This is my first time cooking from the Bonne Femme Cookbook. I think I can sum up the experience with the word ‘fantabulous’. From Urban Dictionary, fantabulous is defined as “Sort of like “fabulous” but much more fabulous than the word “fabulous” can convey. Like supercalifragilisticexpialidocius but shorter and easier to spell.”
Yep. These recipes were fantabulous.
The Bonne Femme Cookbook promises ‘simple, splendid food that French women cook every day’ and that was definitely delivered. In this session I made:
Lemon Saffron Rosemary Wings from page 9
Butterhead Lettuce Salad with Walnuts and Comte from page 44 &
Roasted Root Vegetables from page 265
Let’s start with the Lemon Saffron Rosemary Wings. I didn’t use saffron, I used the turmeric option listed in the book. This was just an economic consideration. Because saffron is the hand picked stigmas of the saffron crocus, you can imagine that it gets a bit pricier than other spices. Plus I already had turmeric and being lazy and cheap won out on this one.
Finger licking good indeed… just remember that turmeric leaves a nice yellow colour all over your fingers and mouth – your husband might not tell you that you have made a mess all over your face but I will… because we’re friends.
Another thing I changed was the amount of wings I made. Since I was using this as the protein in a meal, and not just an excuse to eat a pound of wings on my own, I only made one pound and divided them up between hubs and I. However I did not change any other measurement meaning that my wings got a large dose of flavour. It was wicked. They were so bright with the lemon zest and the fresh rosemary was to die for. The only thing, I found them a touch salty. I think if I were going to put that much flavoring on only one pound of wings instead of two, I would cut back on the salt a touch. Though, I am sure if you were to make the recipe properly it would be perfect.
Next on the list was the Butterhead Lettuce Salad with Walnuts and Comte. Well I actually used Emmental… again, it was a substitution that the book said I could make, not something I just did because I read the recipe wrong… again. I did however make one of those mistakes with the dressing. Turns out I did not have sherry vinegar, just sherry. Oh well – I can tell you that it is still very tasty substituting one for the other in this recipe.
It was worth me burning my arm on the pan to get the walnuts toasted. I’m not even being sarcastic.
I like to describe this simple, yet flavorally (yes I know I just made up that word) complex salad as a tripod. Take away any one of the three legs (Boston lettuce, toasted walnuts or cheese) and it wouldn’t be half as amazing as it was. In fact it would fall flat. But this salad not only stands tall, it works so wonderfully with this dressing I think I would eat a big bowl of it all on its own. Though getting me to eat a big bowl of something isn’t much of an accomplishment, but I would definitely enjoy it more than some of the other things I’ve eaten a big bowl of in the past… looking at you chef boyardee.
Finally this meal rounded out with roasted root vegetables from page 265. Ever since I started making roast chicken on a bed of root vegetables from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc At Home, I have fallen in love with vegetables prepared this way. But let’s face it… you don’t always want or need a whole roast chicken. This easy recipe does nicely. The added balsamic vinegar adds a nice layer of flavoring to the vegetables that I really enjoyed. The only thing I would say is to use red skinned potatoes with the skin washed but on. Otherwise with turnips, peeled potatoes, parsnips, etc – it looks pretty white. Luckily everything cooks differently and some gets brown, others stay white and there are always the orange carrots to break it up a bit!
Makes me actually look forward to my veggies!
Moving forward through this amazing French cookbook I will be cooking the following – feel free to get a copy of the book and cook along with me! Leave me some comments and let me know how the recipes work for you.
Beef Bourguignon, page 184
Any Night Baked Rice, page 239
Turnip Gratin, page 267