on 9 November 2011
I have other French cookbooks, French Country Cooking and Elizabeth David, both of which I love, they are classics and great reference books.
French Brasserie feels somewhat more modern, lighter and simpler (and less calorific) than these classic French works. Daniel Galmiche has lifted and reworked many classic brasserie dishes to work well in the British home kitchen.
Containing 100 recipes, the book is divided into chapters featuring basics, meats, fish and shellfish, vegetarian, side dishes & salads and desserts. The majority of recipes have a full page photograph. The photos are bright clear and concentrate on the food without fussy styling. Most recipes have an introduction telling of Daniel's inspirations, memories of the dish and why some of the ingredients are used.
Recipes are unfussy, not needing specialist ingredients or equipment, although some are slow cooked the hands on time is quite short. My usual benchmark for how attainable is a recipe or book for the average home cook is to ask myself if my boyfriend could cook the dish without asking me a question, or taking that much longer than I would (or creating much more mess). Undoubtably he could make everything in the book easily.
Recipes that caught my eye are the pork steaks in a mustard and gherkin sauce below - cooked when a friend came for dinner. Delicious, the gherkins cut through the creamy sauce making it far less rich, I have made a variation on it several times. The fruit parcels in filo were also delicious, given a twist with star anise and black pepper.
I am looking forward to trying the cassoulet, duck rillettes and lime risotto.
Great for everyday suppers and for dinner parties. Daniel is also very helpful on Twitter when I could not decide where to start with the book.
This is one of those books that just works perfectly. It has been well thought out, and is therefore easy to use and follow. It begins with a detailed introduction about exactly what a brasserie is and the author's background. This is followed by a few basic technical terms explained. The opening chapter of the book then covers recipes for the basics (stocks, sauces and pastries mainly) that appear in some of the recipes later in the book and are useful to know anyway. Throughout the book there are double page explanations of various different aspects of French brasserie cooking, covering breads, charcuterie, fish & shellfish, wild mushrooms, herbs and cheeses. Not every recipe has a photograph, which could be a problem for some people, but it tends to be the simpler things that are not displayed. There is a good use of space; if it's easy to fit two simple recipes on one page, the book does so. All but the most simple recipes come with a bit of background information and explanation at the top of the page. Each recipe also gives a preparation time and cooking time.
I have enjoyed this book so far, having tried maybe about a third of the recipes. All of them are easy to follow for anyone with a little basic cooking skill and fortunately don't require exotic, hard to acquire ingredients that you sometimes get in books of this type. I would highly recommend this book.
The contents page looks like this:
The Basics 16
Meat, Poultry and Game 58
Fish & Shellfish 100
Vegetarian Dishes 130
Side Dishes & Salads 154
The full list of recipes:
Grand-Mère's Sweet Pastry
Sweet Short Crust Pastry
Savoury Short Crust Pastry
Leek & Potato Soup with Wild Mushrooms
Wild Garlic Soup
Pea & Pancetta Soup
Watercress & Potato Soup with Quail Egg Croûtons
Fish Soup with Saffron Mayonnaise
Onion Soup with Comté Cheese
Croque Monsieur with Ham & Comté Cheese
Leeks with Vinaigrette
Asparagus with Parsley Vinaigrette
Poached Egg with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce
Warm Crab with Tarragon Mayonnaise
Mackerel with Lime
Chicken Liver Terrine
Goat's Cheese Salad
Steak with Herb & Lemon Butter
Pan-Fried Calves' Liver with Capers, Parsley & Chervil
Roast Lamb with Mediterranean Vegetables & Sauce Vierge
Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine
Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Lavender
Sauerkraut with Pork
Pork Belly Confit with Apples
Pork Steaks with Mustard & Gherkin Sauce
Black Pudding with Pears
Chicken Casserole in Red Wine
Pan-Fried Chicken with Garden Vegetable & Pancetta Ragoût
Poached Chicken with Sauce Gribiche
Chargrilled Chicken Salad
Duck Confit with Lentils
Maman's Pot-Roasted Pheasant
Pan-Roasted Guinea Fowl with Truffles & Leek
Rabbit Casserole with Lemon & Garlic
