I've gone on record as saying that mussels are the easiest choose-your-own-adventure one-pot meal around, and I intend to prove it to you. This version uses my standard steamed mussel technique and combines it with the classic flavors of a French bouillabaisse. Fennel, saffron, and tomatoes are cooked together with a little pastis and orange zest to form an aromatic, briny broth for dipping bread into.
'french' on Serious Eats
A pot of classic French Moules Marinières is fast food at its best. Made with fresh, inexpensive ingredients that still seem celebratory, this dish comes together in around 15 minutes from start to finish. Make sure to serve it with the rest of the wine left in the bottle and with plenty of toasted bread for dipping into the garlicky, briny broth.
The first time I had cassoulet in its home turf it was a revelation. This loose, almost soup-like stew of beans and meat was so far removed from all versions of cassoulet I'd had in the United States, or even in other parts of France. It was a large, bubbling vat of beans and meat, covered in a crust so dark that it was almost black. Rich, meaty, and overwhelmingly simple, the main flavor was just that of the cured meat, a good stock, and beans.
If you only know endive as a crunchy, leafy, bitter green, then you've been missing out. Roasted, grilled, or sautéed, the wide-leafed vegetable loses much of its trademark bitterness, allowing its sweet, faintly earthy character to emerge at full force. Here, it's combined with shallots and goat cheese for a rich, buttery quiche-like tart.
For this recipe from Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, chef Jody Williams was inspired by Thomas Keller's well-loved salmon rillettes, which she learned to make during her time under him at his by-gone West Village restaurant, Rakel. With fresh and smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and horseradish, it's a rich, creamy, punchy dish that disappears quick.
This vegetable soup from Jody Williams' cookbook, Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, is impeccable—clean, light, and nourishing. Topped with a spoonful of heady pistou, it's the epitome of the harmony that can happen with a thoughtful collision of fresh ingredients.
When fruit is at its peak, it's best served simply; something that Paris Pastry Club author Fanny Zanotti knows well. This recipe for mead-baked peaches comes from a childhood memory of picking peaches in an orchard, and having them prepared just this way for dessert. The tangy yogurt is a lovely counterpoint to the soft, yielding flesh of the peaches. Crunchy honeycomb candy echoes the notes of honey in the mead, and provides a pleasant crunch.
Imagine waking up, head throbbing, room spinning, stomach growling. Too. Much. Wine. Waiting in the kitchen, left by some benevolent fantasy akin to the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, is a pan steaming with silky, slightly caramelized peppers and onions, crumbles of spicy chorizo, and golden, life-giving eggs. This is Jody Williams' Piperade from her book, Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food.
As Paris Pastry Club author Fanny Zanotti herself remarks, there's not much to say about crème brûlée that hasn't already been said. Its mild, creamy sweetness is a true delight; it's rare to find a person who doesn't like it. The recipe simple, but this preparation remains unique: a single serving of crème brûlée, served in its very own ramekin.
Loaded with intensely flavored mushroom duxelles, a flood of Mornay sauce, and crispy fried shallots, this French-inspired burger is sexy enough to make Escoffier blush.
Salmon and lentils is to France what peas and carrots is to the States: an absolutely classic pairing. In this simple, satisfying one-pot dinner that plays off the famous couple, crispy salmon is served in a broth of lentils flavored with caramelized shallots and mustard.
This crisp, juicy spatchcocked chicken gets roasted to sweet-and-sour Provençal perfection with lavender, thyme, olive oil, butter, lemon, and honey.
I usually think of ceviches as quick, simple affairs. Cut up some seafood, throw it in a bowl with citrus juice, let it "cook" for a bit, and then serve. Daniel Boulud's scallop ceviche with blood orange sauce in his new cookbook, Daniel, is not that kind of ceviche. But the extra work actually pays off, and the final dish was probably the best ceviche I'd ever made, and certainly the prettiest.
Bouillabaisse is a classic southern French seafood stew flavored with tomatoes, saffron, and fennel, served with a garlicky mayonnaise-like sauce. Could we make these flavors work with chicken and cut the cooking time down to under half an hour start to finish?