Authentic French cooking isn’t as fussy as the four-course fine-dining restaurants would have you believe. With its rustic roots, focus on seasonal ingredients, and one-pot ethos, these classic French meals can easily be incorporated into your weekly repertoire.
Enjoy this as an appetizer, or add a side of French fries for an entree. Either way, make sure you have a baguette handy for sopping up the sauce!
Buy live mussels and discard any that are already opened. Scrub them under cold water, and remove any beards.
Sweat diced onion or shallot in a wide pan, then add minced garlic (add thinly-sliced fennel to the sauté for an extra flavor dimension). Add a cup of dry white wine, bring to a boil, then add the mussels. Cover and steam for 2-3 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened (discard any that don’t).
A quiche is an egg custard in a simple pie crust, suspending your favorite ingredients. Popular combinations include potato-leek, bacon-gruyere, and asparagus-herb. Avoid adding too many to one quiche. The key is simplicity.
Either make or buy a pie crust, then layer in your filling. Make a simple custard (2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 1 ½ cups of half and half), and fill the pie shell. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Let cool. Slice and serve with a tender green salad.
A hearty stew of pork, sausage, duck and white beans, Cassoulet is as comforting as it gets. Best part: it actually tastes better after a day or two in the fridge. So make this on Sunday for a go-to weeknight meal when all you have time to do is reheat.
Brown the meat in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, and remove. Sautee onions and garlic until soft, add soaked white beans, a can of crushed tomatoes with their juice, and fresh herbs. Put the meat back in the pot, add enough water or stock to barely cover, and bake in a 350 oven for 1 ½ hours.