By Pauline Fontanaud |Staff Writer|
A lot of people think French cuisine is sophisticated and too complicated to prepare.
As a student, the last thing I want is to spend hours cooking something that I’m going to eat in 15 minutes.
My mother taught me some recipes native to my home country, France, that anyone could do.
Ratatouille and Tarte Tatin are recipes that are both perfect for lunch or dinner, all year-round. Ratatouille is a typical Provençal dish. It’s a quick and simple vegetable casserole to make, and delicious to eat.
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Yields 4 to 6 servings.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded.
6 medium tomatoes
3 medium Japanese eggplants
5 medium zucchinis
¼ cup packed parsley – flat leaf, roughly chopped
¼ cup packed basil, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the red bell peppers and the tomatoes in 6 to 8 pieces.
Cut the eggplants and zucchinis into ½-inch thick rounds.
Put all of the vegetables in a 9 inch by 13 inch glass dish. Add the parsley and basil. Stir everything together to have a consistent mix.
Pour the olive oil all over the vegetables. You can add some more if you want.
Put your dish in the oven. Cook for 1 hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the vegetables up together every 20 minutes.
Voila, you’re ready to enjoy.
An alternative preparation often done in France includes eating the Ratatouille with fried or soft-boiled eggs.
You may prepare them separately and mix them together later or cook them within the Ratatouille in a frying pan.
The Tarte Tatin is one of those desserts you can find in a majority of French restaurants.
Think of an apple pie prepared upside down and served right side up.
Bonne nouvelle, it’s super simple to do.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes a 10-inch pie.
3 large Braeburn apples, or use a mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and sliced in quarters
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
3 tablespoons of non-salted butter
¾ cup of white sugar
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat a 10 inch oven-proof skillet with butter.
Pour the sugar evenly over the top of the butter.
Position the apple quarters on top of the butter and sugar in a circular pattern.
Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves and begins to caramelize.
Continue to cook until the apples soften and the caramel begins to brown (10 to 12 minutes).
Remove from heat.
Roll pie dough into an 11-inch circle.
Place it on top of the apples and tuck in its edges around them.
Bake in the preheated oven until crust is golden brown (about 20 minutes).
Let the dessert cool down for 5 minutes. Place a plate over the top of the pan and carefully invert to release the tarte from the pan.
In France, we tend to savor our Tarte Tatin with crème fraîche or crème anglaise (vanilla custard).