Tag Archives: french food

Bonne Femme

Bonne Femme CookbookBonne femme: literally translated as “good wife” but according to the The Bonne Femme Cookbook, the term has nothing to do with gender. It refers to the art of French home cooking, and can be accomplished by chats et chattes alike.

We’ve tried a few recipes and even though I cannot attest to the authenticity (someday when I actually get to live in France, I’ll let you know!), the food is délicieux.

When we were first married, Monsieur Chat acquired an Italian cookbook simply titled, “Pasta.” From it, we learned basic techniques for preparing simple yet lavish, company-worthy Italian dishes. There are certain cooking methods, herbs and ingredient combinations necessary to Italian cooking, and once we knew them, we were able to create beautiful, tasty dishes on the fly.

Now we are doing the same with French cooking, using The Bonne Femme Cookbook as our guide to the distinctively French braising and sautéing methods, herbs and ingredients.

If you happen upon this book, don’t hesitate to try the Chicken Fricassée, Le Poisson Meuniére, Green Beans Persillade, or Beef Stew with Orange and Balsamic Vinegar. Kir is a lovely drink to sip while you sauté un oignon and peruse the possibilities. And if you’re as all-in as I am, you’ll want to buy some herbes de Provence and start growing chervil on your kitchen window sill.

We’ll be trying one of the lovely puff pastry recipes later this week. Merveilleux!

Bon appetit, mes amis.

Mardi Gras

Happy Fat Tuesday, mes amis.

As we get ready to give up our delicacies tomorrow for forty days of Lent, it’s only fitting that today should be a day of debauchery and pigging out. In Nice, they’re celebrating the end of a days-long festival called Carnaval de Roi de la Gastronomie (King of Gastronomy Carnival). So yeah, it’s about food.

Mardi Gras in Nice, France.

Mardi Gras celebration in Nice, France. So much color!

In the US, the festivities happen way down in La Nouvelle-Orléans, Louisiana, our most French city, and nothing much happens around us. Apparently we live in Polish country — the big splurge here is paczkis.

So we do our own thing here at Maison Chat, making a plat mijoté from the lovely Bonne Femme Cookbook by Wini Moranville. It’s a beef stew flavored with l’orange et le vinaigre balsamique. The sauce calls for en peu de vin rouge (red wine), jus d’orange (orange juice) and Grand Marnier liqueur. So naturally, we made drinks.

And hopefully for dessert, cafe au lait et beignets. Because after all that rich beef and wine, we’ll need to settle our stomachs with coffee and fried dough.

Bon appetit, fêtards!