The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day

Wini Moranville. Harvard Common, $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-55832-749-8
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 Gougères 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, entrées, 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 meunière 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. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/17/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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