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More recipes from a French Kitchen
on 26 January 2006
Joanne Harris and Fran Warde serve up another delicious volume, taking their inspiration, this time, from the rural markets of Gascony.
Attractive hardboard covers open to 254 pages of semi-shiny pages with superb full-colour photography throughout - but - there are not many of the featured dishes, which may prove slightly negative for those who like to see what they are aiming for on the plate!
Having said that it is easy to forgive this, as there are a large number of on-location shots and featured ingredients which intersperse the text and remind us of rustic France.
Split over five chapters, with informative passages heading each:-
Soups & Savouries
Salads & Vegetables
Meat, Game & Poultry
sandwiched between an introduction and a comprehensive index, (including an alphabetical list of recipes by their French title with the English translation)... along with conversion tables.
Each chapter opens with relevant notes to the section.
Each recipe has the French title and an opening note, the preparation time and cooking time (if applicable), the number of servings, the list of ingredients and the method.
Sometimes there is more than one recipe to a page.
I was particularly impressed with the fish chapter of this imaginative book, which includes:-
Bouquet au Citron (Atlantic Prawns with Lemon/Lime) - taking a mere five minutes to prepare and five minutes to cook!
Daurade au Vin Blanc (John Dory in White Wine and Asparagus)
Maquereau à la Dijonnais (Mackerel with Leeks and Dijon Mustard)
Special mention to my favourite recipe:-
'Flétan a La Bordelaise' - Halibut in Red Bordeaux Wine.
This is an unusual way of cooking fish, full of depth and
flavour. Other varieties of fish can be used, such as salmon,
brill and cod, but halibut works perfectly, gently simmered in
herbs and wine.'
Familiar 'old faithfuls' are also featured, e.g. :-
Canard a L'orange
Pâté de Foie
Tarte Belle Hélène
Cassoulet (Toulousian version)
Terrine de Campagne