The 10 heartiest French dishes to get you through winter – with recipes

As temperatures fall, it’s time to start culinary planning for the cold months ahead. Luckily France is the perfect country for it. Warning: Waistlines may expand.

Pot-au-feu

Pot-au-feu is a mouthwatering stew of different kinds of meat, marrow bones and root vegetables. Preparation is easy but the stew needs to cook on low heat for quite some time. The meat, veggies and broth are served in separate dishes, accompanied by horseradish, spicy Dijon mustard and pickled gherkins. The bone marrow is spread on to toasted pieces of bread, but this may not be everyone’s cup of tea

Onion Soup

French onion soup is well known outside of France, and with good reason. It’s easy to make and it’ll definitely warm you up when it’s cold outside. There are a few different, but equally delicious, variations on the recipe. Some suggest a slice of bread on top while others are gratinéed to create a crusty layer of cheese.

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Fromage Fort Is a Cheesy Spread Made From Wine, Cheese, and Butter

Cheese, butter, wine—name a more iconic trio.

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy to make that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

My parents are notorious cheese hoarders. There is never a time when I’m at their house and their cheese drawer isn’t overflowing with Havarti for my mom and a sharp Irish or Australian cheddar for my dad, plus whatever called their names at the grocery store that week.

Unfortunately I’ve inherited this trait. I can’t resist combing through any “just-enough” cheese bin and taking one or two home with me. But when a regular cheese-and-cracker combo isn’t hitting the spot anymore, or I have a leftover hunk from a recipe and I don’t know what to do with the rest, fromage fort is my savior. Quite literally meaning “strong cheese” in French, it is the divine combination of cheese, butter, and wine. Blended up with the allium or herbs of your choice, it becomes an impossibly addictive and infinitely adaptable spread, and though it feels posh, the only thing you need to make it is a food processor.

It requires about 8 oz. cheese, room temperature (you can always do more, but depending on the size of your food processor, you may have a hard time doing less). Part of the fun is figuring out which cheeses to play against each other. In general bluer, funkier, or saltier cheeses will have a more dominating flavor than milder cheeses, so use less of them if you want the flavors of any other cheeses to come through. Try balancing 1 or 2 oz. of your blue or funky cheese with 3 or 4 oz. of something mild and buttery, like Muenster or Gouda, and round out the rest with familiar fridge standbys like goat cheese, Parmesan, or cheddar. Grate any harder cheeses and cube or crumble softer cheeses. If you want to add garlic—and you do—give a clove a rough chop. Continue reading “Fromage Fort Is a Cheesy Spread Made From Wine, Cheese, and Butter”

Guillaume Brahimi on French eating and staying healthy

“No matter what social class you belong to, you sit down for lunch in France”

People sometimes remark that eating cheese and drinking red wine may contribute to French people’s good health.

But French-Australian chef Guillaume Brahimi says these ways aren’t a part of the diet that he knows. Instead, he thinks the French’s healthy habits include honouring meals and slowing down to savour food.

Lunch, a meal that here in Australia we expect to be quick and easy to devour, is a leisurely, planned affair in France. Often a French family will gather to cook something and take the time out of their day to eat. “No matter what social class you belong to, you sit down for lunch in France,” says Brahimi.

Part of this respect for meal times comes from the esteem that the French place on food. Branavie Ranjithakumaran, a Melbourne-based dietitian, says that the way they regard food differs from other parts of the West, where there’s an underlying fear about the damage food may cause to the body.

Ranjithakumaran says, “[In France], there is emphasis placed on the social and psychological aspects that come along with the food. It’s not enough to consume it in a short period of time. It’s a real point in the day to stop, slow down, and be mindful, then be able to reset for the rest of the day.”

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French warm to ‘impossible’ wine from Calvados country

When a solicitor from Normandy announced plans to make wine in his home region, connoisseurs were incredulous. “It seemed totally incongruous to them,” Gérard Samson, 62, said. “It wasn’t just that they thought the wine would be bad. They thought the idea was impossible.”

It has taken Mr Samson more than 20 years to overcome the deeply held belief that only a fool would create a vineyard so close to England, but, at last, he appears to have beaten the prejudice.

Sales of reds and whites from his Arpents du Soleil vineyard in the Calvados area have risen by about 20 per cent compared with 2019, and the demeanour of customers arriving for tastings has changed completely.

The French former lawyer Gérard Samson has found success with his Normandy vineyard
The French former lawyer Gérard Samson has found success with his Normandy vineyard [ . . . ]

Continue at The Times: French warm to ‘impossible’ wine from Calvados country | World | The Times