Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France by Melissa Clark

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Notes about this book

  • PQPantry on March 29, 2020

    Approachable recipes. The Asparagus Goat Cheese and Tarragon tart (on the cover) is easy, delicious and elegant. Used 5 oz heavy cream instead of the creme fraiche.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Classic salade Niçoise

    • Emily Hope on April 20, 2020

      Solid recipe for a salad Nicoise -- nothing earth-shattering, but pretty easy and the family enjoyed it. I had to sub in chives for the shallots in the dressing as we were out of shallots, otherwise made as written. I also made some homemade mayo with garlic and lemon to have on the side, a nice-to-have but not necessary. High quality tuna packed in oil makes a difference here!

    • Lepa on May 18, 2020

      This was pretty good but I liked the version in Clark's book Dinner: Changing the Game better. Maybe our vegetables just weren't as good as they are in late summer(?)

  • French yogurt cake with cherries and cardamom

    • kjwright on April 20, 2020

      This cake was delicious, though took some problem solving. I bake frequently and am on excellent terms with my oven. Overall, I baked the cake for approx 90-95 minutes, which seemed to bring the center closer to done (vs. what it was at 60 min), though it still sank and was still not as set as I'd have expected. The cake was nice and crusty at this point, which was a big hit with the rest of the family. If I attempt again, I may switch over to a 9" round given the density.

    • stockholm28 on May 09, 2020

      Delicious. The cardamom and cherries are a great combo. I used a pyrex loaf pan and had to cook it an hour and 15 minutes (she says 50 - 60 minutes). I used frozen sour cherries rather than sweet cherries and I liked the tartness.

    • Lepa on March 17, 2020

      I don't know what happened but this cake was a complete failure. It looked fine coming out of the oven, after 55 minutes, but then the middle cratered and I saw the middle was a sticky liquid. I put the cake back in for ten minutes. I cut the cake the next day and it was extremely greasy. We ate the end pieces but most of the cake was a greasy mess. I think part of the problem was that I put frozen cherries in (as directed, I didn't thaw them) but should have adjusted the recipe. Maybe I should have baked it longer? I don't know but I'm really disappointed.

  • Asparagus, goat cheese, and tarragon tart

    • Astrid5555 on April 23, 2020

      Delicious! No need for room temperature ingredients IMHO, thus a very quick to make dish. Substituted sour cream for crème fraîche, worked well. Light dinner for four with a leafy side salad, perfect!

    • Lepa on May 23, 2020

      This was easy and gorgeous-so impressive! Unfortunately, we found it to be a bit rich. There was so much butter and cream that it tasted a bit greasy to me. Also, it's difficult to eat with the asparagus spears. I'm afraid this won't be a repeat for us.

    • Jviney on May 11, 2020

      This recipe seemed magical to me. I thought the goat cheese creme fraiche topping would run off, but just in time the edges of the puff pastry puffed and everything stayed where it should. I’d like to try all-butter puff pastry next time; didn’t have access to it this time. I made it for friends and they loved it.

    • PQPantry on March 29, 2020

      Can substitute heavy cream (5oz) for creme fraiche in a pinch.

    • sdeathe on May 08, 2020

      This was delicious, but made way more of the topping than needed. I thought it might firm up in the oven, so put most of it on the tart, and it ran off completely covering the puff pastry, making it doughy. I'll try this again, maybe the crème fraîche was too thin. I'd reduce the salt a bit, too.

  • Roasted tomatoes with lemony anchovy crumbs

    • tarae1204 on May 28, 2020

      Good recipe but strong on the anchovies. This is a complex version of a pretty standard French side dish of stuffed tomatoes. So know that you can go all in and make them in this amazing Melissa Clark super-flavorful and strong-on-the-anchovies way, or you can follow the basic outline of tomatoes, breadcrumbs, some garlic and herbs and butter or oil, and it will turn out just fine. I did not have heirlooms as I made it in early May, and I used gluten-free Panko rather than breadcrumbs -- these adjustments were okay.

  • Duck fat-roasted potatoes with anchovy salsa verde and mayonnaise

    • tarae1204 on May 28, 2020

      I was so excited for this recipe as I actually had a jar of duck fat that I bought at a fancy grocery store and forgot about in my pantry to the point where it was approaching its expiration. Duck fat doesn't last forever! Don't let yours go to waste. This recipe is amazing and worth the extra effort. Procure duck fat (or goose). Make the anchovy salsa verde. Make the mayonnaise. We had this for a quarantine lunch and potatoes were the meal.

