Many Americans see French cuisine as something the French were born to master—and we were destined to mangle. But Wini Moranville, wine expert and author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food The French Women Cook Every Day, believes that we needn’t fear the French kitchen. We just need to learn the bonne femme (“good wife”) style.
The phrase bonne femme is used to describe food that is fresh, simple, honest and served everyday. Moranville has perfected this style of cooking over the last 20 years by spending summers in France. She’s learned that French women aren’t so different from their American counterparts—they tend to focus on easy techniques rather than complicated Cordon Bleu-esque rules. They also use small amounts of cream to impart just a bit of richness.
Wini’s charming book brings to life 250 recipes that are made with easy-to-find ingredients, but are unique enough to wow your family and guests. Perfectly balanced servings such as her lovely Salade d’Hiver with pine nuts, dried figs and prociutto highlight the collection. We also adore the versatile Nouvelle Chicken Veronique and quintessential Cherry Clafouti, a simple cobbler-like confection that is simply tres magnifique with a dollop of creme fraiche or sweetened whipped cream.
—By Emily Arno