Pan-Roasted Salmon Steaks with Lime & Coriander Mayonnaise
Dover Sole with Lemon & Parsley Butter
Fillets of Sea Bass with Caramelized Lemons
Sea Bass Baked in Sea Salt with Chicory & Orange Salad
Fillets of Sea Bream with Potato & Spring Onion Ragoût & Sauce Vierge
Pan-Fried Red Mullet with Thyme
Pan-Fried Fillets of Plaice with Butter & Almonds
Cod, Coriander, Tomato & Garlic Parcels
Roast Monkfish Fillet With Saffron-Scented Mussel & Clam Ragoût
Scallops with Curry % Herb Butter
Sautéed Tiger Prawns with Chilli & Garlic Butter
Moules Marinières with Lemongrass & Chilli
Tomato Tart with Goat's Cheese
Roquefort, Broccoli & Onion Quiche
Chanterelle Mushroom & Herb Omelette
Crêpes with Mushrooms & Tarragon
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Artichoke & Red Pepper Gratin with Goat's Cheese
Artichoke, Onion & Thyme Tart
Provençal Vegetable Gratin
Vegetable & Chickpea Couscous
Courgettes with Olive Oil & Thyme
Buttered Green Beans with Shallots
Peas with Pan-Fried Pancetta & Cos Lettuce
Braised Purple Artichokes with Lemongrass, Rocket & Parmesan
Frisée with Pancetta
Buttered Spinach with Lemon Zest
Sautéed Potatoes with Parsley & Garlic
Warm Crushed Potatoes with Coriander & Lime
Fondant Potatoes with Confit of Garlic
Potato Gratin with Aged Comté
Large French Fries with Sea Salt
Creamed Mashed Potatoes
New Potato Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Sherry Vinaigrette
Cucumber Salad with Dijon Mustard & Chives
Grated Carrot Salad with Chervil
Garden Tomato & Onion Salad
Fruit Parcels in Filo Pastry
Tarte Tatin with Rosemary & Toasted Almonds
Maman's Apple Tart
Summer Fruit Tart with Lime
Lemon Tart with Lime Zest
Orange Soufflé Pancakes
Coffee Crème Caramel
Bitter Chocolate Mousse with Orange Zest
Crème Brûlée with Raspberry Purée
on 10 October 2011
I have, like the other reviewers hundreds of cookbooks, yet only a few I actually cook from. This is so good, it now lives permanently in my kitchen.
I used to love cooking but since having children I have found it increasingly difficult to get the children to eat anything other than pizza and pasta. I struggle to eat healthily as I always end up eating the rubbish they like, as after a long day at work, I can't face cooking lots of different dishes.
I had totally lost my "cooking mojo" until I saw Daniel cooking the yummiest looking fish dish (Sea Bream in sauce vierge) on the "Saturday Kitchen", and liked his easy manner and helpful hints along the way. His cookbook writes the same way, just like he's in the kitchen with you.."boil the eggs with a few drops of vinegar as this will make them easier to shell later" and so on.
Really helpful, and also suggestions as to what would go with it in the way of veggies. There are great photos which really inspire you, yet the instructions are very easy, and always work. No last minute freak outs just as friends are to arrive for dinner.
I've made so many dishes from this book now, and there are 3 things for me that make this such a great book.
1) I can make dishes like Steak with herb and lemon butter, or pork steaks with mustard sauce, and simply leave the children's plain and unadorned. (If I'm feeling brave I may put some sauce in a little ramekin dish on the side of their plate for them to nervously try, like I'm feeding them some toxic substance)
2) I can make practically all the dishes just with huge mounds of steamed veg on the side for me (low carb), and full fat mashed potatoes for them, and
3) they are classic french dishes, only tweaked slightly so not swimming in butter, delicious yet not ridiculously calorific, so no more lardy mummy!
I am truly very grateful for this book, I feel better about cooking again, my 'kiddie' food depression has lifted. Thank you Daniel, very much indeed.
on 15 September 2011
Then buy this one.
I was fed up with boring recipe books which show traditional UK dishes but with a 'twist' or a secret to make it 'extra tasty'. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.
A friend recommended this book to me and I was not disappointed. It gives a variety of recipes that come from different regions in France. A type of cooking that I was not familiar with before but now definitely excites me.
The recipes are full of flavour, simple to follow and make you feel great when serving your creations to guests.
If anyone ever needed an excuse to host a dinner party, then this book gives you one. Buy it, cook a different style of food and impress your friends and family.
It is certainly not 'just another' cook book and it takes pride of place in our Kitchen.
