Patricia Wells at Home in Provence: Recipes Inspired by Her Farmhouse in France

Patricia Wells at Home in Provence: Recipes Inspired by Her Farmhouse in France

by Patricia Wells, Robert Freson
     
 

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This James Beard Foundation Award-winner introduces Provence like no other book--from its natural beauty to its markets filled with fresh foods to the Wells' fabulous kitchen. Each recipe emphasizes seasonality, freshness, and ease of preparation, and all "respect their ingredients, reflect the region, and are in harmony with today's tastes" ("The New York Times"). of

Overview

This James Beard Foundation Award-winner introduces Provence like no other book--from its natural beauty to its markets filled with fresh foods to the Wells' fabulous kitchen. Each recipe emphasizes seasonality, freshness, and ease of preparation, and all "respect their ingredients, reflect the region, and are in harmony with today's tastes" ("The New York Times"). of color photos.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Patricia Wells. Scribner, $40 (352p) ISBN 0-684-81569-9 Relaxed and unfailingly enticing, this superb collection of 175 recipes will make readers feel as comfortable in their kitchens as its accomplished author is at Chanteduc, her 18th-century farmhouse in northern Provence. Wells (Bistro Cooking; Simply French) is not the first to underscore the appeal of simple, fresh food, but she coaxes new tiers of flavor from many of the dishes here by her creative arrangements of basic ingredients. Instead of the standard cherry clafoutis, for example, she offers Tomato Clafoutis as appetizer or Chanteduc Clafoutis, made with mixed fruits, for dessert. Herb-Cured Filet of Beef Carpaccio, in which the filet, wrapped for two days in tarragon, parsley, basil, thyme and salt, attains a savory goodness with surprising ease. The True Salad Fan's Salad, composed of finely chopped tops of very young root vegetables (carrot, radish, beet, celery, etc.) with vinaigrette, and Garlic Family Soup (with leeks, onions, shallots and a head of garlic) fairly vibrate with an abundance of flavor. Catalan Tuna Daube marries anchovies, capers, onion, lemon zest, tomatoes and cubes of tuna steak in a memorable union. La Broufade is another outstanding daube, but with beef simmered in white wine instead of the usual red. Wells is sensible in her use of oils and fats, calling, for example, for whole milk and cream in judicious amounts. The diner's delight flows from the wisely prepared ingredients; the cook gets the added pleasure of reading Wells's warm, intelligent proseand serving up excellence. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Wells, author of the well-known Food Lover's Guide to Paris (Workman, 1993. rev. ed.) and Simply French (LJ 9/15/91), among other titles, presents recipes for the dishes she cooks at home when she's not hot on the trail of the best food France has to offer. Like Lydie Marshall (Chez Nous: Home Cooking from the South of France, LJ 3/15/95), Wells has ingredients at hand any cook would envy, from olives, perfect fruit and even truffles on her own land to the fresh cheeses and Mediterranean fish offered by local merchants. With its dozens of full-color photographs, Wells's book is a more lavish affair than Marshall's, and her recipes are often richer and more elaborate as well: Artichoke, Parmesan, and Black Truffle Soup; Minted Crabmeat Salad; and Herb-Cured Fillet of Beef Carpaccio, accompanied by detailed wine suggestions (which may often be out of reach of those who do not have a farm in Provence). In any case, not to be missed. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91.]
From the Publisher
Florence Fabricant The New York Times There is hardly a recipe in this cookbook that does not insist on being tried and served to family and friends.

Patty LaNoue Stearns Detroit Free Press The photos alone will transport you, but the recipes will make you sign up for her cooking school in France.

Gillian Duffy New York magazine ...promises to produce yet another generation of home-schooled experts in pistous and daubes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684815695
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 10.33(h) x 1.13(d)

Read an Excerpt

Roasted Tomato Soup with Fresh Herbs

At the end of summer when plum tomatoes are still in abundance in our garden and the days are growing cooler, this flavorful soup is perfect. The process of roasting the tomatoes is the same one used to prepare homemade sun-dried tomatoes, yet the tomatoes are baked in a slightly hotter oven and not nearly as long. What you're looking for is similar to what the French call a confit, an intensely flavored, reduced essence of tomato. (Yet unlike the true tomato confit, these tomatoes are baked with all their pulp and seeds, making for a less dense, more juicy flavor.) This soup is an ideal gift for anyone who gardens and grows tomatoes.


EQUIPMENT: A food mill

2 pounds (1 kg) fresh plum tomatoes (Roma)
Fine sea salt to taste
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herb leaves, such as a mix of summer savory, basil, parsley, and thyme
About 1 quart (1l) homemade Chicken Stock (page 327) or Potager Stock (page 325)


1. Preheat the oven to 275°f (135°c; gas mark 2).

2. Trim and discard the stem end of the tomatoes. Halve each tomato lengthwise. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet side by side. Sprinkle lightly with salt and about half the herbs.

3. Place in the oven and bake until the tomatoes are nearly dried and shriveled, about 2 hours. Check the tomatoes from time to time. They should still be rather flexible but not at all brittle, and most of their juice should have baked away.

4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. Place a food mill (fitted with its coarsest blade) over a large bowl. Transfer the tomatoes to the food mill and puree.

5. Meanwhile, pour the stock into a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tomatoes and stir to blend. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Taste for seasoning. Serve in warmed shallow soup bowls and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Meet the Author

Patricia Wells is the author of five bestselling books The Food Lover's Guide to Paris, The Food Lover's Guide to France, Bistro Cooking, Simply French, and Patricia Wells' Trattoria. She and her husband divide their time between Paris and Provence, where she conducts cooking classes. She is the restaurant critic of the International Herald Tribune

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