Easy french recipes

You may have noticed it: we like to cook, taste, eat, try new flavours. Cuisine is part of us! So it’s quite naturally that we started cooking French meals for our hosts on the road, in order to thank them but also to share with them our culture, our passion, our know-how… It’s also our way of making others travel! Whether you are a French cuisine lover, or a person curious to try a new type of cuisine, these traditional French vegetarian recipes are made for you! Easy, cheap, they will take your taste buds directly to the country renowned for its wine, baguette and cheeses!


Breakfast

Beyond croissants accompanied by a cup of black coffee or tea, French breakfast is characterized by… very sweet ingredients! Bowl of cereals with added milk, butter and/or jam spreads, compote, cookies, fruit juices… To wake up a Frenchman, there’s nothing better than fast carbs!

 

French toasts

This recipe was created, at first, to reuse hardened or, as we say, “lost” bread – because bread was intended to be thrown away otherwise!

  1. In a bowl, mix eggs (1 or 2 eggs), milk or water (quantity depending on the hardness of the bread) and sugar.
  2. Soak the bread cut into pieces in the mixture
  3. Fry them in a frying pan, 1 minute on each side
  4. Serve hot, with a jam to accompany the French toasts! 

Appetizer / Dish

Onion soup

Ingredients (for 6 people):
– 1kg yellow onions
– 50gr butter
– 1L to 1,5L of vegetables broth or water
– 100mL of white wine (optional)
– Salt, black pepper, seasonings and/or a pinch of ginger
– 125gr of grated hard cheese
– Bread

 

Preparation:

    1. Peel and chop onions
    2. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat
    3. Dip the chopped onions into an homogeneous layer, cover and let onions cook until they become translucent.
    4. Stir with a wooden spoon and without covering the pan, sauté the onions until they become brown in colour without burning them.
    5. Optional: Add white wine, bring to a boil for 1 minute and then lower the heat to the lowest setting possible.
    6. Meanwhile, heat the broth; season with salt and black pepper if necessary, and add herbs.
    7. Add the broth to onions, stir everything together. If you did not add wine in the previous step, bring to a boil and lower the heat to the lowest possible.
    8. Cover the pan by leaving a slight opening, and simmer for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better)
    9. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the soup before putting it in bowls

 

Trim:
– You can top your soup with a good slice of French toast, and/or sprinkle it with grated cheese (make it lightly brown under the hot grill before serving) 
– Another option is to rub a garlic clove vigorously on hardened bread, and cut the bread into small pieces to make croutons!

Revisited Nice salad

Ingredients (to be multiplied by the number of people):
– 50gr of steamed rice (not sticky)
– 1 tomato cut into small pieces
– 1 hard-boiled egg (cooked during 10 minutes in boiling water)
– 25gr of pitted olives
– Oil, salt, herbs, a few slices of raw onion (optional)
– To replace tuna and herring fillets of the original recipe: 50gr of crushed chickpeas with some capers, oil and a little garlic. You can also use red peppers (with onions, according to your taste) pan roasted until tender.

 

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients except the eggs, season and serve chilled, with hard-boiled egg wedges on top!

Breton galettes

The simplest and most traditional of French dishes, from Brittany! The only difficulty: find the mandatory buckwheat flour (sold in specialized stores in some countries)

Ingredients (for a dozen galettes):
– 100gr of buckwheat flour,
– 100gr of wheat flour,
– water, salt

 

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, mix both types of flour (buckwheat and wheat)
  2. Add water until you obtain a smooth and heavy paste!
  3. Spread a ladle of dough in a frying pan (or better, a crepe maker!) heated over high heat

 

Our favourite filling: the “complete” vegetarian Breton galette!

