Hearty boeuf Bourguignon served in deep bowls over a garlic-rubbed slice of baguette toast; decadently rich croque monsieur, eggy and oozing with cheese; gossamer crème brulee, its sweetness offset by a brittle burnt-sugar topping. Whether shared in a cozy French bistro or in your own home, the romance and enduring appeal of French country cooking is irrefutable. Here is the book that helps you bring that spirit, those evocative dishes, into your own home.
What Ina Garten is known for—on her Food Network show and in her three previous bestselling books—is adding a special twist to familiar dishes, while also streamlining the recipes so you spend less time in the kitchen but still emerge with perfection. And that’s exactly what she offers in Barefoot in Paris. Ina’s kir royale includes the unique addition of raspberry liqueur—a refreshing alternative to the traditional crème de cassis. Her vichyssoise is brightened with the addition of zucchini, and her chocolate mousse is deeply flavored with the essence of orange. All of these dishes are true to their Parisian roots, but all offer something special—and are thoroughly delicious, completely accessible, and the perfect fare for friends and family.
Barefoot in Paris is suffused with Ina’s love of the city, of the bustling outdoor markets and alluring little shops, of the bakeries and fromageries and charcuteries—of the wonderful celebration of food that you find on every street corner, in every neighborhood. So take a trip to Paris with the perfect guide—the Barefoot Contessa herself—in her most personal book yet.
Ina Garten’s much loved cookbooks, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, and Barefoot Contessa Family Style, offer relaxed yet stylish dishes that don’t tax the cook. Her food works wonderfully for entertaining but shouldn’t be limited to such times. Barefoot in Paris finds Garten (almost inevitably) in France, “translating” native dishes for the American home cook. The result is rewarding, and should get those reluctant to “cook French” to do just that. Covered are classics like Celery Root Rémoulade, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, but also “newer” dishes like Zucchini Vichyssoise and Avocado and Grapefruit Salad. If Garten ranges wide from typical Parisian fare–in, for example, recipes like Rosemary Cashews, Tomato Rice Pilaf, and a distinctly American Brownie Tart–these nonetheless embody the French approach. Her sweets, including the likes of Peaches in Sauternes, Plum Cake “Tatin,” and an exemplary Crème Brûlée, are particularly tempting. Included also are asides like “About French Table Settings,” and “If You’re Going,” a resource guide, that, practicality apart, give readers a sense of French culinary life. With color photos, this is winning addition to the Barefoot collection. –Arthur Boehm
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