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The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan

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Notes about this book

  • fprincess on November 06, 2010

    Every recipe in this book has been both authentic, and full of detailed instructions. A very reliable book for French country cuisine. It's full of information about the different regions of France and traditions. A beautiful book.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Cream of watercress soup (Crème de cresson tourangelle)

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Ultra simple and classic. Uses cream but you can still taste the peppery/acidic note of the watercress.

  • Tomato and garlic soup (Le Thourin)

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Simple & tasty garlic tomato soup.

    • twoyolks on July 31, 2018

      I was not a fan. This was bland and the ratio of tomatoes to onions was off.

  • Pumpkin and leek soup with foie gras (Soupe de potiron et poireaux au foie gras)

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Wonderful soup elevated by the addition of foie gras!

  • Poached eggs in red wine sauce (Oeufs en meurette)

    • wodtke on December 07, 2016

      This is good and not difficult. I've had it as a starter in Burgundy, but it is a bit much for that; here in California, I used it for a light supper. It is not a pretty dish, but look at the components -- how could it not be good?

  • Baked eggs in ramekins with onions (Oeufs en cocotte lyonnaise)

    • fprincess on November 19, 2010

      Simple. Made in the oven without bain marie but still need to find the optimal cooking temp for that modification.

    • fprincess on April 26, 2012

      Made again; skipped the bain marie and used a low temperature oven (started at 220F, finished at 230F). They were a little overdone.

    • fprincess on June 14, 2012

      Super simple French comfort food. I used chives instead of scallions. This recipe is very easy to modify by adding all sorts of ingredients: cheese, sauteed mushrooms, ham, smoked salmon, fresh herbs, etc. Picture here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willans-the-country-cooking-of-france/page__p__1881262#entry1881262

  • Quiche lorraine

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Classic quiche lorraine with precise instructions.

    • fprincess on July 16, 2012

      The classic Quiche Lorraine recipe from the book has become my favorite, after using the Alton Brown "refrigerator pie" version for years. This is a really traditional version and therefore it does not contain any cheese, but you get some cheesiness from the cream. The filling is just the crème fraîche, a couple of eggs, some nutmeg, and the slightly browned lardons. It puffed a lot and deflated after I took it out of the oven. I like to think that the tanginess of the crème fraîche cuts through some of the richness of the dish. It's great with a green salad (with a vinegar-heavy dressing). I like prepare a double batch of pastry dough, and keep the second tart pan lined with the dough and ready to go in the freezer, that way I can make quiche again whenever the mood strikes. Picture here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willans-the-country-cooking-of-france/page__p__1884509#entry1884509

  • Pepper and tomato purée with eggs (Piperade basquaise)

    • fprincess on August 02, 2011

      This is an excellent Basque dish. It took much longer to cook that indicated in the recipe - about an hour. Photos here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/139529-eg-foodblog-frogprincesse-2011/page__st__120__p__1826244#entry1826244

  • Cheese puffs (Gougères)

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Fantastic with wine or cocktails. And they can be frozen raw and used for impromptu cocktail parties! Pictures : http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willan’s-the-country-cooking-of-france/?p=2034506

    • fprincess on March 13, 2013

      This recipe DOES NOT WORK when you double quantities! The batter is way too liquid. It works fine for a normal batch size. I had this issue at least twice so I know it was not operator error. More details here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136437-perfecting-gougeres/?p=1899969

  • Roast monkfish with herb butter (Baudroie rôtie au beurre de Montpellier)

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Very nice roasted fish with herb butter. I made this recipe with cod since monkfish is endangered.

  • Turbot with apple and cider sauce (Turbot Vallée d'Auge)

    • lkgrover on June 11, 2016

      This is excellent. My turbot broke apart (when I used tongs to move it from the dutch oven after poaching), making the recipe like a creamy fish stew. I used a Granny Smith apple, which remained firm.

  • Seared prawns with sea salt (Gambas grillés au sel de mer)

    • Totallywired on December 02, 2018

      Love this recipe. So easy and delicious. Just colour the shrimp, finish with salt and a good amount of pepper, or pimenton, or espalette, or sumac.

  • Fish chowder (La chaudrée)

    • fprincess on February 05, 2011

      First recipe in Anne Willan' wonderful book that was a slight disappointment. It was not bad, just a little bland. After a while I enjoyed its subtle flavor but my husband just thought it lacked flavor. Otherwise it's a simple recipe that requires few ingredients.

