Every year, ten days after America’s birthday, we again celebrate the red, white and blue, this time for Bastille Day, the French national holiday that marks the storming of the Bastille prison and the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Celebrate a few days early with the ultra-seasonal Cherry Clafoutis, a baked French dessert typically made with black cherries covered in a thick batter. The traditional method calls for whole, unpitted cherries because when cooked, the pits release an almond essence into the dish, but feel free to remove the pits (or even swap in plums, apples or pears). The rich, custard-like batter is made on the stovetop with eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla, then poured over the cherries and baked until golden brown. Finish it off with a generous dusting of powdered sugar, pop open a bottle of champagne and channel your inner Francophile. Bon appetit!
Round out your traditional French menu with these classic recipes from Cooking Channel:
Crème fraîche is the sophisticated French cousin of sour cream. Its texture is smoother and the flavor subtler, not quite so sour, but still a bit sharp. It is simple to make and requires only two ingredients, so it is no wonder it is a staple in most French kitchens and a must have for pastry chefs. Fresh, heavy cream is blended with just a splash of buttermilk and then left to sit; it does all the work on its own, and the result is luscious. I like to finish sweet desserts with the cultured cream — a thin layer on my butterscotch pot de crème, a dollop on top of a berry pie or stirred into chocolate ganache. It can be used in place of sour cream or most places you might use heavy cream.
Continue Reading Fundamentals: How to Make Crème Fraîche
Rachel Khoo, the British host of Little Paris Kitchen on Cooking Channel (Saturdays at 2:30pm ET), thinks French cooking gets an unwarranted bad name. The inner circle of food culture has embraced fanciful molecular gastronomy, uber locavorism and other various food fads, while French cooking has been associated with ornery, tall toque-adorned chefs dousing incredibly intricate recipes with butter. Rachel Khoo is out to prove that you don’t need formal Le Cordon Bleu training (though she has it) to prepare a delicious French meal. She does it every day with a little oven and a two ring gas stove in her tiny Parisian flat that she had converted into the city’s smallest restaurant.
Rachel’s new cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen, contains 120 simple but classic French recipes. It covers the mainstays you’d expect — Bouillabaisse and Mousse aux chocolat — but also has stories about her own twists on recipes and her life in Paris.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: The Little Paris Kitchen
Though summer’s winding down, it’s still hot enough in much of the country to break out in a sweat just stepping out to retrieve the mail. If all the hot weather has you dreaming of a winter wonderland and hitting the ski slopes, Cooking Channel and Laura Calder are here to make at least part of the fantasy (the food part) a reality with a new special.
Tune in to Laura Calder Explores: The French Alps tonight at 8pm ET on Cooking Channel.
The James Beard award-winning chef is leaving her kitchen behind and heading to the French Alps for the very first time. She’s on a mission to taste the very best food the region has to offer, earn her après-ski and learn everything she can from the chefs and farmers of the region along the way. From the heights of the snow-capped mountains to the lakes and farms in the foot hills, Laura exposes the great people and delicious foods that can only be found in the Alps.
Get the recipes from her trip in our gallery and bring some of the beautiful hearty and rustic French cooking home with you.
Watch Laura Calder Explores: The French Alps tonight at 8pm ET.
Today we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of Julia Child’s birth. Honor the queen of French cuisine by reciting Julia quotes all day long (in your best high-pitched Julia voice, of course), watching classic videos (like this one: Julia and the Chicken Sisters), browsing bloggers’ best Julia dishes, making a fancy French feast and by memorizing some Julia Child trivia to recite to anyone who will listen.
Better get started. Did you know . . .
Petit Fours, Blackberry Millefeuilles and Pain Perdu — these are just a few of the elegant French dishes Laura Calder has demystified in the first 3 seasons of French Food at Home. Fortunately for haute-cuisine lovers everywhere, she’s back and eager as ever to share some of her most recent culinary discoveries on the all new season of French Food at Home.
Spanning the gamut of classics and contemporary recipes alike, Laura makes cooking French easy, from bistro desserts to savory tarts and scrumptious sautés.
Catch the all new premiere of French Food at Home, today at 12pm ET.
Continue Reading More French Food at Home with Laura Calder