It’s really true. Elizabeth Bard really does reveal secrets of French dining in her new book Dinner Chez Moi: 50 French Secrets to Joyful Eating and Entertaining. It’s not just a hip and seductive tagline. Here are five secrets that popped out at me as I was flipping though this new glorious (and helpful) cookbook:
Secret #3: Salad dressing? It takes less that a minute to whip up your own vinaigrette in the bottom of the salad bowl. Toss it with greens from bottom up so they don’t get too soppy and wet. “French vinaigrette is like your favorite lip gloss; it should add the merest shimmer of flavor.”
Secret #9: Cinnamon in savory dishes. “Like wearing a red bra under your business suit, it changes everything, even though you might be the only one who knows it’s there.”
Secret #20: Anchovies. Just trust me here.
Secret #29: Le Creuset Dutch oven means a few minutes of prep, then several hours in the oven… and a meal that makes you seem like you cooked for those several hours.
Secret #30: Want creamy soup? Don’t use cream. Use an immersion blender. “I’m a low-tech cook. I don’t have razor-sharp knives, a KitchenAid, or a Vitamix, and it takes me longer to retrieve, put together, and wash my food processor than it does to chop five pounds of onions by hand.”
And there are 45 more wonderful tips and tricks. If you’re looking for a little more je ne sais quoi in your kitchen, pick up Dinner Chez Moi. Now, I’m getting back to my anchovy-laden salad. Yumbo.