French Recipes & Food Ideas
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A Simple Tip for Beautiful Soufflés
Culinary School: Week 10 (of 12 weeks) Last Week’s Diary: An Easier Way to Fill a Pastry Bag This week in culinary school we focused on mousse and soufflés. Both of these desserts originate in recipes that sound easy, but they are both very delicate. Turn your head for a moment and your pastry cream is scrambled or you’ve over-whipped your heavy cream. Attention to detail is paramount in classic pastry recipes, and small tricks make for a prettier, tastier dessert.
Sep 11, 2014
French Spice Mix: Quatre Epices
Whether or not you cook French food, the classic quatre épices (“four spices”) is an excellent blend to have in your repertoire. As we head into colder weather, try using this rich, savory seasoning with gingerbread, stews, charcuterie, and more. Despite its name, quatre épices may contain four or five (or more!) spices, most often white and/or black peppercorns, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Allspice or cinnamon may be included.
Oct 29, 2013
5 Tips for Hosting a Summer Crêpe Party
I have two extraordinary, culinary–minded friends who always invite me over for impromptu meals of homemade ricotta and roasted tomato galettes, a tasting of new cheese purchases, or lemon–caper berry egg salad on freshly baked bread and citrus cornmeal cake topped with creme fraiche. (You get the idea. I’m a lucky friend.) I had to put a stop to all of their hospitality and extend some of my own, with a big pile of fresh crêpes and fruity toppings bien sur.
Jun 6, 2012
The Misunderstood Prune: 10 Recipes, Sweet & Savory
Prunes need to revamp their image. Most people associate them with the elderly and the infirm, making them possibly the least sexy fruit ever, when in reality they are soft, sweet, deeply flavored — and dare we say sexy? Not only that, prunes are adaptable; they are as good served with duck as they are stewed with sweet port wine and spooned over cake. Prune lover or merely prune-curious? Check out the 10 recipes below!
Oct 20, 2011
Fall Breakfast Recipe: Coconut Gooseberry Clafoutis
Have you ever encountered the sparkling green or red gooseberry? Commonly found in many parts of the Eastern United States and England, I myself (based on the West coast) had never tried the sweet/sour little fruits. When I bought a can of them 6 months ago, I aimed to throw them into a summer pie or jam. Instead, my forgetfulness inspired this Fall recipe for a clafouti.Have you heard of this divine, rustic breakfast-meets-dessert treat?
Oct 19, 2011
Birthday Boeuf Bourguignon from Amanda Hesser
A good friend of mine had a baby, her second, on Mother’s Day. I don’t know about you, but I like to cook for people when they have babies. Is this a dying tradition? When I had my daughter, I assumed people would be bringing lots of food, but it wasn’t exactly a parade of casseroles. We ended up eating a lot of take-out. It shouldn’t be that way.
May 19, 2011
French Vintage: The Mouli Grater
The Mouli grater is a classic, old-school French kitchen tool. Its basic concept is a rotary grater that you turn with one hand whilst pressing the food to be grated (usually cheese) with the other using a hinged handle. The original model by Moulinex is no longer in production, although there are many new knock-off versions to be found in cookware shops. Or you could just pick up a lovely vintage model like the one above, either online or at your local flea market.
Oct 1, 2010
Blue-Footed Wonders: Poulet de Bresse
In Japan, we have kobe beefPoulet de bresse are protected under the French AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée). This means that only certain farmers in the Bresse region can raise these chickens and only following very specific guidelines. It also tends to mean that you’ll end up paying a fair amount for the privilege of eating it!We’ve never had the opportunity to try this chicken, but we’re extremely curious about it.
Sep 29, 2010
Boozy Parisian Desserts: Sweets With Pastis
We’re celebrating French WeekIf you’re not familiar with pastis, it’s a liquor immensely popular in Southern France comprised of star anise, peppercorns, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, licorice and a bit of sugar. Many people drink pastis for its incredible thirst-quenching properties and there are lengthy debates regarding the best way to serve it. We especially love the liquor because it’s celebrated as a national aperitif and before-meal drink.
