cover image À Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way

À Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way

Rebekah Peppler. Chronicle, $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-79720-223-5

Food writer Peppler (Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way) returns with a breezy cookbook to help readers recreate “the elegant, sexy, sparkling charm that is a French evening.” She divides the work into three sections, covering before, during, and after dinner, leading off with a selection of aperitifs that offer twists on classics such as the 50/50 martini (made with equal parts gin and vermouth) and an amaro old fashioned, and small plates, notably a French take on Spanish pintxos that calls for, among other items, potato chips, anchovies, and sausage. Mains include French standard bearers—ratatouille, cassoulet, daube de bouef—as well as a “Bigger Bánh Mi” and a green shakshuka. Desserts run the gamut from an ice cream inspired by a discontinued Häagen Dazs flavor to “Sablés, But Not, Like, Regular Sablés, Cool Sablés.” Envy-inducing photographs of dinner scenes and cityscapes appear throughout, and Peppler’s easygoing tone goes a long way toward making it seem like pulling off a Parisian-inspired soirée might not be exactly effortless, but perhaps close to it (and well worth doing). As much a lifestyle guide as a culinary one, this is a no-brainer for Francophiles. (Apr.)