This is a mini-haute cuisine primer that gives you the basics for some classic french cooking. Anyone who has fond memories of France over the last 50 years or so will be attracted to the idea of this book and the recipes it contains along with a nostalgia for something that is pretty much lost in the modern day. The recipes are good; several reviewers make mention of the pork in mustard and cornichon (gherkin) sauce which has a mouth-watering picture of the dish, but there are many more winners in this 1st class recipe book. I teach professional cookery and have bought this book as a resource for young cookery students to learn the fundamentals of good cuisine and what a good dish looks like on the plate, but this is a book about home-cooking as much as it is about cooking for the public; the kind of cooking the family ate and shared with their customers deep in rural France. It's modern, perhaps less hearty than country cooking used to be, but a great book to work from.
on 7 March 2013
I wanted to start cooking something other than Chicken and rice, or various other training meals - So I purchased 'French brasserie cookbook' as my first forray into the culinary world proper.
Firstly, the book itself is of excellent quality - Thick, textured cover, glossy pages and high quality images. My only complaint here is that there aren't images for all the dishes in the book, which almost makes them less desirable to prepare.
The book starts off with the basics of making stock, sauces, vinagrettes etc., that are referred to in some of the dishes. The instructions could be a little more comprehensive in places perhaps indicating common mistakes and how to rectify, but generally the recipes are very easy to follow. The selection of dishes was okay, though I would have liked to see a few more. Another point which I felt could have improved the book was including how each recipe differed from it's traditional version - it would be great to have a go at some really authentic French dishes!
All in all, I got exactly what I wanted from this book - an introduction to cooking famous French dishes. I would highly recommend this book for the beginner, but I get the feeling it may be a little simplistic for people who can already cook to a decent standard!
on 9 February 2014
I enjoy flipping through any recipe book, but this one is an especially good read with it’s informative wordy bits and easily achievable recipes. Brasserie cooking is probably the best style/type of French cooking to try in the home, as it is not tricky or pretentious, but is wholesome and comforting.
This book covers all the basics like stocks, vinaigrettes, mayonnaise, dressings and the various types of pastry. It is illustrated with great photos and as well as finding all the usual French regional delights: Ratatouille, Tarte Tatin (although I did like the twist of rosemary and almonds), Clafoutis, Crêpes, Bouillabaisse, Cassoulet and Beef Bourguignon, there are also some more unusual recipes; Lime risotto, Vegetable and Chickpea couscous and one of our favourites, a delicious wild garlic soup. The Terrine de Porc recipe came in particularly handy when bought half a pig from a local farm and found ourselves with liver and belly fat that we were unsure what to do with. Daniel's terrine recipe was easy to follow and a great success, looking and tasting fantastic.
on 29 September 2013
This book is one of the best French cook books on the market from the master of French Brasserie cooking. The book is very well structured and the chapters cover every section of the menu from starters through to tasty deserts. It has a great section on the basics that covers pastry, sauces, stocks and custards.
As a seasoned traveller and regular visitor to France this book has everything I like about French cooking, simple tasty food that packs a punch. There are great recipe's written in simple language that make the dishes easy to understand and prepare.
From French favourites such as Cassoulet & Tarte Tatin to Bouillabaisse and Duck Confit with lentils, this book is all you will need to bring a little bit of France to your kitchen table.
on 20 October 2013
My heart sank somewhat when I first opened this book, to a careful explanation that what Galmiche had just described 'is called a sauce bechamel'. Having got to grips with 'sauce bechamel' more than thirty five years ago, I thought I was probably in the wrong place. But I gave a couple of things a try, anyway....and discovered how good Mr Galmiche in fact is. The recipes are completely reliable, and peppered with good tips, new even to somebody who has been cooking for quite a few decades. Bass in Salt was a revelation, and his frequent use of lime when cooking fruit - to very good effect - is an excellent discovery. I highly recommend this, as a great new all-rounder.
on 14 September 2011
I am an avid collector of cookery books, love eating good food but am a terrible cook and have very little patience in the kitchen... I've always been put off attempting French food before as it usually seems to involve long complicated instructions with lots of cream, flour and bain maries (all of which scare me rigid in a recipe) However with this book I can not only follow the recipes easily but have actually managed to make a couple of dishes with an unusual degree of success!! The beef bourguignon was gorgeous and so was the pan fried calves liver with capers, parsley and chervil (I live in a flat and went out and bought a herb planter at the weekend inspired by the recipes in the book - I've never used chervil before) There are also some fabulous vegetarian recipes which I was surprised to find as I'd always thought 'vegetarian' was a dirty word in France. The book looks good too, quite a classy exterior and lots of glossy photos inside, with some nice commentary and tips by Daniel alongside the recipes (which aren't 'fancy' French but what I would imagine good French home cooking is like) Would make a great gift but you'll want to keep it for yourself!