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Anchovy braised vegetable medley, Provençal style aubergine, courgette and mushrooms gently cooked in anchovy sauce with garlic and a touch of lemon.
Rustic apple galette with shortcrust pastry base and sliced raw apple filling. No blind baking, no precooking apples – and no soggy bottom!
Apricot frangipane tart, fresh apricots on a frangipane layer, with Italian shortcrust pastry base. There are three recipes in this one. The tart base is made from pasta frôlla, the Italian equivalent to sable or shortcrust; not really very different but less flaky and crumbly than their Anglo-French brothers
Autumn vegetable tian, a cheesy bake of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and other root vegetables, easily made ahead.
Baguettes made with white French type 55 flour, cold fermented overnight. The best thing for me about holidays in France is going to a boulangerie to get fresh baguettes, coming back proudly brandishing the crusty sticks, pretending I’m a proper French person.
Basic sourdough bread made with ‘old dough’ or pâte fermentée. This method uses a reserved chunk of dough instead of a starter and it makes for a tasty, long lasting, flavoursome new sourdough loaf.
Beetroot leaf tart is a great way to use beetroot leaves. Never throw them away! Beet greens are nutritious and delicious, small young ones on baby beetroot can be used raw in salads.
Victorian Savoy cake, or biscuit de savoie, is the lightest butterless sponge cake. Fuller taste than angel food, more forgiving than genoise and far more sophisticated than Victoria sponge.
My take on French veal casserole, blanquette de veau a.k.a. blanket de veau in my house. With dried wild mushrooms and lots of cream, it's deliciously rich.
Blueberry cornmeal shortbread tart from Alison Roman, slightly tweaked, is the best pie/tart/cobbler for the summer season. No soggy bottom!
Buttery and barely sweet brioche, home baked breakfast fit for a king. Paper-thin glossy crust and the softest, meltiest crumb hiding inside, waiting only for a lick of good jam.
Yule log, or buche de Noel made with chocolate sponge and chocolate whipped cream filling. This is DEFINITELY the best dessert on Christmas day. It rides onto the table when everyone is in deep gluttonous stupor after third helpings of turkey and just one more last spoonful of stuffing, and suddenly they perk up mumbling ‘this is a bit of all right’ and ‘I might have room for the thinnest slice more’.
Galettes au sarrasin, buckwheat crêpes, with a classic topping of ham, cheese and an egg. The type of pancakes best suited to savoury toppings, galettes from Brittany are healthy and easy to make.
Camembert en croute: baked Camembert wrapped in homemade shortcrust pastry. A divine cheese parcel in cornmeal shortcrust with Cheddar and thyme. Who doesn't love baked cheese?
Caramelised leek and Cheddar tart on shortcrust pastry, homemade or shop bought, is a fabulous, easy dish, as good to serve warm as it is cold.
Caraway and parmesan pain de mie - soft crusted sandwich loaf with fantastic flavour. Pain de mie means a soft crust loaf, ideal for sandwiches, and it’s traditionally baked in a loaf tin closed with a lid.
Cassoulet - the ultimate comfort dish, with duck and pork. Pork belly provided the fat, a little bacon a little smokiness; and I sprinkled breadcrumbs over the casserole as well as the serving bowls.
Celeriac, carrot and apple remoulade with creme fraiche and wholegrain mustard dressing is a seasonal winter salad and a great side dish for seafood.
Cheese and mushroom omelette is a quick and easy breakfast or lunch dish. Beat the eggs well and work quickly for a perfectly fluffy omelette.
The best cheese fondue, smooth as velvet and comforting as a blanket. This tastes absolutely fantastic. And so it should – it’s Heston’s recipe from the book ‘Heston Blumenthal at home’.
Cherry chocolate bread, sourdough based brioche filled with a mix of white chocolate chips, glace cherries and almond flakes. It's easy to make with yeast instead, and the perfect weekend breakfast idea.
Cherry cream dacquoise is an exquisite gateau which is far easier to make than you’d think. Almond meringue dacquoise layers filled with fresh cream and homemade candied cherries – a riff on black forest gateau.
Chunky ratatouille with chicken pieces, a perfect wholesome and easy one-pot meat-and-veg dish braised in the oven. And it’s just as nice on the following day!
