Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

French Comfort Food

French Comfort Food

5.0 1
by Hillary Davis

See All Formats & Editions

In France, people take pride in preserving the recipes of their regional heritage and deeply rooted traditions. What has remained true over time is that the French have a determined hold on their beloved regional classic dishes, the ones they grew up with that their mothers and grandmothers and grandmothers before them made—French comfort food.



In France, people take pride in preserving the recipes of their regional heritage and deeply rooted traditions. What has remained true over time is that the French have a determined hold on their beloved regional classic dishes, the ones they grew up with that their mothers and grandmothers and grandmothers before them made—French comfort food.

Collected here are recipes from friends and acquaintances Hillary Davis has made while living in France, recipes handed down through the years as well as modern family remakes of the originals. With these resources, plus referring to her hundreds of well-worn cookbooks, Davis has brought together her favorite comfort food recipes from France, with a hope that they will inspire and charm you, showing just how fabulous good home-cooked food from France can be.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Some of the best comfort food is French,” food journalist, cooking instructor, and blogger Davis (Cuisine Niçoise) writes in her introduction to this savory valentine to French cooking, “and it is not that hard to make at home.” She proves her point again and again, showing readers how they can transform their home into a private French bistro with dishes such as a rustic caramelized onion and Roquefort clafouti, classic French onion soup gratinée, and duck breasts with black cherry sauce. Simple pleasures like a crusty baguette with melted chocolate or a perfect croque madame dominate the offerings, though Davis doesn’t shy away from more formidable fare, such as a pork and vegetable stew with dumplings that requires a whopping 33 ingredients or a visually impressive layered vegetable omelet cake that calls for three omelets stacked upon one another. Davis does what she can to ease prep and cook times (slow cookers are employed for traditional cassoulet) without sacrificing the all-important flavor. Even though some dishes require more time and preparation than others, readers will find their patience rewarded with memorable results. (Aug.)
Eat Your Words - Cathy Erway
“This book is so up my alley. I am so excited….it is one of the most delicious books I have looked through in quite a long time.”
On The Menu Radio - Ann Haigh
“Hillary Davis, you did it again. Another gorgeous book! Your recipes are not the same-old same-old that you get in most French cookbooks. This is an important cookbook, one that is a gold mine of grand-mère recipes.”
The Oregonian - Grant Butler
“This beautiful new cookbook captures the hearty and heartwarming side of French cooking with a collection of classic recipes and regional favorites, many given modern updates to put them in sync with the way people eat today.”
New Hampshire Magazine
“This book will make you want to don an apron and turn up the flame.”
The Keene Sentinel - Steve Sherman
“Davis emphasizes that as life grows faster and faster-paced, the love of cooking at home returns to the slower, cherished way — a little while in the kitchen and around the family table means a lot more of the good life.”
OneForTheTable.com - Lisa Dinsmore
“Her love of all things French jumps from every page and the photos make you want to immediately book a flight.”
“As we head into fall and cooler days, this cookbook with its new-but-familiar comfort food dishes is not likely to leave the kitchen very often.”

Product Details

Smith, Gibbs Publisher
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Cheese Soufflés in a Mug

Petits Soufflés au Fromage Serves 8

In a restaurant in Paris many years ago, I was served my first soufflé. It was a magnificently puffed vanilla one with a dusting of powdered sugar. Horrified, I watched the waiter attack its center with two large silver serving spoons, deflating it almost immediately. He then poured in a generous amount of Grand Marnier, smiled, and served me a portion. The center was creamy and sweet and so pungent with the orange liqueur that it brought tears to my eyes. I loved it. Ever since, I have made soufflés, both sweet and savory, and it’s a frequent dish at my table.

This savory cheese soufflé recipe is super easy to make and there’s enough for a group of 8—or for 4 people to have seconds.It makes a wonderful appetizer or light lunch with salad. Just turn over your cups or mugs and check that they are oven proof.

Special Equipment pastry brush; 8 (8-ounce / 225-ml) oven -proof mugs, cups, or ramekins; roasting pan or large baking pan ; medium saucepan ; stand mixer

4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick / 60 g) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter

1⁄4 cup (40 g) seasoned breadcrumbs

8 large eggs, room temperature

4 tablespoons (30 g) allpurpose flour

1 1⁄2 cups (350 ml) milk

1 teaspoon salt

dash cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 ounces (170 g) Comté cheese, grated (about 1 1⁄2 cups)

1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar


With the pastry brush, spread the melted butter inside of the mugs, starting at the bottom and brushing with upward strokes towards the lip. Coat the insides of the cups with breadcrumbs all the way up to the lip, tap out excess, and place mugs in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400° F ( 200° C) and place roasting pan filled with an inch of boiling water on the middle rack of the oven.

Separate the eggs into whites and yolks, discarding 1 of the egg yolks so that you have 7 egg yolks and 8 egg whites. Make sure there is no yolk in the egg whites.


Melt 4 tablespoons (60 g) butter in saucepan to make a béchamel sauce. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking on low heat for 1 minute. Slowly pour in half the milk while you whisk then add the rest of the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens and starts bubbling. Add the salt, cayenne, mustard, and cheese and stir to mix. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk 7 egg yolks until pale yellow. Whisk them into the béchamel sauce.

In a very clean dry bowl of the stand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until they hold their shape. Don’t over beat; you want more billowy mounds than stiff peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture then fold in the rest without deflating them. Spoon the mixture into the mugs up to the rim. Run your thumb around the inside of the rim of each mug to help the soufflés rise in the center.

Place the mugs in the roasting pan in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. Do not open the oven door while they are baking, but do turn on the oven light and peak through the glass to see how they are doing after 11 minutes.

Remove from the oven when they are fully puffed up and golden. Serve immediately because the soufflés will begin to deflate after a few minutes. Ideas and substitutions If you have elegant coffee or teacups that are oven proof (fine porcelain is not meant for the oven), they are great for making these little soufflés for formal occasions.

Comté is a mild French cheese with a subtle flavor. If you would like a more pronounced cheese flavor, use a sharp cheddar or any of your favorite cheeses. And if you don’t want to use breadcrumbs to coat the cups, use flour or grated Parmesan cheese instead to give the soufflés something to “climb” as they rise.

The restaurant where I had my first soufflé still exists if you are visiting Paris. Le Soufflé can be found at 36 Rue Mont Thabor.

Meet the Author

Hillary Davis is a the author of Le French Oven, French Comfort Food, Cuisine Niçoiose, and the critically acclaimed A Million A Minute. She is a freelance food writer, cooking instructor, and creator of the popular food blog, Marche Dimanche. She is a long time food columnist and restaurant critic for New Hampshire Magazine and her work has been featured in the Boston Globe, French Entree, Connecticut Home Living, Hartford Magazine, Tastes of New England, CelebrationNH, ParisLuxe.com, Bonjour Paris, and other regional, national, and international publications. She has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including Bloomberg Business News, B Sky B Television News in London, CNBC, BBC radio, WMUR-TV, WBK-Radio, and other local stations in the U.S. She has been a food and travel lecturer on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines. As a food authority, she is a frequent judge of cooking competitions and a speaker at food and blogging events.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

French Comfort Food 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LaurieC3 More than 1 year ago
French Comfort Food is beautifully laid out, with gorgeous photography by Steven Rothfeld. The book is hefty, with excellent-quality paper and a sewn binding, making this a great gift for Francophiles or anyone who likes the idea of learning to cook French food that’s not as elaborate and labor-intensive as haute cuisine. It lies open flat at any recipe in the book, and seems made to last. It also has an excellent 9-page index!