The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day

( 4 )

Overview

Here is authentic French cooking without fuss or fear. When we think of French cooking, we might picture a fine restaurant with a small army of chefs hovering over sauces for hours at a stretch, crafting elegant dishes with special utensils, hard-to-find ingredients, and architectural skill. But this kind of cooking bears little relationship to the way that real French families eat-yet they eat very well indeed. Now that the typical French woman (the bonne femme of the title) works outside the home like her ...

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The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day

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Overview

Here is authentic French cooking without fuss or fear. When we think of French cooking, we might picture a fine restaurant with a small army of chefs hovering over sauces for hours at a stretch, crafting elegant dishes with special utensils, hard-to-find ingredients, and architectural skill. But this kind of cooking bears little relationship to the way that real French families eat-yet they eat very well indeed. Now that the typical French woman (the bonne femme of the title) works outside the home like her American counterpart, the emphasis is on easy techniques, simple food, and speedy preparation, all done without sacrificing taste. In a voice that is at once grounded in the wisdom of classical French cooking, yet playful and lighthearted when it comes to the potential for relaxing and enjoying our everyday lives in the kitchen, Moranville offers 300 recipes that focus on simple, fresh ingredients prepared well. The Bonne Femme Cookbook is full of tips and tricks and shortcuts, lots of local color and insight into real French home kitchens, and above all, loads of really good food. It gives French cooking an accessible, friendly, and casual spin.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like any good bonne femme, Wini Moranville begins with an aperitif and something to nibble on. The salty, tangy green olive and cheese spirals and puffy Gougères are incredibly addictive, especially when you’ve already had a bubbly, refreshing French 75 cocktail or two. The following chapters move through the gamut of soups, salads, entrées, and desserts; all emphasize quality ingredients that allow basic recipes to attain a high degree of flavor. Simple tricks of the bonne femme, like using fresh tarragon to elevate a piece of chicken or Dijon mustard to spice up some scallops, will be welcomed by home cooks. French classics like bouillabaisse and poisson meunière are well represented; however, Moranville also recognizes ethnic influences that have come to shape France’s modern cuisine in dishes such as Moroccan-spiced chicken braise. This book is an enjoyable read. Each recipe comes with an inviting introduction and some brief anecdote or tip to get you excited about making the dish your own and living a small piece of la belle France. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Best Everyday French Cookbook"—T. Susan Chang
 
From Wine Enthusiast magazine:
 
For those who struggle to find enough time to craft an inspired dinnertime meal without slaving for hours, this simple and delicious approach to French home cooking allows even the busiest people to taste joie de vivre.
 
From Wine Access magazine:
 
Truly easy and truly delicious recipes, all inspired by Moranville’s love for all things French. Moranville may be American, but she has lived and travelled extensively in France — and along the way, she’s picked up plenty of great stories and recipes about one of her favourite places.
 
From The Chicago Tribune:
 
The Bonne Femme Cookbook delivers a message that good, fresh, vividly flavored French cooking is possible wherever you live.—from Bill Daley's book review
 
From Publishers Weekly:
 
This book is an enjoyable read. Each recipe comes with an inviting introduction and some brief anecdote or tip to get you excited about making the dish your own and living a small piece of la belle France.
 
From The Des Moines Register:
 
This new cookbook by Wini Moranville, who reviews restaurants for The Des Moines Register, is getting thumbs-up reviews for breathing affability into classic French recipes that traditionally can seem snobby and stand-offish. At last, here’s a book about French cooking that doesn’t require a culinary arts degree or frequent visits to Paris or Provence for ingredients.
 
From The Dallas Morning News:
 
Sure, there are classics—like gougères, céleri rémoulade and boeuf bourguinon, but Moranville often brings really smart ideas to them. For instance, she solves the sticky problem of tough meat in the boeuf bourguignon by using boneless short ribs. Of course! Why didn't I think of that? And along with a traditional choucroute garni—a dish that takes hours to prepare—there's a "choucroute garni Mardi soir"—a relatively quick, very easy version.
 