Sep 28, 2010
A Recipe from Provence: Nougat de Montélimar
If you’ve ever traveled to the South of France or had the good fortune of trying the local confection Nougat de Montélimar you know that once you take a bite of that chewy bar filled with the heady taste of honey and the crunch of roasted pistachios and almonds, you’re hooked.In France there are 2 kinds of nougat: Nougat de Montélimar, which is on the softer side and white from being made with egg whites, and Nougatine, which is darker and made with caramelized sugar.
Jul 20, 2010
How To Make Sweet and Silky Crème Anglaise Sauce
We have to be very careful not to have leftovers whenever we make a batch of crème anglaise, otherwise we find ourselves sneaking spoonfuls whenever we pass the fridge. Also called English or stirred custard, this is a rich sweet sauce perfect for drizzling over fruit, a slice of warm cake, or heck, even pancakes!
Mar 11, 2010
Recipe Recommendation: Pipérade
A pipérade is a Basque dish made with tomatoes, peppers, Bayonne ham, and piment d’espeletteThis dish is very quick and versatile, and hearty. I think Aida Mollenkamp’s recipe here is closest to the most authentic style.
Oct 29, 2008
How To Prepare and Serve Raclette
Raclette is a firm, pungent cheese from Switzerland that is the center of a popular winter social event in the Alpine parts of Europe. The cheese is made of cow’s milk and is salty, and can come in variations made with wine, pepper, and herbs.The word “raclette” comes from the French word “to scrape.” Raclette makes up a simple meal that was enjoyed by shepherds in the fields.
Oct 2, 2008
Recipe Review: Baguettes from Local Breads by Daniel Leader
We had a free afternoon this past weekend and thought we’d try out the baguette recipe from Local Breads, Daniel Leader’s latest book on bread baking.Leader says that he didn’t include this recipe in his first book because he thought it was “too simple.” In putting together this book, he realized that “its accessibility accounts for its charm.”Well. We’ll see about that!
Jun 23, 2008
Recipe: How to Make Hollandaise Sauce
During the week, I’m often too busy to cook breakfast, but as the weekend approaches, I start making mental menus for Saturday and Sunday morning. Freshly brewed coffee, fruit salad, toast with jam, fresh-squeezed juices, frittatas, pancakes with maple syrup, crabcakes Benedict with hollandaise …Hollandaise is one of my most favorite sauces ever, and it is ridiculously easy to make.
Mar 7, 2008
Word of Mouth: Mirepoix
Mirepoix (mirh-pwah) noun. In French cooking, a mix of carrots, onions, and celery, usually finely diced, and used as the seasoning base for a meat dish or sauce.A mirepoix is often the only seasoning we use for a good pot of beans, like the one we posted yesterday. But when we looked for a post mentioning mirepoix to link back to – nada! Oops. Mirepoix is one of the foundations of the classical Western kitchen, and we rely on it heavily in our soups and stews.
Feb 26, 2008
Recipe: Fennel, Lemon and Garlic Confit
Confit is an old French word for a classic method of food preservation. It simply means food that has been slowly cooked in salt and oil for long-term preservation. Duck confit is a famous example, but vegetables – especially garlic – are often used. This version is an easy, hands-off recipe for a tart, flavorful confit of fennel, lemon, and garlic. It’s sweet and mellow with notes of bright bitterness from the lemon.
Aug 8, 2007
Brown Bag Lunch Recipe: Better Than Hellman’s Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a main part of many lunches: tuna salad, salad dressings, turkey sandwiches and more. British food writer Elizabeth David called mayonnaise “the beautiful shining golden ointment.” While I’ve made mayonnaise a few times, I’ll admit that for a potato salad or a smear on a sandwich, I’ve relied on Hellmann’s mayonnaise, known as Best Foods in the West.
Nov 16, 2006