“Tour de France” Aperitif
A few dashes of orange liqueur and orange bitters lend a citrusy note to this herbaceous, iced French aperitif.
Deviled Eggs With Crab
Chef Yves Camdeborde assembles these haute deviled eggs—the whites marinated in soy sauce and pomegranate vinegar—à la minute at his stand-up bar L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer in Paris, but you can make the filling up to a day in advance and keep it refrigerated. Be sure to drain the whites immediately after 15 minutes of marinating so they don’t toughen. Get the recipe for Deviled Eggs With Crab »
“Créme de la” Aperitif
A terrific starter for learning the art of the French aperitif, this easy, elegant cocktail has dramatic color and a hint of bubbly.
Finely ground chickpea flour is key to the silky interior of these simple fritters.
Tartare de Filet de Boeuf (Steak Tartare)
The key to finely chopping filet mignon for this classic tartare is to chill it in the freezer before slicing and mincing it. Get the recipe for Tartare de Filet de Boeuf (Steak Tartare)
Dried Apricot and Fig Clafoutis with Rum
Clafoutis is a French dessert that’s trickier to pronounce than to make. A simple mixture of flour, eggs, dairy, and a little sugar, it’s like a pancake, but more custardy, and it’s baked instead of griddled. It looks and tastes impressive the way classic French desserts often do, but it’s simple enough to whip up any weeknight. Rum-soaked dried apricots, figs, and raisins add their caramelized and honeyed flavors to this creamy version, perfect for cold weather when there’s no fresh fruit around. Get the recipe for Dried Apricot and Fig Clafoutis with Rum »
Pain au Chocolat
Beautiful homemade croissants, each containing a bar of high-quality dark chocolate, make for an impressive and indulgent addition to a breakfast spread.
Gascon Sourdough Cornbread (Pain de Méture)
Corn is prevalent in Gascony, France, where it’s used to feed the region’s famous foie gras ducks. It’s also the star of this pain de méture, a Gascon cornbread made with sourdough and baked in a cast iron pan. This cabbage-leaf-lined version from New York-based baker Kamel Saci was tested by Saveur contributor Kate Hill, a cook and cooking instructor in the region, who loves the crispy bits of cabbage that sear around the bread’s edges. Saci’s recipe uses a mix of sourdough starter for leavening and acidity and leftover fermented bread dough (pâte fermentée) for added depth of flavor. “I make a basic bread dough with my own sourdough starter, using starter, flour, and water,” Hill says, “My starter was well developed, but I also add a small amount of dried yeast as it’s important to have a vigorous dough to support the cornmeal mix.” For hurried home bakers who might not have several stages of preferments at the ready, Saci suggests substituting a good pre-made dough purchased from your local bread bakery or pizzeria. In France, Hill enjoys her pain de méture with soup, such as a garbure, and also with some Mont D’or cheese. Get the recipe for Gascon Sourdough Cornbread (Pain de Méture) »
Credit for inventing crêpes Suzette is claimed by French restaurateur Henri Charpentier, who in 1894, at age 14, while an assistant waiter, accidentally set a sauce aflame when serving dessert to the Prince of Wales.
Marseille-Style Fish Stew with Aioli
A pungent garlic and olive oil aïoli both thickens and enriches this stew perfumed with saffron and white wine.
Garlic confit, a silky, spreadable condiment, relies on a French technique for gently poaching peeled whole cloves in oil or fat. The process caramelizes the cloves and concentrates their sweetness while infusing them with the oil or fat that renders them rich and creamy. Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta taught us this simple method for making confit, perfect in dishes like garlicky skillet greens with ham. See the recipe for Garlic Confit »
Basque Seafood Stew
Hearty “bouillabasque”—Darroze’s tongue-in-cheek name for a Basque-style bouillabaisse, in which the fish is cooked separately and then added to a rich, reduced seafood-and-tomato stock—perfectly marries the culinary cornerstones of southwest France: duck fat, seafood, and armagnac. You can grill the fish on grates or a plancha, in the Spanish style, but a stovetop solution works just as well. Serve with aïoli, rouille, or any garlicky mayonnaise, along with some crusty bread. Get the recipe for Basque Seafood Stew »
Coquilles St-Jacques (Gratinéed Scallops)
While modern chefs tend towards lighter scallop recipes, this old French dish of scallops poached in white wine, placed atop a purée of mushrooms in a scallop shell, covered with a sauce made of the scallop poaching liquid, and gratinéed under a broiler, is a great way to prepare the bivalve.
A lean cut like filet mignon takes well to sautéeing in a little fat, as in this classic preparation with a simple pan sauce that’s laced with brandy and set aflame—a spectacular feat that cooks off the alcohol and contributes rich caramel notes to the dish. Get the recipe Steak Diane »
Sprinkled on top of these delicate meringues—which float in a vanilla custard—are praline roses, caramel-coated almonds dyed a bright pink. The color’s a bit shocking, but they’re a staple of Lyonnaise pâtisseries and lend a nice crunch and color to this white-on-white backdrop. Get the recipe for Meringue Floating in Crème Anglaise »
Pear Tarte Tatin
This tart is traditionally made with apples, but firm-fleshed pears make a delicate and delicious alternative.
These are dream cookies…literally. They came to me in a dream in Paris, the city of sweets. The base is a French shortbread, or sablé, flavored with honey and loose tea. If you have 2-inch baking rings, you can make the cookies in the rings on lined baking sheets instead of using muffin tins. Build the cookies inside the rings, bake, then leave the rings in place for at least 20 minutes before lifting them off, rinsing and reusing. Get the recipe for Honey-and-Tea Jammers »