You''ll be cooking French food in no time thanks to Laura Calder''s friendly and witty introductions to each of the recipes in her charming cookbook, French Food at Home. Calder lives in Paris where she works as a correspondent for Vogue Entertaining & Travel, and where she taught herself to cook the same way most of us learned--by feeding herself and her friends. Who among us can''t relate to her description of Mushroom Toasts: "It''s a starter when other people are around, but if I''m alone, I just tilt the whole pan into a high, rubbly heap on my plate, dig in, and call it dinner." And how many of us recognize ourselves when she confesses of Burgundy Eggs (a heavenly concoction of eggs poached in red wine served with a hearty sauce that she adores): "Oh, how I did not want to make these when I first came to France; I thought nothing on earth sounded so vile."
Almost all of Calder''s recipes are barely a page long, and that''s only because of those frank and funny introductions. Her recipes for dishes such as Camembert Salmon, Scallops in Velvet, and The Lemon Tart of My Dreams, are simple, approachable, and manageable. The ingredients are easy to find, and she''s always suggesting options. Calder''s is a sunny and welcome addition to the list of French cookbooks already out there, and happily, chefs of any skill level will enjoy her company in the kitchen. --Leora Y. Bloom
The French cooking of everyday life is lighthearted, accessible, and suited to modern tastes. Whether it''s getting weeknight dinners on the table fairly fast (Basil Beef, Rhubarb Chops, or Carrot Juice Chicken) or leisurely cooking for dining at a slightly slower pace (Lamb Tagine, Holiday Hen, or Fennel Bass), Laura Calder shares recipes she''s created at home in her own French kitchen.
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