How to Make Fancy Food Fast
Whip up easy weeknight dishes with the deep and rich flavor of classic French cooking
Keywords French, Cooking, Recipes, Easy Meals, Weeknight Dinner
To finish the dish, Moranville always keeps lemons on hand as well as fresh parsley. She explains that sometimes, in France, butchers will give you a little parsley with your meat package because they know how much the French love it. The French use both curly and flat parsley to finish a dish because it gives it that "last little flourish of freshness." She also recommends olives and capers as last flourishes to a dish.
Wine for Cooking
Moranville uses whatever wine is leftover from another meal, which typically happens to be dry white wine, like a sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, or even a dry riesling or pinot grigio. The key is that you don’t really want a wine with a huge personality, but generally most wines will work. Even leftover champagne!
Too Reduced? Find Out How to Revive It
If the reduction was accidentally left alone for two minutes too long, don’t fret, because there are simple tricks to revive it. As Moranville says, "It happens all the time to the best of us." Simply add equal parts chicken broth and wine, and, if the fat has really diminished too much, add a little bit of butter.
If the pan drippings burn before liquid is added to it, Moranville recommends scraping them off (you don’t want that flavor in the sauce) and adding a little butter to the pan to start the sauce.
For the average weeknight, Moranville recommends having a salad with a few, strong ingredients. For example, the endive salad pictured at left or one with butterhead lettuce and comté cheese. "Having a starring ingredient means that you don’t have to put a lot in your salad," which helps cut down on time, she says.
Generally, Moranville says, the French will serve a little starch and vegetable on the side, but the portions aren't as big as we typically use. A little pasta or rice work as well with these dishes (just start the rice or noodles before you begin cooking your main dish, so that everything finishes in time).