  • Gâteau Breton with plums and cardamom

    • tarae1204 on May 28, 2020

      This cake was a pleasure to make. The dough came together easily in the food processor. I loved layering the plums in the cake, and I will admit my plums were a little pre-season and unexciting, and that is why they did great baked in the cake versus being eaten out of hand. The sugar and cardamom amounts were perfect as directed. I shared a slice with a neighbor and she thought it was the best cake she'd ever had. I myself loved it but was momentarily confused between Gateau Breton and Gateau Basque. I thought I was making the latter -- a dessert I love. But it turns out Gateau Breton is similar but substantively different from Gateau Basque. I sort of wish there was a recipe for Gateau Basque in this cookbook as well. Anyway, they're both amazing cakes with wonderful cookie like textures, almost crispy edges and delicious fruit centers. Different and delightful.

  • Roasted tarragon chicken with crispy mushrooms

    • tarae1204 on May 28, 2020

      Tarragon and chicken is such a classic French combination, but not one you see often in roast chicken recipes on this side of the pond. This recipe worked perfectly. I made sure to adjust cooking time to my larger chicken. The recipe calls for lemon zest but not the standard "place lemon halves in chicken cavity" move. Knowing Melissa Clark's reliable recipes, I figured this was on purpose in order for the tarragon and mushrooms to shine. But I did use the rest of the lemon in the chicken's cavity while roasting (I did have a big chicken, after all), and no regrets. The flavors harmonized.

  • Burrata with brown butter, lemon, and cherries

    • tarae1204 on May 28, 2020

      Wow. This recipe comes together really easily, and is an exquisite confusion of salad versus dessert. I found that the flavor and the texture of the burrata were enhanced rather than obscured by the other ingredients. I used a three small torn mint leaves as well as three small basil (not called for in recipe), a scant 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (what I had), and Celtic sel gris. I used balsamic vinegar from Costco, not having a fancier option, and I'm glad I did in order for all the flavors to shine.

  • Artichokes with feta-dill dressing

    • tarae1204 on May 28, 2020

      Unforgettable. I'm a Californian and grew up with artichokes: hot with butter or cold with mayonnaise. And I always thought that was enough. It wasn't. The feta-dill dressing is amazing. I used the instant pot to cook my artichokes. I think I even cooked them in the wrong direction (right side up instead of upside down) and it was fine. Find big, perfect artichokes for this dish because you will have plentiful sauce.

  • Roasted beet, caraway, and crème fraîche salad with arugula

    • Lepa on March 18, 2020

      This salad is absolutely delicious! My husband and I like beets but they aren't our favorite. This flavor combination, however, was extraordinary. We had it with fresh rye bread, which was a perfect accompaniment.

  • Sweet potato and bacon quiche with parsley

    • Lepa on March 14, 2020

      This is so decadent and delicious! I am not a huge sweet potato fan so I was a bit skeptical but the combination of flavors here was amazing. The tart dough needed a bit more water than the recipe called for. It was also swimming in butter after I blind baked it but tasted delicious once the tart was done.

    • Jviney on April 09, 2020

      My husband and I loved this. It was kind of a day-long project, but it’s April 2020 so those of us blessed enough to be able to be home have the time. I misread and baked the tart shell recipe from the previous recipe, and it turned out perfectly. 9” tart pan and no problem.

    • MissKoo on May 19, 2020

      I've made this twice so far -- really lovely sweet/savory flavor combo and equally good for breakfast, lunch/brunch, or dinner. Melissa Clark's recipe notes specify cheddar and gruyere cheeses, but the recipe itself calls for cheddar and Parmesan. I've made it both ways, but found the gruyere to be more flavorful and less salty. Used the crust recipe specified, but prefer Dorie Greenspan's all-purpose tart dough (Around My French Table).

  • Shrimp and mushrooms with garlicky herb butter

    • Lepa on May 27, 2020

      I recommend you skip the shrimp here. The mushrooms, shallots and herb butter are the best part of this dish. We enjoyed them with bread. The shrimp were fine but not as tasty and didn't add much to the dish. Overall I thought this was fine but probably not a repeat.