Are we hungry yet?—from restaurant critic Leslie Brenner
 
From Shelf Awareness:
 
[Wini] marries her love of French cuisine with innovation and practicality, appealing to busy home cooks and would-be foodies who can’t spend all day at the stove. While not all the recipes are quick or light, they all bring the flavors of France to the American kitchen–with fewer calories, fewer dirty dishes and a lot less prep time.
 
From Relish:
 
Many Americans see French cuisine as something the French were born to master—and we were destined to fail at. But Wini Moranville, wine expert and author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food The French Women Cook Every Day, believes that Americans needn’t fear the French kitchen. They just need to learn the bonne femme ("good wife") style.
 
From St. Paul Pioneer Press:
 
This book is long on charm and short on complicated recipes. Wini Moranville, restaurant reviewer for the Des Moines Register, dispels the notion that French women come home at night and cook elaborate meals with a pound of butter. Even for the French, it's about fresh, healthy and fast. They use boneless, skinless chicken breasts; make a pan sauce for almost any dish; stock their pantries with olives, capers, lemon and Dijon mustard; and partake in the everyday pleasure of eating cheese. Moranville's good writing and anecdotes (such as ordering an aperitif is the secret password to getting a good meal at a restaurant) are an added bonus.—from Kathie Jenkins, Pioneer Press restaurant critic
 
 
Library Journal
Moranville, an Iowan journalist and restaurant critic who spends her summers in France, here seeks to simplify French home cooking for American kitchens. She describes a bonne femme (good wife) style of cuisine that often sounds more like a lifestyle or state of mind than an approach to cooking. Moranville prefaces her recipes with travel anecdotes, facts, and entertaining tips, and she offers two chapters of main courses—one quick and simple, the other more complex. While this volume may interest readers with little knowledge of French culture and cooking, more experienced cooks will not like Moranville's assertion that Americans associate French food with costliness and spectacle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558327498
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 231,916
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Wini Moranville grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa, graduating with a B.A. in French and English. She subsequently moved to New York City, where she worked for Société Générale (a French bank), Elle magazine, and Oxford University Press. She was later transferred to the Oxford, U.K., branch of this publisher, where she worked as a publicity manager. She obtained her M.A. in English from Iowa State University in 1993; in 1994, she began her present career as a food and wine writer/editor. Her food stories have appeared in lifestyle magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Country Home, Simply Perfect Italian, Holiday Appetizers, Holiday Celebrations, Holiday Menus, Creative Home, Indulge magazine (a luxury lifestyle magazine in Fort Worth, Texas), and DSM (a luxury lifestyle magazine in Des Moines). She has also served as a writer and editor for numerous cookbooks under the Better Homes and Gardens imprint, including the past three editions of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Since 1997, she has also written over 500 restaurant reviews for The Des Moines Register. In addition to the dining column, she writes occasional pieces about wine, food, and travel for this newspaper. In recent years, Moranville has added wine and culinary and wine travel to the topics that she covers regularly. She currently writes a monthly wine column for Relish magazine, a food magazine launched in February 2006, with a circulation of over 15 million, distributed through daily newspapers nationwide. Moranville is a member of the James Beard Foundation, and has served as a Restaurant Awards panelist since 2005.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2014

    A wonderful world of new flavors.  I had been intimidated to try

    A wonderful world of new flavors.  I had been intimidated to try French cooking
    because Julia Childs recipes were so complicated.  Ms. Moranville has made
    French cooking easy and delicious.  The ingredients can be found in any local
    grocery store.  The directions are simple and clear.  A favorite recipe is the 
    "Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart." I had never tried goat cheese before, but
    because the recipe was so simple I gave it a try and was not disappointed.  
    Also for those who feel French cooking contains too much fat and calories, 
    Ms. Moranville's cookbook limits the butter and cream.  She relies more on
    fresh herbs and yes, small amounts of wine.  Great cookbook!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 8, 2011

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    Posted November 12, 2011

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    Posted January 1, 2012

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