  • Fish stew with sorrel and leek (Cotriade Bretonne)

    • fprincess on June 18, 2012

      Delicious fish stew which is very easy to make. A great option for week-nights which would also work for dinner parties. More details and a picture here on eGullet: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willans-the-country-cooking-of-france/page__p__1881688#entry1881688

  • The real coq au vin (Le vrai coq au vin)

    • twoyolks on January 16, 2017

      I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did. I'm not convinced the marinating actually did anything. There was too much sauce after cooking and it was too thin. The garnishes were a bit bland. I like the version from Mastering the Art of French Cooking much better.

  • Cornish hens in a mustard cream sauce (Petits coquelets dijonnaise)

    • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2015

      p. 114 – Perfect dish! This recipe exceeded my expectations and produced a truly scrumptious New Year’s main course. The hens were moist and flavourful but that pan sauce was the true star of the show! I didn’t need to add any of the chx broth as the hens produced a good amount of juices. The red wine balanced some of the richness and pulled the sauce together perfectly. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this again. The only adjustment I’d make would be to the greens. AW has you shred them as finely as possible and I found my collards almost melted away to nothing. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1000517?commentId=9364775#9364775

  • Chicken with beer (Coq à la bière)

    • fprincess on March 29, 2013

      Chicken stewed in wine, aka coq au vin, is a well-known French dish. But why not try something different. Chicken with beer (Coq à la bière), the Flemish twist on this recipe, is a very nice stew that does not take a lot of effort to prepare. The chicken pieces are sprinkled with flour and browned in a pan. Then the pan is deglazed with genever which is flambéed (it's hard to go wrong with a recipe that calls for genever AND pyrotechnics!). The chicken is removed from the pan to allow the sliced onions and button mushrooms to cook. The chicken pieces are added back, together with brown beer, and braised for about 45 minutes until tender. Cream is added to the cooking liquid at the end to enrich the sauce. I served it with fingerling potatoes. Photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willans-the-country-cooking-of-france/?p=1905450

  • Winemaker's steak (Steak marchand de vin)

    • fprincess on November 21, 2010

      Classic, simple, delicious.

  • Boeuf Bourguignon

    • fprincess on October 15, 2010

      It's a little fussier than my standard BB recipe, but the results are outstanding.

  • Veal chops with mustard (Côtes de veau Dijonnaise)

    • fprincess on October 20, 2010

      Very nice subtle sauce.

    • Totallywired on September 24, 2018

      Sauce is the business. A good sub for veal chops is braised rabbit.

  • Roast leg of lamb with white beans (Gigot d'agneau à la bretonne)

    • lkgrover on June 26, 2018

      Good, flavorful roast lamb with white beans & tomatoes side dish.

  • Country pâté (Pâté de campagne)

    • fprincess on September 21, 2011

      eG post with pictures http://egullet.org/p1838980

    • fprincess on September 21, 2011

      Recipe is somewhat similar to the one from Les Halles. The meat to fat ratio is about the same (1.7 to 1 versus 2 to 1 in Les Halles), but she uses escalopes in addition to the pork shoulder. Chicken livers are used instead of pig livers, and only a small amount (that would be 0.33 compared to the amount of fat needed in the recipe). Chicken livers are easier to find and their taste is less pronounced than pork, so the change was welcome for me. I used a grinder with a coarse die. I lined my mold with plastic wrap so I would not have to hunt for caul fat . Everything worked well and I was pleased with the end result. I would make the recipe again and maybe add some pistachios next time, and also some cream for spreadability (10% of the amount of forced meat).

  • Tapenade

    • fprincess on December 08, 2010

      This recipe is a little less intense and heavy than some of the other traditional recipes. I omitted the canned tuna. I like the inclusion of almonds and bread. It is great as a dip.

  • Gratin Dauphinois

    • twoyolks on March 10, 2017

      This is a gorgeous, delicious, and rich potato gratin. It takes awhile to make but it's worth it. This potato gratin is more about the cream than it is about the cheese.

  • Potato cake with cheese and bacon (La truffade)

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Potatoes, bacon, cheese. What else can I say... Perfection.

