A small gastronomic section to initiate you to the French culinary art.
Here you find some of the most known recipes of the French tradition that will reveal you the secrets of one of the more refined and elegant cooking in the world.
The French recipes are characterized by a great variety and many sauces that emphasize the taste of delicious meals.
From regional recipes to the so-called "haute cuisine", the gastronomic French art mixes together creativity and imagination to create delicious plates.
Here you find some examples of French recipes.
Mousse of chocolate

Ingredients for 4 persons

- 225 gr [8 oz] plain bitter chocolate
- 30 gr [1 oz] butter (unsalted)
- 45 gr [11/2 oz] sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbspoons sour cream
- 3 Tbspoons Cointreau (or any orange
type liquor)

1- Separate the egg yolks from white. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the yolks and the sugar until the mixture gets clearer and smooth.

2- Cut the chocolate and butter in small squares and put them in a small heavy saucepan with 2 spoons of Cointreau and 2 spoons of water. Melt the whole over a low heat, stirring non stop with a wooden spoon until smooth. The chocolate must not stick to the pan.

3- Pour the melted chocolate in the egg and sugar mixture and stir ; add the left spoon of liquor, mix, add the cream and stir.
4- Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. They must get "hard" (the real test is to turn the bowl upside down and the whites should not fall down !!!).

5- Spoon by spoon (quarter by quarter) , gently incorporate the egg whites to the chocolate mixture; you can do it simply with a whisk (you just need to do quick and light moves, you must not "break" the bubbles kept in the whites).

6- Evenly pour the mousse in the 4 soufflé dishes (you can as well use 6 to 8 ramequins to serve more guests). Leave in fridge for at least 3 hours before serving (the mousse should get "hard"). Decorate with orange strips, a teaspoon of sour cream or coffee beans...

Source: French Food and Cook
Onion soup

Ingredients for 4 persons:
-250 gr [1/2 lb] brown onions
- 80 gr [3 oz] swiss cheese
- 30 gr [1 oz] butter
- 3 spoons olive oil
- 1 glass white wine (ar.100 ml)
- 1 Tbspoon plain flour
- 4 slices toasted farmhouse bread
- salt & pepper

1-Pre-heat oven on grill position ; grate the cheese.

2- Melt butter & oil in a large thick saucepan, medium flame, and brown the onions for about 5 minutes.

3- When they are softer, sprinkle the flour on them and stir until blended. Let it on fire for 5 more minutes then pour the wine and the warm water (around 1 liter / 2 pints). Add salt & pepper and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes reducing flame.

4- Pour the soup evenly in the soup tureens and float the toasts in each. Top with the grated cheese.

5- Let it melt and brown in the oven for a few minutes and serve right away.

TRICK : you can prepare steps 2-3 several hours ahead and just finish steps 1-4-5 after re-heating at the very last minute...

Source: French Food and Cook

Magret de canard (duck breast)

Ingredients for 6 persons:
- 2 pretty large duck breasts
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper

1.Notch the breast meat on the side of the skin, so that it will lose a maximum of fat while being cooked. Heat a large non-sticky pan and place the meat with the skin down, while keeping the heat high. Remove fat occasionally. Fry for 5 minutes. Turn them on the other side, lower the heat and cook also for 5 minutes. They have to remain rare.

2.Keep the meat warm covered with tin foil in oven at 120°.

3.During this time, deglaze the pan with vinegar and honey. Reduce to obtain a fine honey sauce. Check how seasoned it is.

Source: Bonjour la France

Tarte Tatin
Ingredients for 4 persons:

- 100 grams / 4 oz of butter
- 100 grams / 4 oz of white sugar
- 6 large apples
- fresh lemon juice
- 1 sheet of flaky or puff pastry (pre-rolled)


1. The pan you choose for Tarte Tatin is important as it must be able to withstand cooking on a stove top and in the very hot oven with extremely hot caramelizing sugar. A heavy bottomed seasoned cast-iron pan is preferable.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 390°F or gas mark 5. Measure your pan and cut your pastry sheet into a round disc to fit as a lid. Cover the pastry so it doesn't dry out and put aside for later.

3. Peel the apples and cut into quarters removing the core. Brush with lemon juice so they do not brown.

4. Melt the butter and sugar together in the pan and slowly cook together until the sugar dissolves.

5. Arrange the apple quarters in the sugar mixture in a snug even pattern. Cook over a slow to medium heat for around 20 minutes until the apples are slightly soft and the sugar has begun to caramelize.

6. Place the pastry round securely on top of the apples. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

7. Place a serving dish over the pan and flip upside down to release the dessert, so that the pastry is underneath.


Ingredients for 6 persons

1 lb eggplant
1 lb zucchini (courgette)
4 tb olive oil
1/2 lb yellow onions
2 garlic cloves
1 lb tomatoes, firm and ripe
3 tb parsley
Salt and pepper

Step 1: Peel and cut the eggplant into 3 inches long slices. Cut the zucchini into slices but don't peel. Place those vegetables in a bowl, cover with water and let rest for 30 minutes. Drain.

Step 2: Sauté the eggplant and zucchini with olive oil in a skillet. One minute on each side. Set aside.

