cover image French from the Market

French from the Market

Hillary Davis. Gibbs Smith, $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4236-6488-8

In this quick and approachable collection, Davis (French Comfort Food) draws on her 13 years in Paris and the South of France to present easy and affordable French home cooking. Her casual approach relies on shortcuts, such as a store-bought crust for fluffy cauliflower and cheese quiche, premade crepes for “last-minute” grand marnier crepes suzette, and Laughing Cow cheese to lend creaminess to Laughing Cow zucchini soup. Classic “haute cuisine” dishes are abridged and made less intimidating, including instant pot beef bourguignon, easy whole duck a l’orange (which still requires an overnight marinade), and coq au vin reimagined as a quick chicken bake with a stove-top wine sauce. Though traditionalists may balk, there’s no denying Davis’s efficiency. Her encouraging instructions make even more complex dishes seem simple, including the festive salad dubbed “A Wreath You Can Eat” and ingenious “beef on a string with horseradish sauce.” Other quick takes include a one-pot salmon in parchment with capers and lemon and weeknight halibut in basil cream. This accessible approach to everyday French fare will appeal to cooks at all skill levels. (Mar.)