Who doesn’t like French food? We commonly think that French recipes take a long time and are hard to make. This is true for some recipes such as a homemade Traditional Cassoulet or the Lièvre à la Royale (Royal Hare). However, some recipes are easy to follow, straightforward and very delicious. All you need is quality ingredients and you will be able to create fabulous flavours.
We are happy to share with you eight savoury easy-to-do recipes to impress your guests - don’t hesitate to share pictures of your dishes with us on our Facebook group French Food & Wine - Canada or Instagram @bestoffrance!
Thyme & Garlic Baked Camembert
Preparation - 5 min Í Cooking time - 20 min
This appetizer is one of the easiest to make and so tasty. The perfect dish to share with friends and family - maybe with a glass of wine?
Camembert cheese will be the star of this dish. This cheese was first made in Camembert city, northern France, in the late 18th Century. Take some camembert, add pieces of garlic and fresh thyme on top of it and bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. You can read the full recipe here.
How to improve your baked Camembert?
Feel free to replace toasted crostinis with any other kind of bread you might prefer.
Preparation - 15 min Í Cooking time - 35 min
The word “soufflé” (puffed) might sound scary but cheese soufflé is easy to make and can be enjoyed during breakfast, lunch or dinner. It also has its own national day - May 18th is National Cheese Soufflé Day!
For this recipe, you will only need some unsalted butter, flour, whole milk, Parmesan cheese, any type of cheese, mustard, salt and white pepper. Yes, you read right. You can add any kind of cheese such as Emmental, Gruyère, Brie, Cheddar, etc. View full recipe here. Note that you will need a whisk, as well as soufflé dishes (ramekins in French).
How to improve your cheese soufflé?
Don’t open the oven while the cheese soufflé are baking in the oven - turn on the oven light to check on them.
You can add some ingredients in your soufflé but a small amount and additional ingredients need to be cooked in advance.
Preparation - 10 min Í Cooking time - 20 min
Croque (ie to bite) Monsieur (ie mister) is very popular - you can find it in most bistros and cafes in France. It is usually paired with French fries or green salad. The legend states that the Croque-Monsieur was created in 1901 in a Brasserie on Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. With a bechamel sauce, sandwich bread slices, ham and cheese, you are going to treat your guest! You can find the full recipe here.
How to improve your Croque-Monsieur?
Add a sunny-side-up or poached egg on top of your Croque-Monsieur and you will get a Croque-Madame! If you are short on time, you can prepare your bechamel sauce the day before. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface and store it in the fridge.
Preparation - 25 min Í Cooking time - 25 min
Tartiflette Savoyarde is a baked gratin of potatoes, lardons (small pieces of bacon), wine, cream and Reblochon cheese. It is usually enjoyed in ski lodges or chalets after an active day. However, French people love this dish and have it at home with family and friends. The dish originates from the Savoy region in France, where Reblochon cheese was first produced. With its creamy nutty taste, it will be the highlight of the dish! You can find the full recipe here.
How to improve your Tartiflette?
You can also go for a vegetarian version, replacing the lardons (small pieces of bacon) by some fried mushrooms.
French Onion Soup
Preparation - 10 min Í Cooking time - 50 min
One of the most famous dishes in French bistros. One legend claims that King Louis XV returned home from hunting. All he could find were onions, butter, and champagne. Those three ingredients were thrown into a pot and French Onion Soup was born. Onions are caramelized and cooked in beef broth, lots of cheese, a French bread will be added on top and the cheese will melt on top. You can find the full recipe here.
How to improve your onion soup?
Instead of beef broth, use vegetable broth to make the vegetarian version, the soup will be lighter.
Preparation - 10 min Í Cooking time - 10 min
The regular French omelette only contains eggs, butter and salt/pepper. It does take some practice to make a perfect omelette. View recipe and technique here. In the 19th Century, Anne Boutiaut defined and created the Omelette de la mère Poulard (Omelette of Mother Poulard) in Mont Saint-Michel, France. Her omelette has been described as the most famous omelette in the world and is still served at the restaurant called La Mère Poulard. French people generally eat their omelette with green salad and bread.
How to improve your French omelette?
You can add your favourite toppings into the mixture such as mushrooms, bacon, cheese, spinach, etc. In France it is common to add Gruyère cheese, fresh mushrooms and lardons (small pieces of bacon).
Preparation - 10 min Í Cooking time - 25 min
Gougères are baked savoury choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese and are a perfect appetizer! They are crispy on the outside and soft inside with a cheese flavour. A story states that gougères were invented in the 17th Century by a pastry chef in Burgundy. Enjoy the gougères with a glass of bubbly Champagne. You can find the full recipe here.
How to improve your Gougères?
You can freeze the gougères for up to 1 month. Place frozen gougères in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes and enjoy. You can replace gruyère cheese with another firm cheese.
Preparation - 15 min Í Cooking time - 0 min
Looking for something fresher? Try out the Salade Niçoise composed with healthy protein from canned tuna, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs and veggies with a delicious vinaigrette dressing.
This traditional salad is from the district of Nice in Provence, South-East of France, and is respecting the cooking style of this refreshing and sunny city. That is why the Salade Niçoise should be prepared with fresh vegetables from the market. Feel free to add additional seasonal raw vegetables! You can find the full recipe here.
How to improve your salad?
You may want to emulsify the dressing to make it thicker. Whisk for a minimum of 30 seconds, a full minute is best. A fork will do if you don’t have a whisk.
It is your turn!
Not all traditional French recipes aren’t long and difficult to make. Feel free to be creative and adapt the recipes to your taste. What are you waiting for? Go and try these recipes! Share your experience on our Facebook group French Food & Wine - Canada or Instagram @bestoffrance!
Which one of these eight recipes do you want to make first?
Tell us in the comments below!