  1. Brown onions in a frying pan, add seasonal vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, etc…. 
  2. Cook the galette on a side, then flip it
  3. Break an egg in the middle, take care to well spread the white so the egg will be well cooked
  4. Immediately add grated cheese
  5. Add a little of your vegetable preparation to the galette
  6. Fold the galette on 4 sides, season with salt and black pepper and serve with a knob of butter in the middle

Quiche

Ingredients:
A dough (click here to get the recipe)
– 3 eggs
– 150mL of milk or 200mL of liquid cream (or a mix of both)
– salt, black pepper, herbs

 

Topping:
Summertime: fried ball peppers and onions, or tomatoes with mustard spread on the dough beforehand
Wintertime: pan-fried leeks and onions, fresh cheese and nuts

 

Preparation:

  1. Spread the dough in a pie dish, stab it with a fork
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs and add milk or cream
  3. Season (no need for salt if you put cheese on afterwards)
  4. Optional: put grated or pieces of hard cheese on the dough
  5. Add your topping 
  6. Pour the liquid preparation, and sprinkle with hard cheese
  7. Bake 20-30 min at 180°C

Soft-boiled egg

A classic: a half-cooked egg served with “mouillettes” (small slices of buttered bread)!

Preparation:

  1. Boil your eggs for 4 minutes
  2. Serve your egg upright (by tapping the egg bottom on the plate for example)
  3. Behead your egg (remove shell and white), salt, stir the still liquid yolk
  4. Enjoy dipping buttered bread in egg yolk!

Omelette (cheese omelette!)

Who hasn’t eaten an omelette? Whether you like it very cooked, medium or “drooling”, its simple preparation never changes: a preparation of beaten and salted eggs (2 eggs/person), with local cheese and some herbs added, heated in a hot pan uniformly oiled!

French fries and baked potatoes

French fries

Belgian or French, French fries are appreciated by all! Dip simple strips of potatoes (between 5mm and 1cm thick) into a large pan of hot oil to make them brown well. Be careful to not put too much at once, so the fries do not stick together ! Drain, salt and enjoy!

Our tip: don’t hesitate to add onion slices in oil, fried altogether with the french fries. Try it, it’s really good!

 

Baked potatoes

Preparation:

  1. Wash potatoes (preferably organic) without peeling them.
  2. Cut them in half lengthwise
  3. Brush the potatoe’s meat side with melted butter (or olive oil)
  4. Put your potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 200°C for 30 – 40 min. Add pieces of onions or garlic at your convenience
  5. Season with salt, black pepper and herbs (if rosemary, add it 10 minutes before the end of cooking time)

Vegetarian Tartiflette

Ingredients:
– 1Kg of potatoes
– 4 onions
– 200gr of sour cream or cream called “kaymak” in some countries
– 200gr of Reblochon (or any other cheese that is good to melt, works with a good cheddar cheese for example)
– black pepper

 

Preparation:

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water
  2. Cut the onions into pieces and fry them well in a pan.
  3. Peel potatoes, cut them into pieces in an oven dish
  4. Add the roasted onions, sour cream and diced cheese, season and mix
  5. Bake at 150°C until the cheese has melted well!

Gratin Dauphinois

Ingredients:
– 1Kg of potatoes
– 1L of liquid cream (very important!)
– 2 to 8 garlic cloves to your taste
– salt, black pepper

 

Preparation:

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into slices (very thin!), squeeze the garlic
  2. Cover the bottom of an oven dish with liquid cream
  3. Alternate a layer of potatoes, cream, garlic, salt and black pepper until all the ingredients are exhausted. Finish by coating with fresh cream, salt and black pepper 
  4. Bake at 120°C for at least one hour. The lower the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the more mellow the potatoes will be….

Ratatouille

Ingredients (for 4 people, and according to the products size):
– 1 or 2 onions
– 1 or 2 eggplants
– 2 or 3 zucchinis
– 1 or 2 tomatoes
– 3 cloves of pressed garlic
– olive oil (2 tablespoons)
– salt, black pepper, Provence herbs

 

Preparation:

  1. Slice onion into thin slices, fry it in olive oil in a wok, large frying pan or large saucepan
  2. Cut tomato into quarters and add it to onions
  3. Meanwhile, slice eggplants and zucchinis, pour them into the mixture
  4. Add a pinch of Provence herbs, garlic, and cover 
  5. Stir occasionally, and cook until the ingredients melt!

Desserts

Wheat crepes

Crepes may be cooked all over the world, but they are still a traditional dish in France, especially when served with Breton galettes!

