French cuisine

French cuisine consists of cooking traditions and practices from France, famous for the rich tastes and subtle nuances with long and superior history. France, a country famous for its agriculture and independently minded peasants, was long a creative powerbase for delicious recepies, that are both healthy and refined.

Aligot – Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese

Potatoes and cheese are beaten together with crème fraiche until they form silky, smooth ribbons of pureed potato. It’s a deliciously hearty recipe, and it’s tempting to eat it all by itself, in the dead of winter, for its sheer comfort value. Try to hold out, though, and accompany it with a rich steak for a luxurious meal. Once you do, it will be hard to go back to regular mashed potatoes.

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Alsatian Cuisine

Alsatian cuisine, strongly based on Germanic culinary traditions, is marked by the use of pork in various forms. Traditional dishes include Baeckeoffe, flammekueche, Choucroute, and fleischnacka. Southern Alsace, also called the Sundgau, is characterised by carpe frite.

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Baeckeoffe – Alsatian Meat and Potatoes Casserole

A mix of sliced potatoes, sliced onions, cubed mutton, beef and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow cooked in a sealed ceramic casserole dish. Leeks, thyme, parsley, garlic, carrots and marjoram are other commonly added ingredients for flavour and colour.

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Béarnaise Sauce

Like Hollandaise sauce, there are several methods for the preparation of Béarnaise sauce. The most common preparation is a bain-marie method where a reduction of vinegar is used to acidify the yolks. Escoffier calls for a reduction of wine, vinegar, shallots, fresh chervil, fresh tarragon and crushed peppercorns (later strained out), with fresh tarragon and chervil to finish instead of lemon juice. Others are similar.

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Brown Stock

Brown stock is one of the basic stocks in French cuisine and is the basis of Espagnole Sauce and Demi-glace.

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Chou Rouge a la Limousine – Red Cabbage with Chestnuts

The delicious combination of red cabbage and chestnuts is a common in France and goes well with pork chops or with pork sausages.

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Choucroute Garnie – Dressed Sauerkraut

In principle, there is no fixed recipe for this dish – any preparation of hot sauerkraut with meat and potatoes could qualify – but in practice there are certain traditions, favourite recipes, and stereotypical garnishes that are more easily called choucroute garnie than others.

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Flamiche au Maroilles – Maroilles Cheese Tart

A Flemish dish that comes from the Aisne region in the north of France. This French appetizer unveils all the character of this cheese made on the local farms.

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Hollandaise Sauce

Traditional Hollandaise sauce can be fiddly and difficult to make, especially if you do not own a double saucepan or have a cook top with inaccurate temperature gauges. This version made in a blender is foolproof and will work every time you make it.

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Lyonnaise Potatoes

Lyonnaise potatoes is a French dish of sliced pan-fried potatoes and thinly sliced onions, sautéed in butter with parsley and possibly other seasonings.

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Meat Glaze – Glace de Viande

This glaze recipe is a concentrated reduction of ordinary brown stock. Glace de viande can be used to fortify sauces, and a spoonful of glace de viande is a great way to add flavour to other dishes.

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Mirepoix – Aromatic Vegetables

A mirepoix is a mixture of chopped celery (either common celery or celeriac), onions, and carrots. There are many variants, which may include just one of these ingredients, or include additional aromatics. Mirepoix, raw, roasted or sautéed with butter or olive oil, is the flavour base for a wide variety of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces. The three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.

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Moules Frites – Bistro Style Mussels and Chips

Moules Frites (mussels served with a mound of crisp french fries) is a classic in French bistros, and for good reason: Mussels and crispy fries go so well together.

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Pomme de Terre Soufflées – Puffed Potatoes

Pommes soufflées are a sophisticated variety of French fried potato by which slices of potato are fried twice. The potato slices puff up into little balloons during the second frying and turn golden brown.

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Salade de Betteraves aux Noix – Beetroot and Walnut Salad

Baby beetroots served with walnuts, smooth blue cheese, a simple vinaigrette and some crusty bread, this salad makes a perfect little starter or side dish to any meal.

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Sauerkraut

To make your own sauerkraut you will rely on the bacteria found on the cabbage leaves. The salt draws out the water and kills off the spoilage bacteria.

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Sole à la Meunière

Sole meunière is a classic French fish dish consisting of sole dredged in flour, pan fried in butter and served with the resulting brown butter sauce, parsley and lemon.

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Steak Frites

It’s hard to find a French bistro menu that doesn’t serve up classic steak frites (or fries). Letting the steak rest after cooking keeps it juicy by allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Steak-frites, meaning steak and fries in French, is a very common and popular dish served in Brasseries throughout Europe. It is considered by some to be the national dish of Belgium and France, which both claim to be the places of its invention.

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