January 10, 2015

French Bistro by Maria Zihammou

French Bistro: Restaurant-Quality Recipes for Appetizers, Entrées, Desserts, and Drinks
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

With cold weather hanging around, what better time to curl up with a lovely cookbook and head off to a distant land. For this trip I chose France with the lovely "French Bistro" by Maria Zihammou. I could tell it was going to be special right off the bat. My husband LOVES olives, so the different types of marinated olives will be a big hit with him, and the Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley are so scrumptious! You don't even need the crackers or bread--a fork works just fine! From there we moved to "In a Minute", quick recipes for busy times. "Minute Steak with French Herbs and Salad" is delightful and Mussels Three Ways will make me and one of my daughters extremely happy! (For some reason, only the two of us like mussels. Ah, well. It just means there's more for us!)

Now we move on to "From the Oven". Mmmm! Lemon-Roasted Whole Chicken is a favorite way of mine to roast chicken, though I sometimes use a combination of lemon and orange, and I like garlic with it, too. Oven Baked Pork Roast is definitely a keeper!

Rustic. Ah! The name says it all! Onion Soup, Chicken Stew with Clear Broth and Vegetables (my favorite way to have chicken soup!), Springtime Lamb Stew--can we just say, "Scrumptious!"?

A Marriage of Flavors offers classic French combinations such as Sole with Butter Sauce and Butter-Fried Capers (what's not to like in this marriage?!?), Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Apple and Rack of Lamb with Basil Sauce among others.

Okay, now we move on to Daring Flavors! I'm pretty sure I won't really be cooking from this section, but that's just me. Snails with Garlic and Parley, Sweetbreads with Madeira Sauce, Stew with Pork Loin Marinated in Red Wine (which didn't sound daring until I read that it's thickened with pig's blood!) aren't exactly my cup of tea.

Finally, we come to Sweets. Lemon Tart. Enough said. Probably one of my favorite desserts ever! Oh, my! Heaven on my taste buds! Creme Brulee--did she read my favorite desserts list when she put this book together?! There's more, but I haven't made it past my two favorites yet!

The books ends with Drinks, which doesn't do much for me as there's only three and they're all alcoholic. There is also menu suggestions at the end, which is nice.

This is a truly delightful book that I am happy to recommend. Some of the recipes aren't as clear as they could be, but I was able to manage just fine.

I received a copy of this book from Skyhorse Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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