Food in France has always been about much more than mere sustenance. In a French home, the kitchen is the heart and soul of the house. More often than not it’s part of family history, with favorite recipes being handed down through many generations and remembered fondly at the table. In The French Kitchen, Chef Michel Roux Jr. presents this comprehensive guide to French cooking and that will delight everyone who’s gathered around the table.
Regionality in cooking is paramount and fiercely defended. The classics are loved and equally sacrosanct. The classics are iconic for a number of reasons; in the The French Kitchen you’ll find 200 classics recipes (with a few of Michel’s tweaks here and there) to master French cooking.
No topic is breezed over: and with chapters for soup, terrines and pâtés, eggs and cheese, fish and shellfish, chicken, duck and game birds, meat, vegetables and salads, desserts, bread and croissants, and stocks and sauces. Find your favorite or try smoothing new in every chapter: crème vichyssoise or soupe de moules, jambon persillé or terrine de poisson, croque monsieur or tartiflette, bouillabaisse Marseillaise or calamars farcis au riz sauvage, poulet daughinois or faisan archiduc, boeuf bourguignon or carpaccio de chevreuil. Ratatouille or artichauts vinaigrette, marquise au chocolate or soufflé aux fraises.
With these recipes and more, this stunning cookbook embraces the culinary alchemy of French food – ingredients sing and our hearts sing with them. Embrace the classic recipes for what they are, for the skills that are needed to cook them, for the love that we have for them and the immense pleasure they give.
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Michel Roux Jr. is Britain’s most popular and acclaimed French chef. After an apprenticeship with Alain Chapel, he took over running Le Gavroche in 1991, maintaining the restaurant’s two Michelin stars.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
8 slices of good sourdough bread
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup of milk
freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated cheese (a mixture of Emmental, Gruyère and Cheddar is good)
5oz good-quality, sliced ham
Lightly toast the bread on both sides, then butter one side of each slice
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the remaining butter in a small pan, stir in the flour to make a roux, then whisk in the milk. Keep whisking it well to avoid lumps and bring the sauce to a boil. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat.
Preheat the oven at 400 °F. Spread a little mustard on the buttered side of the piece of toast. Add a generous amount of béchamel, followed by grated cheese and a slice of ham. Spread a little more béchamel on the dry side of another piece of toast and place them on top of the sandwich and sprinkle with grated cheese. Make all the sandwiches in the same way.
Put the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven until crisp and golden, 6-8 minutes. Serve at once.
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