By Susan Herrmann Loomis
"Susan Loomis has France in her bones. Like a good farmwife who saves every scrap of food, Susan saves every scrap of information that comes her way, and we, her grateful readers, are the fortunate beneficiaries. This very, very good book is her finest work to date." —Patricia Wells
Susan Herrmann Loomis, celebrated author, goes to the source when she writes about food. She lived on boats for The Great American Seafood Cookbook, traveled across America for Farmhouse Cookbook, and for her newest book, French Farmhouse Cookbook (Workman/hardcover $24.95, paper $14.95), has spent the last three years living among farmers, cheese makers, ranchers, and vintners from the Pyrenees to Alsace-Lorraine, from Normandy to Provence, to find out what the French really eat. Susan's three year adventure has yielded a wealth of delicious and authentic recipes, and the cooking hints and secrets that go with them, all direct from the French farm kitchen and all compiled for you in French Farmhouse CookbookThe cuisine served in the homes of rural France is the soul of French food. "This book is the cuisine du terrior, and it is to these recipes and the people who produce them that the great chefs of France return for inspiration," says Loomis in the foreword. She, like the great chefs, knows that people who produce food understand best how to coax flavor from sparkling fresh ingredients, and this she communicates in French Farmhouse Cookbook.
French Farmhouse Cookbook is filled with more than 250 mouthwatering, easy to prepare, seasonal and authentic recipes, including an Oyster stew straight from the oyster beds in Brittany, a warming Potage from a farmer in Le Neubourg, crispy Roast Chicken with Garlic Croutons from Dordogne, Antoinette Dugord's sumptuous Duck with Prunes, from Normandy, Hearty Pork and Vegetable Stew with Buckwheat Dumplings from Brittany, savory Green Beans in Walnut Oil from a tiny village in the Perigord, and a divine Tarte Tatin, or Upside-down Carmelized Apple Tart.
Susan Herrmann Loomis' journey took her to dozens of farms across the French countryside, and her lively essays transport you right onto the fields and into the kitchen. You will accompany her as she goes mushrooming for cepes in the Perigord, learns the secret to making rich vinegar on the Dubois farm, and discovers how to make authentic, nutty Breton crepes in the kitchen of Madame Plassart. "I enjoy nothing more than spending a day with farmers in the field or kitchen, and then sitting down to a meal with them. It is a rare privilege that allows me, albeit briefly, to be a part of their lives," says Loomis.
Farmcooks follow their intuition when preparing many meals, and in French Farmhouse Cookbook, you will learn how to follow their lead, thanks to the dozens of clever tricks, or astuces, sprinkled generously throughout the book. Here's one: next time you roast a chicken, drizzle vinegar over it a few minutes before you take it out of the oven. You'll be amazed how crispy its skin becomes and how succulent its meat. Here's another: When cooking artichoke hearts, leave in the choke. It adds flavor and is much easier to remove when cooked. And one more: if you thoroughly pat dry your peeled, cut potatoes before you pop them in oil, you'll have the crispiest, oil-free french fries you've ever tasted.
Susan's keen eye, journalistic training and commitment to offering authentic recipes that will work in the American kitchen make this, like all of her other works, a cookbook to use often, and to treasure. within its pages you will meet families, learn French farming and dining traditions, celebrate occasions, and feel yourself drawn into the kitchen to fill your home with the luscious, inviting aromas of the French farm kitchen. with the French Farmhouse Cookbook, you will enjoy a flavorful and bountiful journey to the French farm.
Susan Herrmann Loomis is a food writer, cooking teacher, chef, and author of The Great American Seafood Cookbook, Farmhouse Cookbook, and Clambakes and Fish Fries. Articles by her have appeared in Gourmet, Eating Well, Metropolitan Home, Bon Appetit, Travel and Leisure, Cooking Light, and The New York Times. She currently lives in a restored 14th century convent in the heart of Normandy with her husband and young son.
French Farmhouse Cookbook
by Susan Herrmann Loomis
Workman; December 1996
Paper: $14.95; ISBN: 1-56305-488-4
Cloth: $24.95; ISBN: 0-7611-0624-3 432
Information above provided by the publisher.
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