Here is authentic French cooking without fuss or fear. When we think of French cooking, we might picture a fine restaurant with a small army of chefs hovering over sauces for hours at a stretch, crafting elegant dishes with special utensils, hard-to-find ingredients, and architectural skill. But this kind of cooking bears little relationship to the way that real French families eat-yet they eat very well indeed. Now that the typical French woman (the bonne femme of the title) works outside the home like her American counterpart, the emphasis is on easy techniques, simple food, and speedy preparation, all done without sacrificing taste. In a voice that is at once grounded in the wisdom of classical French cooking, yet playful and lighthearted when it comes to the potential for relaxing and enjoying our everyday lives in the kitchen, Moranville offers 300 recipes that focus on simple, fresh ingredients prepared well. The Bonne Femme Cookbook is full of tips and tricks and shortcuts, lots of local color and insight into real French home kitchens, and above all, loads of really good food. It gives French cooking an accessible, friendly, and casual spin.
Like any good bonne femme, Wini Moranville begins with an aperitif and something to nibble on. The salty, tangy green olive and cheese spirals and puffy Goug res are incredibly addictive, especially when you ve already had a bubbly, refreshing French 75 cocktail or two. The following chapters move through the gamut of soups, salads, entr es, and desserts; all emphasize quality ingredients that allow basic recipes to attain a high degree of flavor. Simple tricks of the bonne femme, like using fresh tarragon to elevate a piece of chicken or Dijon mustard to spice up some scallops, will be welcomed by home cooks. French classics like bouillabaisse and poisson meuni re are well represented; however, Moranville also recognizes ethnic influences that have come to shape France s modern cuisine in dishes such as Moroccan-spiced chicken braise. This book is an enjoyable read. Each recipe comes with an inviting introduction and some brief anecdote or tip to get you excited about making the dish your own and living a small piece of la belle France.