Monday, 26 March 2012

CUISINE REVIEW: The Little French Kitchen - Rachel Khoo

Release Date: 15/03/12


Rachel Khoo serves up a modern twist on classic French cooking. Rachel Khoo was determined to get to grips with French cooking, so to learn more she moved to Paris, not speaking a word of French, and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu, the world-famous cookery school. Six years later, she still lives and works in Paris, cooking up a selection of classic French dishes from all over the country and giving them a fresh makeover with her own modern twists. From a Croque Madame muffin and the classic Boeuf bourguignon, to a deliciously fragrant Provencal lavender and lemon roast chicken, Rachel celebrates the culinary landscape of France as it is today and shows how simple these dishes are. The 120 recipes in the book range from easy, everyday dishes like Omelette Piperade, to summer picnics by the Seine and afternoon 'gouter' (snacks), to meals with friends and delicious desserts including classics like Creme brulee and Tarte tatin. It's a book that celebrates the very best of French home-cooking in a modern and accessible way. Real French food is no longer something only served in fancy restaurants; Rachel will show how you can add a little French culinary touch to your everyday life at home, no matter where you are in the world, or how big your kitchen is!


OK, this is going to sound like an excuse but for me, French Cuisine has always seemed like fancy food that takes forever to prepare and designed more for a dinner party than everyday use. This stereotype was reinforced when you start looking at the whole Michelin Star system and to be blunt, I’ve always thought that it wasn’t for me. Yes I like my French Bread and my Pain Aux Raisins but for me the stereotype has proven to be one that’s hard to do away with, especially when you also watch some of the cheffy things on the TV where they start talking big foreign words that you don’t have a clue what they mean and the product that they serve is unrecognisable from what comes out from your own Kitchen. (That said, whenever I’ve been to France I do like to have a rummage around places like the Patisserie or the Chocolatiere as I do like a lot of their sweeter things, but on the whole I’ve always been intimidated by the whole thing.)

Luckily for me, this title by Rachel Khoo landed and whilst I’m still scared of it, I’ve found an absolute ton of recipes that are easy to prepare, taste divine and of course give me that “je ne sais quois” when I bring them out. Like Italian Cuisine (my comfort zone) the recipes depend on quality ingredients prepared quickly and served on completion. It can bring families together and it makes eating an experience to cherish. Back that up with food for all types of celebrations (be it a fancy meal or a picnic) and this title will allow you to really give it your all.

All in, it’s a wonderful book and this does for French Cuisine what I want, it makes it accessable for anyone who likes to spend time in the kitchen as well as helping to remove the stuffiness alongside fear that the words French Cuisine normally conjures up.

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