Taste of France Recipes

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Taste of France Recipes
Thom's Recipe File

French cooking brings to mind a lot of wine, sauces and gravies full of fat and great taste.  French CookingIt also strikes fear in the best of chefs to achieve a measure of perfection in each dish prepared in the French methods of cooking.  Not me, I try my best to simplify any dish I find to my liking of French origin.  Simple is my motto.

To state the obvious, meals range from the very basic, such as the traditional baguette plus cheese plus inexpensive wine, to very elaborate affairs than can involve a dozen courses and different wines consumed over several hours.  Therefore, the latter type of dining is exceptional for most people.  However, it is this more sophisticated dining which is typically found in "French restaurants" outside CheesesFrance, giving many foreigners the mistaken impression that French food is heavy and complicated.  In fact, much of the French cuisine is fairly simple, relying on high quality fresh ingredients and loving preparation rather than complex recipes.

Like most European countries the cuisine in France is regionalized.  The French Mediterranean uses olive oil, herbs and tomatoes in many of its dishes.  The cuisine of northwest France uses butter, soured cream (crème fraiche) and apples.  The cuisine of northeast France (Alsace, and to a lesser extent Lorraine) has a strong German influence which includes beer and sauerkraut.  Throughout the south in general there tends to be more use of vegetables and fruit (in part due to the favorable climate).  Near theSoufle Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean there is a greater consumption of sea food, while inland areas favored by rivers (e.g. the Loire valley) use more fresh water fish.

Aside from bread and water, the most common accompaniments to a French meal are wine and cheese.  Unlike other countries, in France wine is considered a standard part of everyday meals, and is neither expensive nor reserved for special occasions.  With everyday meals, ordinary wines are served, although it is expected that the style of wine match the style of food. 

In addition to its use in cooking, cheese is often served as a course in itself.  In this case, it is served after the main meal but before dessert.  This typically consists of a platter with three or four different cheeses, from which guests can slice pieces according to their preferences.  Sliced bread (e.g. slices of a baguette) are typically provided at the same time.


Alsatian Quiche
Bacon Lobster Quiche
Beef Bourguignon
Best Beef Bourguignon
Breakfast Quiche
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Quiche
Chocolate Soufflé
Coq au Vin
Cordon Bleu Casserole
Crab Quiche
Crawfish Bisque
Crockpot Beef Bourguignon
Crusty Ham and Cheese Soufflé
Diabetic Friendly Lemon Soufflé
French Onion Soup
Fresh Tomato Bisque
Grand Marnier Soufflé
Grand Marnier Soufflé Crème Anglaise
Hash Brown Quiche
Hot Banana Soufflé
Lobster Bisque
Lobster Bisque South Beach
Madame Quiches Bacon and Cheese
Madame Quiches Onion and Cheese
Madame Quiches Quiche Au Fromage
Pot au Feu
Quiche Lorraine
Red Lobster's Lobster Bisque
Remoulade Dressing
Sausage Brunch Quiche
Seafood Bisque
Soufflés Cooking Tips
Sensational Tomato Quiche
Spicy French Dressing
Spinach Quiche
Thom's Favorite Quiche


What is Bouillabaisse?

Bouillabaisse is usually a fish stock containing different kinds of cooked fish and shellfish. These are complemented with a variety of herbs and spices such as garlic, orange peel, basil, bay leaf, fennel and saffron. Classically, there are usually a half dozen or so kinds of sea food such as turbot, monkfish, clams, mullet, mussels and conger eel; other kinds of fish may also be used. Vegetables such as leeks, onions, tomatoes and celery are boiled together to produce a rich flavor. The exact proportions vary by cook and region. For example, in Marseille intense arguments rage between different restaurants, all of whom claim to make "authentic Bouillabaisse."

The stew and the fish are usually served in separate bowls, with the stew poured over slices of French bread seasoned with a spicy sauce of bread crumbs, olive oil, and chilis called rouille, although sometimes an aioli is served. Bouillabaisse is often only served when there are large groups of people, as it is time-consuming to prepare and some of its ingredients may be expensive; it is also generally available from restaurants along the coasts of Provence.

The origins of the dish date back to the time of the Ancient Greeks, when they founded Marseille in 600 BC. Then, the population ate a simple fish stew known in Greek as 'kakavia.' Bouillabaisse also appears in Roman mythology: it is the soup that Venus fed to Vulcan, to lull him to sleep, so that she could cavort with the god Mars.


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