Monday, September 8, 2014
Your Own French Bistro
French food is amazing.It's flavorful and only has the best and freshest ingredients.It's also intimidating to many home chefs.Yet French cuisine isn't as hard to make as most people think.Bistro food is easy.It's what most Parisian restaurant s make, and it's simple enough for any Yank to cook. One of the easiest bistro foods to make the croque monsieur.This is nothing more than a grilled cheese sandwich fried in butter.It is usually made with white bread(you can also use rye too for an earthier flavor) along with Emmental or Gruyere cheese.Again it can be varied with Swiss cheese..What makes it so delicious is frying it in butter which is also spread on the bread before assembling the sandwich.Some croquen recipes recommend a béchamel sauce poured over it.This isna simple white sauce spoked with nutmeg and bay leaf.The sandwich doesn't need this.Another variation is a croque Madame, which is the addition of a poached egg on top(the shape reminded cooks of a ladies hat, hence the name)Serve your croques with a glass of sparkling hard cider,the perfect foil for this hearty sandwich.If you want a tad healthier then whip up simple ratatouille, a cooked mélange of tomatoes, eggplants and onions,It's cooked in olive oil with minced garlic.It can be used as a side but 's it's better as a main meal.Make sure you have a large, crusty baguette to sop up the juices. Some bistro dishes are a little more elaborate but still easy to create.Try a carbonade which is nothing more than a beef stew with the addition of beer and onions,Use a light or blonde beer, like a PIlsner .You want the beery taste but not the bitterness that a darker one will impart.it also requires a bouquet garni, ,a mix of dried herbs in a small cheesecloth pouch ( think a culinary potpourri)"The stew is usually ladled on thick slices of French bread but yip can also serve it on rice or better yet buttery egg noodles.For non meat eaters there is a cabbage casserole or gratin au Chou.The ingredients are the super tasty Savoy cabbage chopped and parboiled.This is then layered in a casserole dish with quick sauteed rice and tomatoes.Béchamel sauce and cheese is the spread on top.This is a great fall dish, perfect on a Sunday night after apple picking.For something easier, try steak au poivre.It is a nothing more than a simple filet mignon coated with with loosely cracker peppercorns and served with a cognac sauce,made from cognac, the meat's juices and cream.The traditional side dish is crispy shoestring potatoes French bistro food is easy to make and delicious to eat.Home chefs can easily make it.There's is nothing elaborate about it.It's simple food with good ingredients.