Step 3: Cook the onions with olive oil in the same skillet for 10 minutes over moderate heat. Stir in the garlic and add salt and pepper.

Step 4: Peel the tomatoes and boil for 30 seconds. Cut into slices. Lay them over the onions in the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover. Pour the juice from the the skillet over the tomatoes. Raise heat and boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Step 5: Put a third of the tomatoes mixture in the bottom of a casserole. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley. Then put half of the eggplant and zucchini. Then the second third of tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley. Put the remaining eggplant and zucchini, then the tomatoes and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley.

Step 6: Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, pour the juice over the vegetables. Add salt and pepper if needed. Raise heat to moderate and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Pour the juice during the process several times over the vegetables. Serving: Serve hot or cold.

Source: Cuisine France

Pumpkin cream

- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium pie pumpkin (3 lbs.), seeded and cubed
- 3 large potatoes (2 lbs.), peeled and cubed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Salt, to taste

In a large saucepan, sauté the shallots and garlic over medium heat until they turn translucent and tender.
Add the chicken stock, pumpkin, and potatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer. Allow the vegetables to simmer gently for 35-50 minutes, until they’re tender.
Puree the soup in a countertop blender or with an immersion blender until it is completely smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and heat through. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Escargot (Snails) à la Bourguignonne

Ingredients for 4 persons:
1 small can escargot (drained),
3 tablespoons butter,
1 tablespoon minced garlic,
lots of chopped parsley,
50 ml. white wine,
30 ml. Pernod,
1 tbsp. chopped onion,
1 tbsp. chopped leek,
salt and pepper to taste,
1/4 cup grated asiago cheese.

Heat the butter in a large pan over high heat. Stir in the garlic, onion and leek and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the escargot, the Pernod and the white wine and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in escargot dishes.
Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley and top with the asiago cheese.
Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until bubbly, if desired.
Cooking tip: If you don't have the special escargot dishes, you can serve it in mushroom cups that have been cooked in the same butter for the snails.

Source: Finest Chef

Crème Brulée

Ingredients for 5 persons:
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

2. Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.

3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.

4. Pour cream mixture into the top of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon; approximately 3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight.

6. Preheat oven to broil.

7. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar. Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

8. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until custard is set again.


Crêpes with Nutella and banana

Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 4 tbsp of Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 4 dessert crepes
- 1 tbsp of powdered sugar for garnish
- canola oil, for frying

Fill a medium skillet with canola oil to a depth of about two inches. Bring oil to a medium heat. In the meantime, heat Nutella in a microwaveable bowl for about 15 seconds or until it softens enough to spread very easily (so as not to tear crepe).
Lay first crepe on a flat working surface and spread 1 tbsp of Nutella on the inside of the crepe, within two inches of the edge.
Lay 6 pieces of banana on top of the nutella and roll crepe up burrito style. Repeat with remaining crepes.
To see if oil has come to temperature, drop a piece of crepe into the skillet.
If it sizzles and bubbles appear, the oil is ready.
Using tongs, lower each crepe very carefully into the oil, seam side down.
After 2 minutes, using tongs, turn crepes over and fry the other side for about 2 more minutes.
Note: Do not turn crepes too quickly or crepe will still be soft and it may come apart.
Do not wait too long or crepes will have absorbed too much oil and they will not turn easily. Remove fried crepes from the oil and let rest on paper towels for one minute.
Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Fondue Savoyarde (cheese)

Ingredients per 4 persons:
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 1/2 cups Savoyard white wine, or other light, dry
white wine
- 1 lb. beaufort or gruyère cheese, grated or cubed
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup kirsch
- 8 slices French country bread, cut into 1" cubes,
each one with a piece of crust

1. Rub a medium heavy pot with garlic; discard garlic. Add wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and gradually add cheese, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until cheese has melted. Do not boil. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Add nutmeg, pepper to taste, and kirsch. Transfer fondue to a chafing dish or fondue pot.

2. Serve with bread cubes and fondue forks. Stir frequently. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 cup of dry white wine.


Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients for 6 persons

- Pâte brisée or pre-made pie crust - 1
- Bacon, chopped -- 6-8 slices
- Cream or half-and-half -- 1 1/2 cups
- Eggs, beaten -- 3
- Nutmeg -- pinch
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Butter -- 1-2 tablespoons

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. If using pâte brisée, roll it out into a circle large enough to line a lightly greased 8-inch or 10-inch tart pan, spring-form pan or pie pan. The pastry should come at least 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Chill well while preparing remaining ingredients.

2. Bring about 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the bacon and blanch for 1 or 2 minutes. Drain well
and sauté until browned in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle over the bottom of the chilled crust.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream or half-and-half, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the cream mixture into chilled crust, taking care not to fill it more than 3/4 full. The quiche will puff up as it bakes.

4. Set the quiche on a baking sheet and then in the oven. Bake until the quiche puffs and the crust is a light brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. A knife inserted into the middle of the quiche should come out clean.

5. Cool slightly and then remove from the tart pan to a serving dish. If you use a pie pan, serve the quiche from the pan without removing it. The sloping sides will not support the weight of the quiche.

Source: What 4 eats .