Wholemeal cider bread with chunks of apples. They allegedly came up with this bread in Normandy but I think anyone could do it: just have a drop of cider (or calvados) and decide you’ll chuck all those apples into the bread do, for a prank.
Cote de boeuf is a rib-eye steak on the bone, also known as tomahawk steak. This is a simple recipe for a sparingly seasoned, seared and roasted cote de boeuf, ideal for sharing.
Croissants made with overnight proving dough laminated with butter. If you’re lucky enough to be living in France you get them from your boulangerie, but actually there's nothing like the homemade thing in terms of flavour. Is it difficult?
Recipe for croquants aux amandes, French almond cookies. ‘Croquant’ means ‘crunchy’ and these biscuits are wonderfully brittle, softening a little though as they keep. Hazelnut croquants are just as lovely.
Financier biscuits, French mini almond cakes made with brown butter are deliciously moist, light and tender, a little like madeleines and really easy to make.
Fish with mushroom gratin: haddock, turbot or sole fillets baked au gratin, covered with delicious mushroom sauce topped with crisp breadcrumbs.
Flutes, similar to baguettes but not as crusty and a bit richer, are made of soft and chewy dough generously flavoured with sage and Parmesan.
Carrots fondant are carrots cooked in a water and butter emulsion, with carraway and cinnamon. Similar to carrots Vichy, except my recipe is all about lots of butter!
Celeriac fondant makes a great side dish. Recipes featuring celeriac are usually for mash or puree, but dicing the celeriac root and cooking it in butter brings out the great flavour.
Fougasse with grated Emmental cheese, chewy and crispy French flatbread, the cousin of Italian focaccia. Make it with sourdough starter or bakers’ yeast – equally delicious and not at all difficult.
Fougasse au Roquefort - flat bread with blue cheese, quite like focaccia. Fougasse can be salé or sucré, with lardons, olives, both, Roquefort – or covered with a thick layer of crisp, almost caramelised sugar. All strictly Provençal.
Fragrant fish stew with mixed fish chunks and seared scallops, crunchy vegetables and herbs. Easy, healthy and incredibly tasty.
Pain the campagne, sourdough bread made with wheat starter. Sourdough starter I find fickle – I know it can live for ever, only refreshed every now and then, but my best results have been with fresh, four days old leaven so that’s the approach I suggest here. Veteran sourdough makers though – please use whatever wheat starter you have on the go.
Galette des rois, an elegant treat for the night of Epiphany, or any other time during the twelve days of Christmas. There are some lovely traditions associated with the galette: a ‘fève’ is hidden inside the cake - a tiny china figurine or an almond - and the lucky person to find it (and not choke on it) is crowned a king or queen for the carnival.
Gâteau Basque is a traditional pastry from the Basque region of France. Basque cake is a rich, buttery tart, plain or filled with cherries, prunes or pastry cream.
Genoise sponge cake with mascarpone and blueberry filling. The celebration gateau that is all about class, simplicity and sophistication. No wonder - genoise is after all the classic sponge recipe of the French patisserie.
Dover sole is the best grilled. On the bone but skinned, served with plenty of caper and lemon butter - follow this recipe to fish dish perfection.
Mokonuts-style jewelled cookies with chopped pistachios, dried apricots, cherries and dates. So tasty you’ll want to visit the Paris bakery instantly. Or make double the amount.
Andalusia, lemon and chocolate torte is the ultimate chocolate experience. A challenging, but possible to replicate Parisian confection from La Maison Du Chocolat.
Authentic French almond macarons with dark chocolate ganache and lemon curd filling – the most exquisite dessert you can possibly make.
Classic French madeleines, buttery and melting. The cookie is lovely – and don’t listen to the evil people who tell you it’s all right to make madeleines with whole eggs.
Crusty and chewy French dimple rolls with whole grains and malted wheat flakes. A recently refreshed sourdough starter, malted flakes or powder, some whole grains and a dimple.
Mini gateaux bretons, individual breton butter cakes with jam filling. Breton butter cakes are the wonderfully buttery, shortbread-like cakes from Brittany.
Mokonuts’ cranberry, chocolate and rye cookies are a revelation. If you thought you knew all there was to know about cookies – you were wrong.
Ottolenghi inspired fondue filo pie, with butternut squash swapped for mushrooms. It’s a combo of Savoyarde raclette experience and a Greek or Middle Eastern filo pastry, and it’s excellent.
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