One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well - Virginia Wolf

No one could feel this better than those who enjoy French cuisine. French cuisine has been declared an intangible world heritage of humanity by UNESCO. And this is primarily because of a rich combination of tradition and modernity to bring one of the world's best cuisines to you.

Popular French recipes are the ones that combine a burst of flavors with the most basic and traditional recipes from France. If you are gourmet chef or aspiring chef in a cooking school, you must be well-versed with French cooking. It literally serves as the culinary basics of any cooking school in the world. There are some typical French recipes that you just have to know to start off with. The fancy dishes are just variations of these. And the sooner you are able to master the basic stuff, the easier it will become to try out the more complex dishes like crepes, tarts, or bisques.

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French food
The French use a lot of local ingredients to amp up the flavors | Image Source: Unsplash | Image Courtesy: Jez Timms

French food is something that needs no special introduction. It is the pioneer in the world of gastronomy and has introduced the world to some exceptional culinary skills and techniques that can create magic. No wonder most culinary schools around the world fall back on French cooking when it comes to teaching aspiring chefs. You can learn to cook with finesse when you are familiar with French cooking techniques. You can add elegance to the most basic dishes like an omelet or a croissant. French food is 90% tradition and 10% experimentation. Among the most popular French foods are of course cheese, wine, and desserts.

Despite all this hype around French cuisine, the typical French recipes are not that difficult to cook. It does not require rocket science to understand the basic French food guide. 

Three Most Popular French Cooking Technique

Flambé

Flambé is French for flames. As the name suggests, this technique involves creating a burst of flames by adding alcohol to a hot pan. This is done to dramatize the process of food preparation as well as enrich the flavor by adding liquor. The burning part reduces the effect of alcohol while retaining its flavor.

Sauté

You all probably know this word by now. This process involves cooking and tossing the ingredients in a very small amount of oil or fat. You would usually use a shall pan to do this, while cooking on low flame. Make sure you slice or chop the ingredients in the right sizes to ensure the retention of flavor and moisture once they are sautéed.

Blanching

This process is very useful to retain the quality of food after a prolonged time. It involves the scalding of fruits or vegetables in boiling water and then placing them under ice-cold running water to kill enzymes.

Typical French Recipes That You Must Try

French foos
French cooking is almost like theatre | Image Source: Unsplash | Image Courtesy: Margo Brodowicz

Easy French food covers everything from savories to desserts to appetizers. If you are the experimental type, you will not be disappointed at all. Here are a few typical French recipes for the chef in you!

A Savory Tart

You will be spoilt for choices when it comes to choosing a good French appetizer. They range from simple to complex recipes depending on the ingredients and techniques. A savory tart if the perfect recipe to try out if you are looking to feed a whole bunch of people who love their food. You have to use Roquefort cheese and caramelized onion and voila! You have the most amazing French savory tart on the dinner table.

The Classic Nicoise Salad

This one is a French classic. It is an all-time favorite and a popular bistro dish. The main ingredients include tuna, potatoes, eggs, green beans and olives. But the most important ingredient is anchovies which really gives this dish its distinct flavor. And if you are not a huge fan of fish, don't worry too much about the distinct smell or flavor, which only comes out subtly.

The Lobster Bisque

The French are a master of delicious soups. And this one is a high-in-demand dish on the world cuisine menu. It is a simple creamy soup and because of the main ingredient, the lobster, it can easily pass on as a main course during a meal. The soup is made with fresh lobster, tinged with Cognac that results in a complex, yet sophisticated taste.

Ratatouille

What started as the poor man's meal has quietly made its way into high-end French restaurants across the world. It is basically a vegetable stew with the eggplant as its main ingredient. You basically have to just cook it until tender and serve hot.

Spinach Soufflé

Soufflés are some of the most complicated recipes in any cuisine and can strike fear in the hearts of the best chefs. But they are super tasty and very popular. You can start with this dish in your French culinary expedition. You just have to ensure that you beat the eggs carefully so as not to overdo them, which may ruin the result.

Easy French Food You Can Make at Home

Presentation is a key element in French cuisine | Image Source: Unsplash | Image Courtesy: Carla Martinesi

After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives - Oscar Wilde

Wouldn't that be something? Guess what? You're in luck with some of the most amazing and easy French food that you can cook and serve at home.

Coq Au Vin

The cook time is roughly 2 hours including the time for prep. You will need the following ingredients for this:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Bacon
  • Button mushrooms
  • Yellow onions
  • Shallots
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Red wine
  • Fresh thyme
  • Chicken broth

Steps to Cook

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  2. Marinade the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
  3. Cook the bacon in an oven-proof pan for about 10 minutes until evenly browned
  4. Transfer the bacon to a fresh plate but leave the residual fat in the dish
  5. Sauté the mushrooms, shallots and onions on low heat with a pinch of salt until golden and caramelized
  6. Stir some flour and butter into this mixture
  7. Pour some red wine and bring to a boil before adding the bacon, fresh thyme, the marinated chicken thighs and the broth.
  8. Cook the chickens in the preheated oven for 30 minutes and transfer to a platter
  9. Place the platter on high heat to reduce the juices and skim the fat.
  10. Do this until the sauce thickens and then serve hot

If this is an exciting recipe, then this is just the beginning. There so many other easy French food that you can cook at home and impress your friends and family.

The French Food Guide

The French pack a punch in each meal with lots of flavors and seasoning | Image Source: Unsplash | Image Courtesy: Evelyn Semenyuk

Thanks to the pleasant climate of France, it is very easy to use a wide array of fresh ingredients in French foods. Most French cooks and chefs use fresh ingredients and cook them to perfection using traditional cooking techniques.  This French food guide will help you understand the key ingredients used in French cuisine irrespective of whether you cook in France or anywhere else in the world.

Meats

Any kind of protein is mostly the main ingredient in French meals. These could range from beef to poultry to pork or game meats. The French enjoy their meats like wine and cheese.

Vegetables

Another French favorite thanks to the freshness of the veggies. They are carefully picked on a daily basis, wherever possible and used as sides or main courses. You will find a wide mix of vegetables in French food like tomatoes, onions, eggplants, carrots, French beans, leafy greens, lettuce, zucchini, etc. The French also grow mushrooms and truffles locally to use in their food.

Cheese

The French can't live without cheese. It is a matter of survival for them. Cheese is always part of any French meal and is usually served right after the main course. You will find about 500 different types of cheese in France!! There is a specific type of chees being produced in each region of France and then there are sub-types. No wonder the French love their cheese so much.

Breads

Just like cheese, breads are also staples for the French. Breads usually accompany any meal in typical French recipes. And they come in all shapes and sizes- for individuals to group sharing, you can have it all.

Wine

Just like cheese, the French are known to produce wine extensively across all regions. Thanks to the abundant supply of wines and so many vineyards, wine has come to form an integral part of any standard French meal.

If your mouth has started watering, go to the kitchen or to the nearest French restaurant and just start digging in!

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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..