Category Archives: Simple French cooking for English Homes

Pommes à la Crème

Yet another apple recipe. I’ve never fried fruit, nor have I flamed booze before. I was quite nervous about this, all the other times I’ve had fire in my kitchen, it’s been unintentional and thus rather panic-inducing. Still, I thoroughly dampened a tea-towel, put it in arm’s reach of the cooker and steeled myself. (I don’t have any pets or small children, but we should all practise safe flambé.)

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Salade de pommes de terre aux piments

“One cannot help wondering if an English salad is the results of ignorance or the aim of curiously perverted taste…. The French I am told, have many failings, but they can make wine, coffee and salads.”

Thus aphorises  X Marcel Boulestin at the start of the salad chapter in Simple French Cooking for English Homes (of which Quadrille were kind enough to send us a copy). The book is a brisk but thorough canter through French home, as opposed to restaurant cooking, meaning it is full of recipes which are damn French but mostly require about 6 ingredients and are compatible with full-time employment. There are sections on sauces, soups, meat, vegetables and a few puddings (on obtient du pain dans les boulangeries, oui?), as well as hilariously didactic final chapter on wine. Salads includes details on the best way to mix dressing as well as recipes of of raw and cooked vegetables, fish and beef.

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Gateau de Pommes de terre aux oignons – Potato cake with onions

The lovely Classic Voices (from Quadrille) sent us a little teaser of their summer releases, one of which is ‘Simple French cooking for English Homes’ by X. Marcel Boulestin, first published in 1923 and containing the advice which every food blogger has taken to heart: ‘Food which is worth eating is worth talking about‘.  (On this blog we take that even further, by also talking about food which isn’t always worth eating.)

The snack-size preview proves the title is accurate and this pleases me. I like French food but am unable (i.e. too lazy) to cook a lot of Escoffier recipes, as I don’t generally keep meat jelly in the fridge. I have one volume of  Julia Child, but the long, long explanations put me off. (Though I am thinking of deploying it the next time I fancy some meringue.)

Last Sunday night it was very chilly and rainy for June,  I had not a lot of ingredients in the house and no desire to change out of my pyjamas and go out and buy some.  This is what happened:
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