  • Breton buckwheat galettes (Galettes bretonnes au sarrasin)

    • fprincess on February 07, 2011

      These are the traditional galettes (savory crepes) from Brittany. My favorite filling is egg, ham, and cheese (gruyere). They are delicious. I just cook a pile of them, keep them warm, and then reheat them with good quality butter and add the various fillings at the last minute.

  • Mediterranean marinated mushrooms (Champignons à la grecque)

    • Aggie92 on April 13, 2017

      I had high hopes for this recipe. It ticks all the boxes with ingredients I love, but sadly it fell flat. The marinade is very one-dimensional and that is because the coriander seeds overwhelm everything and the bright lemon flavor fades fast. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. I'll keep trying to find that elusive marinated mushroom recipe that tastes as good as the ones from the olive bar at the grocery store.

  • Hot bacon and egg salad (Frisée au lard et à l'oeuf)

    • fprincess on September 29, 2011

      This is a classic French salad. The bitterness of the frisee is a nice counterpoint to the richness of the bacon.

    • fprincess on March 13, 2013

      Still reminiscing about a quick trip to Lyon last month, last night I was in the mood for Salade Lyonnaise. I used Benton's bacon which is a slight twist because bacon (lard in French) in not smoked unlike Benton's which is heavily smoked. The bacon is diced into lardons and cooked until slightly crispy. The rendered fat and bacon are poured over the frisée, which wilts and warms up the salad slightly. Then the salad is seasoned with plenty of black pepper and red wine vinegar. Poached egg on top (I used the Arzak technique). Devour with a slice of crusty bread. Delish! Photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willans-the-country-cooking-of-france/?p=1912049

  • Ratatouille

    • fprincess on November 06, 2010

      Excellent classic ratatouille. Mine took longer to fully cook than the instructions. Makes excellent leftover that can be served with eggs.

  • Zucchini gratin (Tian de courgettes)

    • fprincess on April 21, 2011

      Nice flavors; a little on the dry side

  • Roast butternut squash with herbs (Potimarron rôti aux herbes)

    • TrishaCP on November 29, 2015

      A simple and serviceable roasted squash recipe. My squash came out perfectly roasted, and the herbs (a ton of rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves) were not too strong.

    • fprincess on October 23, 2015

      Simple and pretty basic, but it's very tasty. Picture here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willan’s-the-country-cooking-of-france/?p=2034500

  • Alsatian onion quiche (Zewelwai)

    • fprincess on July 16, 2012

      Traditional quiche from Alsace. It's a bacon-less version of quiche lorraine, which can sound pretty sad... However the bacon is replaced with plenty of slowly-cooked onions and so it's full of flavor. Picture here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willans-the-country-cooking-of-france/page__p__1884733#entry1884733

  • Rum babas (Babas au rhum)

    • fprincess on April 24, 2011

      Good classic baba au rhum recipe. I used popover molds and they were way too big. I forgot to take into account that the babas almost double in size when they soak up the rum syrup.

  • Gâteau breton

    • fprincess on October 27, 2010

      Simple and excellent. Use the best better you can find for this recipe.

  • Rich almond cakes (Financiers)

    • fprincess on October 27, 2010

      A good recipe to make if you have leftover egg whites.

  • Pound cake (Quatre quarts)

    • fprincess on October 23, 2015

      The French take on the pound cake. I used high quality butter and freshly milled flour. A tad dense but the nutty flavor from the flour was very nice. Best enjoyed with jam and a cup of tea. I liked that the outside was almost caramelized. Pictures: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willan’s-the-country-cooking-of-france/?p=2034515

    • fprincess on July 24, 2017

      Made again. I used regular flour this time. I love the detailed instructions. This is one fantastic pound cake! Very delicious with jam. https://forums.egullet.org/topic/155077-your-daily-sweets-what-are-you-making-and-baking-2017-%E2%80%93/?do=findComment&comment=2110558

  • Puff pastry galette with almond filling (Gâteau pithiviers)

    • fprincess on October 27, 2010

      This is the traditional "galette des rois". It's great and best eaten still warm.

    • fprincess on January 20, 2012

      eGullet post with pictures here: http://egullet.org/p1859222

  • Crêpes with salted butter and caramel filling (Crêpes au caramel et beurre salé)

    • fprincess on February 16, 2012

      I made a triple batch. The batter was a little bit thick so I added some milk. The yield for the triple batch was 24 large crepes (based on the recipe I was expecting at last 30).