  • Spaghetti with anchovies, tomatoes, and basil

    • Lepa on March 21, 2020

      This was okay but not as good as I had hoped it would be. It had a nice umami flavor but I think it needed nicer tomatoes- or at least more of them. The head note says it's good with out of season tomatoes, which I never cook with but thought Campari tomatoes might do in a pinch. I think in season or juicer tomatoes would really make this better. I am going to try again when I have nicer tomatoes.

  • Poule au pot pie

    • lueder516 on April 05, 2020

      This is delicious. Not at all difficult, just needs some time to marinate. It'd be good with or without the Aioli, so if you are short of time you may want to skip the Aioli.

  • Spicy egg, tomato, and leek toasts

    • bwhip on May 12, 2020

      Wonderful dish. Remarkably easy, absolutely delicious. We added slices of ripe avocado which enhanced this even more. Looking forward to having this one again.

  • Sweet pepper and cheddar clafouti

    • Tweedles81 on March 15, 2020

      This was delicious - it is rich, but the peppers definitely cut the richness! I forgot to add the flour, but it still set up fairly well. I did sub prosciutto for the pancetta and ate it with pumpernickel toast - yum yum!

  • Egg yolk shakshuka

    • purrviciouz on April 25, 2020

      Extremely delicious, I love the addition of preserved lemon. I used French feta instead of goat cheese and served with sourdough bread. I kept most of the egg whites on my eggs. I need to keep a closer eye on my yolks next time so they stay completely runny, like about 3 minutes.

    • JulieCruz on April 25, 2020

      Excellent taste. Very fresh with the lemon. Watch the yolks, they cook quickly.

  • French onion soup with grilled Gruyère sandwiches

    • purrviciouz on April 21, 2020

      I always forget how long French onion soup takes to make. This recipe is definitely worth it. I love the dipping toasts opposed to the crouton because they stay crunchy and are kind of fun. The dijon on grilled cheese adds a nice high note.

  • Fennel salad with grapefruit and warm goat cheese

    • purrviciouz on April 25, 2020

      I loosely followed this based on what I had on hand. The hazelnut coated baked goat cheese was amazing.

  • Wine-braised chicken with orange and olives

    • purrviciouz on April 18, 2020

      This was a delicious dish! We'd definitely make this again with no changes. I used canned diced tomatoes and Moroccan pincholine olives and served with sourdough bread. It's like a cross between a tagine and coq au vin. Super delicious.

  • Lentil stew with garlic sausage and goat cheese

    • Lsblackburn1 on May 19, 2020

      Nice solid recipe. Nothing mind-blowing, but the lemon juice and goat cheese did add different notes.

    • clm on May 04, 2020

      Excellent filling stew that is easy to pull together

  • Jam-filled sablés

    • Jviney on April 11, 2020

      Delicate and delicious. The cookie baked up crisply but with a richness that wasn’t oily. I used raspberry-red currant jam, and quince jam. Really enjoyed these.

  • Black sesame palmiers

    • Jviney on April 11, 2020

      This recipe taught me how easy it is to make palmiers. They are fine, but to me mostly taste of sugar and puff pastry. Definitely visually pretty. Next time I think I would roll out the puff pastry thinner than the 14x14 square she suggests, and then trim from there. My palmiers were a little chunkier than hers.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    145 recipes that update classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today, this will be another keeper on our cookbook shelves

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0553448250
  • ISBN 13 9780553448252
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Mar 10 2020
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 336
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Clarkson Potter

Publishers Text

New York Times star food writer Melissa Clark breaks down the new French classics with 150 recipes that reflect a modern yet distinctly French sensibility.

Just as Julia Child brought French cooking to twentieth-century America, so now Melissa Clark brings French cooking into the twenty-first century. She first fell in love with France and French food as a child; her parents spent their August vacations traversing the country in search of the best meals with Melissa and her sister in tow. Near to her heart, France is where Melissa's family learned to cook and eat. And as her own culinary identity blossomed, so too did her understanding of why French food is beloved by Americans.

Now, as one of the nation's favorite cookbook authors and food writers, Melissa updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today. With recipes such as Salade Nicoise with Haricot Vert, Cornmeal and Harissa Soufflé, Scalloped Potato Gratin, Lamb Shank Cassoulet, Ratatouille Sheet-Pan Chicken, Campari Olive Oil Cake, and Apricot Tarte Tatin (to name a few), Dinner in French will quickly become a go-to resource and endure as an indispensable classic.


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