Ingredients (for 20-30 crepes):
– 500gr of flour
– 4 eggs
– 1L of milk or 1L of water + 5 tablespoons of oil
– a bit of sugar

 

Preparation:

In a bowl, mix eggs and milk, then add flour and stir to obtain a smooth dough – neither too liquid nor too pasty. Add oil and sugar, and pour a ladle of the mixture over a very hot frying pan. Cook 1-2 minute(s), flip the crepe. Let the other side cook for 30 seconds, then serve hot!

Savoy cake

Ingredients:
– 200gr of flour
– 200gr of sugar
– 7 eggs
– Optional: lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut…

 

Preparation:

  1. Separate the whites from the yolks, beat the whites until stiff, add the yolks and sugar while mixing
  2. Add the flour very gently with a spatula 
  3. Butter a cake tin and bake for 25 min in oven at thermostat 6 (180°C)

Classic Apple pie (vegan)

Ingredients:
– 1,5kg of apples
– A pinch of vanilla powder
– 50gr of cane sugar
A dough (click here to get the recipe)

 

Preparation:

  1. Make a compote with half of the apples. Peel and cut apples into pieces and put them in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water, vanilla and half the sugar. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°
  3. Roll out the dough to a 3-4 mm thickness and spread it into a pie plate. Prick with a fork and spread the compote over it.
  4. Peel and cut the remaining apples into quarters and thin slices. Then put apple slices on top of the compote.
  5. Sprinkle apples with the remaining sugar 
  6. Bake 35 min instead at the bottom of the oven so the dough will not softened by the compote!

Easy Tatin pie

Ingredients:
– 50gr of butter
– 100gr of sugar
– 1kg of apples
– Cinnamon
A dough (click here to get the recipe)

 

Preparation:

  1. Place the diced butter in a saucepan, then pour sugar over. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes without mixing, the caramel makes itself (add a few apple wedges in the pan to ensure that the caramel will not become hard)
  2. In a buttered pie plate, add apples cut into large pieces (half quarters) and sprinkle with cinnamon
  3. Pour the caramel (be careful, it solidifies quickly) then cover the mix with the pie dough
  4. Bake in the oven at 210°C for 25 minutes (thermostat 7) 
  5. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream (vanilla), raw apple slices, or applesauce!

Fruit tart (w/ pastry cream)

Ingredients:
– 25cL of milk (1 glass)
– 30gr flour
– 30gr of sugar
– 1 egg
– Vanilla or cinnamon
– 500gr of fruits (strawberries cut in half, or other fruits)
– A shortbread dough (click here to get the recipe)

 

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the shortbread dough (click here to get the recipe)
  2. Bring the milk to the boil with the chosen flavour
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg with sugar, then add the flour
  4. Pour into the milk, while whisking vigorously 
  5. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring carefully until it reaches a good consistency
  6. Pour the cooled cream over the hardened shortbread dough, and place chopped fruits on top
  7. Optional: Brush fruits with syrup, by reducing a little bit of sugar in a little bit of water

Clafoutis (to any fruit)

Ingredients:
– 500gr of fruits (classically cherries but works very well with apples, plums, peaches….)
– 3 eggs
– 100gr of sugar
– 120gr of wheat flour
– 30cl of milk
– a pinch of salt
– a pinch of vanilla and/or cinnamon

 

Preparation:

  1. Butter an oven dish and put the fruits cut into small pieces
  2. Pour the mixture of all the other ingredients listed above 
  3. Bake for 40 minutes at 180°C

Chocolate mousse (with whole eggs or just egg whites)

Ingredients (for 4-6 people):
– 3 eggs (or egg whites only if you have leftovers from a mayonnaise or crème brulée for example)
– 100gr of chocolate (good quality, 70% cocoa – the texture will not take well otherwise)
– 20gr of sugar
– 20gr of butter or cooking oil

 

Preparation:

  1. Separate the whites from the yolks
  2. Melt the chocolate with butter/oil in a water bath (or over a very low heat). Once the mixture has cooled, add the egg yolks.
  3. Whisk egg whites until stiff, gradually adding sugar
  4. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and mix quickly, then 2/3 very gently, making circles with a wooden spatula. Add a pinch of salt to spice up the taste. 
  5. Pour in glasses and let the dessert cooled a few hours in the fridge

Chocolate Fondant / Cake – with or without an oven

Chocolate fondant (not to be confused with the semi-cooked cake with a flowing heart) requires a lower flour ratio than other chocolate cakes, and a slower cooking time. It’s perfectly suitable for cooking in a double boiler, if you do not have an oven! The softness, on the other hand, requires a faster cooking time: an oven will be necessary.

