a pesto. The problem lies in the fact that the flavors and the presentation of the amuse-bouche must be exceptionally strong and unusual. The great tripod of antipasto flavors of salty plus oily plus bitter just doesn’t cut it, if only because they are so familiar to experienced eaters already.

    For the professional chef, this book is probably one of the most interesting and useful they can get if they are interested in boosting the cachet of their restaurant. The book presents nine different types of dishes. These are:

    Soup. This is a type of bite where you get lots of bang for the effort you put into the preparation. On the one hand, almost all these soups are creamed, requiring lots of pureeing and straining, especially of ingredients that were not necessarily created to go easily through a strainer, such as the fibrous parts of asparagus. On the other hand, you get lots of economies of scale. With a single run through, you can make enough for eight or sixteen with the same effort as it takes to make one.

    Vegetables. These give more work per serving, as you have the job of creating both a sauce and a finely cut or grilled vegetable to lay on top of the sauce. Many are based on terrines which are easy for a trained chef, but which may be a bit much for the amateur.

    Pasta and Grain. The heavy lifting here comes from skills needed to pipe sauces into hollow pasta shapes. There almost seems like a special effort is being made to turn a frittata, a very easy dish, into something difficult, which, due to its small size, creates very few servings from a style of dish which is famous for creating easy tapas and antipastos.

    Fish and Seafood. This is probably a category where the strong tastes of the fresh ingredients will do most of the work for you. For most people, a single bite of raw tuna, nicely dressed for the evening, is about all they will want. But, even these get their share of aspics, flavored oils, and sauces, which are a breeze to whip up when you have a battalion of sous chefs.

    Meat and Poultry: The realm of forcemeats, mousses, foie gras, and cured hams. Many dishes familiar to fans of hors d’ourves everywhere.

    Forks and Spoons. More of a method of presentation than a class of ingredients. These recipes involve combining purees or soups with a spoon and long stringy things with a fork, or integrating the utensil into the presentation as the obvious means to eat the food.

    Juice. This may be the simplest variety, as all you really need is a good juicer, the primary fruit or vegetable, and the appropriate spices.

    Foam. This is the land of the famous Spanish chef Ferran Adria of Barcelona. Having never actually used a foamer, I have no idea how hard it is. I saw Masaharu Morimoto use one on `Iron Chef America’, but then he has probably done it a thousand times over, so he will make it look easy. I can tell from the recipes that in order to foam, you must first puree. No free lunch here!

    Sorbet. More specialized machines, as in order to create a decent sorbet, you need some kind of ice cream machine. Take my word for it, sticking sugary fruit juice in the freezer doesn’t do it!

    The last chapter contains basic pantry recipes for intermediate ingredients such as stocks and flavored oils or tuiles and crackers to build presentations.

    I generally put little value on photographs in a cookbook, but in this case,…

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