  • Honey madeleines (Les madeleines de commercy au miel)

    • fprincess on August 24, 2011

      The recipe is a little involved but I like the result better than my normal recipe. The texture and rise were really good. Make sure to use high quality butter and honey.

  • Butter cookies (Galettes bretonnes)

    • fprincess on January 10, 2011

      These are traditional butter cookies from Brittany. The thickness is important as they become dry if less than 1 cm (about 1/3 in). Picture: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/140581-cooking-with-anne-willan’s-the-country-cooking-of-france/?p=2034514

    • twoyolks on December 13, 2016

      I did not care for this cookies. They're rather dry. They don't have a lot of flavor. And the instructions in the recipe are poor.

  • Cherry batter pudding (Clafoutis limousin)

    • TrishaCP on June 01, 2016

      The flavor is great with sour cherries and kirsch, but it suffered from weeping, so I probably won't be repeating this version.

  • Roquefort and caramelized onion tart (Quiche au Roquefort et aux oignons)

    • fprincess on May 20, 2011

      The quiche is good but was a little "wet" even though I had baked the crust separately. I used a mix of red onions and baby green onions as I was out of yellow onions. I used foie gras fat instead of goose :-) and I substituted blue d'auvergne for the roquefort.

  • Flat goat cheese gougère (Gougère plate au fromage de chèvre)

    • thekitchenchronicles on July 24, 2017

      This is such an impressive appetizer for company- and super easy to throw together. It's like eating a cream puff covered in tangy goat cheese, fresh herbs and baked garlic. One of my favorites. Written up here: http://www.thekitchenchronicles.com/2017/07/17/flat-goat-cheese-gougere-gougere-plat-au-fromage-de-chevre/

  • Mussels with cream (Moules à la crème)

    • twoyolks on January 08, 2016

      The sauce is flavorful with just a hint of the mussels.

  • Chicken breasts in tarragon cream sauce (Suprême de poulet à l'estragon)

    • twoyolks on February 21, 2019

      This is pretty quick to make. I really liked the sauce for the chicken and the recipe makes plenty of it. The chicken itself was a bit dry after too long of a cooking. I have a similar recipe that uses a whole chicken that I like better.

  • Shallot sauce with white wine and cream (Sauce bordelaise à la crème)

    • fprincess on January 24, 2012

      A more robust (and stable) alternative to beurre blanc. Very good with fish. Review and picture here on eGullet: http://egullet.org/p1859757

  • Warm lentil salad (Salade tiede de lentilles)

    • Totallywired on October 16, 2018

      Nicely balanced dish with good vinegar finish for a richer side. Lentils do not over cook and are fine room temp. Served with roasted pork tenderloin with garlic confit/anchovy/pickled pepperoncini pan sauce

  • Gratin of Swiss chard with cream (Gratin de blettes à la crème)

    • fprincess on February 08, 2011

      My gratin was a little soupy (too much sauce for the amount of chard that I had) and I had to skip the mushrooms since I did not have any. I added some homemade ricotta with the gruyere. The flavor was very good.

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  • ISBN 10 0811846466
  • ISBN 13 9780811846462
  • Published Oct 10 2007
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 390
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Chronicle Books

Publishers Text

Renowned for her cooking school in France and her many best-selling cookbooks, Anne Willan combines years of hands-on experience with extensive research to create a brand new classic. More than 250 recipes range from the time-honored La Truffade, with its crispy potatoes and melted cheese, to the Languedoc specialty Cassoulet de Toulouse, a bean casserole of duck confit, sausage, and lamb. And the desserts! Crêpes au Caramel et Beurre Salé (crêpes with a luscious caramel filling) and Galette Landaise (a rustic apple tart) are magnifique. Sprinkled with intriguing historical tidbits and filled with more than 270 enchanting photos of food markets, villages, harbors, fields, and country kitchens, this cookbook is an irresistible celebration of French culinary culture.


Anne Willan is an award-winning cooking teacher, food writer, and the author of more than 30 cookbooks. She operates La Varenne, her esteemed cooking school, at Chateau du Fey in Burgundy, France.



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