Bistronomy by Jane Sigal is a trip to Paris to enjoy the city’s bistros without buying a plane ticket.
Paris chefs have started an about-face on the typical stuffiness that is sometimes associated with Parisian cuisine. They are now creating meal experiences that are geared more toward fun and less toward formality. Jane Sigal, a highly regarded authority on French cuisine, spent a year researching this beautiful book – bursting with vibrant photos and tempting recipes.
Bistronomy is the perfect balance of casual yet upscale dishes. Gazpacho with Chorizo & Pineapple, Winter Squash Soup with Cocoa Cream (recipe below) and Parmesan Soup with Peas in the first chapter alone call out to me…honestly every soup recipe sounds and looks delicious and perfect for the chilly season that is upon us.
Pan-seared Gnocchi Salad with Burrata and Tomatoes, Crisp Chicken with Potato Salad and Anchovy Vinaigrette, Grand Marnier Souffles with Salted Caramel, Brown-Sugar-Walnut Cake with Poached Quince and Almond-Coconut Orange Cake are a few of the dozens and dozens of recipes that are tabbed to try. Did you notice I included three desserts and I’m truly not a dessert person!
While some of the recipes have lengthy ingredient lists, they do not seem like they will be difficult to procure and the recipes for the most part seem fairly simple — some make take some time — but for people who love to cook – you want a book that will stretch your culinary muscles and create new and exciting dishes.
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup (185 ml) heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
- Sea salt
- One 1-pound (500-g) kabocha or butternut squash, peeled,
- seeded, and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces (see Notes)
- 4 cups (1 L) water or vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 ounces (125 g) Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
- 2 slices of firm, day-old white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes
- Snipped chives, for sprinkling
- Piment d’Espelette
To make prep easier, buy 1 pound (500 g) of peeled, seeded, and cubed winter squash.
The cocoa powder whipped into the cream makes it stiffer than usual.
The soup can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
“It could be my mother’s,” says L’Ami Jean’s Stephane Jego of this simple
veloute. “Except the cocoa cream takes it in a completely different direction.” Jego
pipes the whipped cream into bowls and sends out the smooth soup separately
in a pitcher. The (unsweetened) cream melts as the steaming soup is poured into
your bowl, like marshmallows in a cup of hot chocolate.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa with 1 tablespoon of the cream to form a thick
paste. Whisk in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the remaining cream just until smooth. Cover
the bowl and refrigerate until very cold,at least 1 hour. Whip the cocoa cream
until it holds a firm peak. Cover and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the butter. Add
the onion and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash, cover, and cook over medium-low
heat until it begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the water and potato and
bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree
the soup in a blender until very smooth.
In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 g) of butter. Add the
bread cubes and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and
golden, about 5 minutes. Season the croutons with salt, remove from the heat,
and let cool.
Return the soup to the saucepan, stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of cream,
and gently reheat. Season with salt. Pour the soup into a tureen or pitcher.
Using a pastry bag with a large star tip or a spoon, pipe or dollop the whipped
cocoa cream into soup bowls. Dust with cocoa powder and sprinkle with the
croutons, chives, and piment d’Espelette.
Serve with the soup.
Rizzoli provided me with a copy of this beautiful book to review and also a copy of this book for one lucky reader (US addresses only). Please leave a comment here telling me about your favorite French dish. A random winner will be chosen on November 20th. Please feel free to share this post with other cookbook lovers. Good luck! Special thanks to Rizzoli for always producing incredibly beautiful books and allowing me to share the Winter Squash Soup recipe with you.
Random Number Generator picked #16 – Sue Westall. Congratulations!
cynthia caprise says
Just the cover alone and the fact that it’s written by Jane makes me WANT this book!
Judy Krist says
I love beef bourguinonne!!!! Would love a copy of this book.
Coq au vin is my favorite and perfect for this time of year!
Jeff Tix says
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I consider French Bistro to be original concept of weeknight cooking. A few ngredients, handled properly, and yu get a meal far better than anything yu would get out a box, bottle, or freezer.
Karen Fender says
Ratatouille with a really good french bread
Hum, I would have to say fingerling potatoes with white wine and vinegar. It was my first French dish and very good with any roasted meat. Thanks for the great giveaway!
Jevyn Nelms says
Mushroom quiche! I’ve been in the road but I can’t wait to make one soon!
I love the pastries. So good!
I love cassoulet de lapin. And I’d love this book
Kouign Amann or any other breakfast pastry
Sharyl Wolter says
Steak Diane for me!
Jordan Rando says
Cassoulet the perfect bistro meal
Cathy D says
I loooove ratatouille. Just give me the dish, and a fork, and I’ll be set for the night 😉
Right now I’d love Pain au Choclat.
Alison H. says
I love ratatouille! Delicious!!!
Streak frites if I need something quick…..coq au vin if I have the time 🙂 And dessert…..there must be dessert
Laura A. Harley says
monique potel says
I do have a US address and my 2 all time favorites are
blanquette de veau a l’ancienne
veal head sauce gribiche
Robin Chesser says
If I have to choose just one favorite, it would be steak frites.
Robin Chesser says
I shared the Facebook post.
Creme brulee! Any kind, any time! There is always room!
Nadia Murray says
Croque Madame, Mille Feuille, croissant aux Amandes – I would not turn down Coq au Vin or Boeuf Bourginonne with a crusty baguette
April M. Lusk says
Chocolate Eclairs are my fav hands down! I also have made and love Croquembouche!!
Aaron Rishell says
Potato and leek soup
Love everything creamy – from creme brulee to any type of creamy textured soup (whether using potatoes as a thickener or cream).
My favorite is Gratin Dauphinois.
I spelled that wrong 🙁 It’s Beef Bourguignon.
My favorite is creme puffs! Of course all fresh pastries were in the running!
Linda G. says
The most memorable French meals were in Paris many years ago. I’ll always remember the moules, (so tiny, the size of my pinky nail, at Fish restaurant and at Brasserie Lutetia, the salad of fresh fig stuffed with goat cheese followed by roast chicken in a pot with garlic mashed potatoes. Exquisite, and to this day my favourite french food.
I love soufflés of any type- sweet, savory, it doesn’t matter to me!
Cassoulet is my favorite.
My current favourite French dish is Chicken Breasts Diable.
Nancy Olmstead says
I love a great baguette with cheese.
Tina W says
I love a good Beef Bourguignon
Karyn Newton says
Cassoulet, although I could make a meal out of pate and cheese, too!
Faith Bahadurian says
I love steak frites for dinner, but for the rest of the day my heart belongs to oeufs en muerette! (And at home, I have it for dinner too.)
Lisa Barron says