Steamed Mussels in Tomato Broth
With fresh mussels increasingly available at supermarket fish counters, you can easily make this bistro favorite at home.
Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup
In this genius slow-cooker soup recipe, two types of onions are caramelized for hours before adding a sherry-spiked broth. For a bistro-worthy presentation, ladle the soup into ovenproof crocks, top with the bread and cheese and broil.
Quick Coq au Vin
Here's a quick version of Coq au Vin, a red wine-braised chicken-and-vegetable stew that usually takes the better part of an afternoon to make. Serve with herbed mashed potatoes and green beans.
Basque Chicken Stew
Straddling the coastal border between Northern Spain and Southern France, the people of the Basque region have a deep affection for fork-tender chicken stewed in a vibrant tomato-pepper sauce. Briny green olives stuffed with Spain's pimiento peppers root the dish even further.
Quick French Onion Soup
French onion soup is a favorite but it usually isn't substantial enough to make a complete meal. We've solved this problem by adding fiber-rich chickpeas to a broth flavored with sherry and three kinds of onions. Of course, we didn't forget the gooey topping, we've just made it a little lighter and a lot easier to prepare at home--simply top toasted whole-wheat bread with cheese and pour the soup on to melt it.
Creamy Cremini Mushroom Soup
Reduced-fat sour cream and low-fat milk make this soup creamy without all the fat. The pudgy brown mushrooms called cremini are generally firmer and richer-tasting than common white mushrooms.
Ingredients matter for this traditional French dish. Wine is a crucial component of beef bourguignon (you'll use a whole bottle of it!). Pinot noir is a medium-bodied wine that won't overwhelm the stew, but has a good amount of tannins that help tenderize the beef as it simmers. Be sure to choose chuck roast to trim and cut into chunks yourself, versus buying pre-cubed stew meat—those pieces of beef can come from any part of the cow and may vary in taste and fat content. Tomato paste is a super-concentrated ingredient that adds umami—or savoriness—to the stew.
Homemade Chicken Broth
Nothing soothes, nourishes and comforts like homemade chicken broth. Canned broth is a handy standby for quick soups, but homemade delivers maximum flavor while contributing minimal calories.
Rich Chicken Stew
A blanquette is a classic French stew of veal, chicken or lamb with mushrooms in a velvety sauce. This concept has been adapted to the slow cooker to make a lightened-up version using chicken thighs. Just a little whipping cream (which is less inclined to break down than lighter creams and gives more density to the sauce) adds richness. This is delightful over egg noodles.
French Country Beef Stew
In France, this classic stew made with beef, vegetables and red wine would be known as a daube. Slow-cooking the surprisingly lean beef shanks melts and softens the connective tissue, producing succulent results. If you prefer, use nonalcoholic wine. Serve with barley to soak up the delicious sauce.
Quick French Onion Soup for Two
Bring the allium family--onions, leeks, garlic--together in this simpler and heartier version of French onion soup. If you've always found the traditional melted cheese topping too intimidating to try at home, you'll find this version user-friendly; just top toasted bread with cheese and pour the soup over to melt it. Including chickpeas makes it filling enough for a main course.
Lamb, Fig & Olive Stew
Not your Irish grandmother's stew, this version was inspired by ingredients commonly used in the south of France: figs, green olives and herbes de Provence. To shorten the cooking time, we use ground lamb instead of lamb stew meat. Serve with toasted focaccia and a tossed salad.