Ingredients (small cake for 2-3 people, multiply by 2 for a standard size cake):
– 2 eggs
– 100gr of chocolate (with milk or dark as desired)
– 50gr of sugar
– 50gr butter or cooking oil
– Flour:
Fondant: 10-20gr
Cake: 30-40gr + a pich of yeast (optional)

 

Preparation:

A. Melt butter/oil and chocolate in a dish in a double boiler, placed in a large frying pan/pot containing water, over low heat.

B1. FONDANT: add sugar, stir, then add eggs one by one (be careful not to make the mixture too hot) as well as the flour while stirring.
C1. Cook in a double boiler for 10 – 20 minutes with a lid. Check the cooking by pricking with a knife.

B2. CAKE: Whisk eggs, sugar and flour separately until well blended. Butter a plate and pour both preparations in it.
C2. Bake in a preheated oven at 160-180°C for 10-15 min depending on the size of the plate. Check the cooking by pricking with a knife.

 

Tips:

Dough should still stick slightly to the blade of the knife to ensure proper cooking. Chocolate cake is, by definition, a little drier than Chocolate fondant and can be served with an custard. If you want to imitate the effect of a half-cooked cake, add chunks of chocolate in the middle of the preparation before cooking! 

Crème caramel – crème brulée

Ingredients (quantities expressed for 1 person, to be multiplied):
– 1 egg (or just the yolk for a crème brulée)
– 10gr of sugar
– 10cL of milk
– a pinch of vanilla powder
– caramel (optional): sugar!
– 5cL liquid cream (for crème brulée)

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and bring the milk to a boil with vanilla (and cream if you make a crème brulée). Turn off the fire immediately (be careful not to overflow the milk)
  2. Whip the eggs (or yolks for a crème brulée) in a bowl with sugar until stiff
  3. Add milk while still warm, stirring constantly
  4. Divide the preparation into ramekins (essential for a crème brulée)

For caramel: pour sugar into a saucepan and add a little water to soak it. Heat for a few minutes, avoiding stirring too much, until the caramel forms (preparation must become liquid and foamy). Sprinkle with sugar again. Finally, add water or butter to prevent it from becoming hard when cooling. You can also add a little bit of lemon juice. Pour it to the bottom of ramekins before pouring the liquid preparation on it!

 

Alternatives:
Eggs Cream: bake for 30 minutes in the oven. Possibility to spill the cream once it is cold to get the caramel flowing on top!
Crème brûlée: cook 10 min in a double boiler in the oven. Let cool, sprinkle with brown sugar and burn it with a blowtorch! Without a blowtorch, burn it with a little bit of alcohol…

Easy dough (vegan)

Ingredients:
– 200gr of wheat flour
– 1 pinch of salt
– 2 tablespoons of cane sugar (for desserts only!)
– 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 8 cl of water

 

Preparation:
  1. To make the dough, mix together dry ingredients and add oil
  2. Work the dough with your fingertips and add water from time to time
  3. Bring the dough to a homogeneous mixture
  4. Make a ball and store it 15 minutes in a cool place 

Easy shortbread dough

Ingredients:
– 200 or 250gr of wheat flour
– 1 pinch of salt
– 100gr of sugar
– 1 egg
– 100gr of butter or neutral plant oil
– 5cL of water
– Optional: twist of lemon

 

Preparation:
    1. In a bowl, mix the egg with powdered sugar and a pinch of salt
    2. Pour the flour on your work surface, dig a well in the middle and pour all the bowl contents (and a twist of lemon), then add the fat matter (butter or plant oil).
    3. Knead everything until you obtain a homogeneous dough
    4. Spread the dough at the bottom of a mould about 25cm in diameter, and place baking paper and dry ingredients (such as beans or rice grains) on top, to keep the dough in the mould shape
    5. Bake it 20 – 25min at 180°C

* Most of these recipes are from cooking websites (such as Marmiton.org), but always tried and adjusted by ourselves *

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