Eating Like the French


Happy Eaters at On Rue Tatin
Happy Eaters at On Rue Tatin

When we sit down to a meal at On Rue Tatin I’m always so happy at the response.  Everyone loves what we eat (because they made it so well!), and they love the pace.  We take our time, we sip and we taste, no one leaves the table feeling as though they’ve had too much to eat, but rather they are satisfied and happy.

I have heard more times than I can count how hard it is to recreate the same experience in the U.S. because the typical American life leaves little time to enjoy a leisurely meal at the table, so I’ve come up with a template to eat à la française at home.

First, time is a key ingredient to a good meal, but you don’t need three hours.  Try adding fifteen minutes to your mealtime.  Begin with supper.  Plan a simple meal that you’re going to serve in courses.  Include an apéritif, first course, main course, salad and dessert. Do as the French cook does: make what you can, buy what you don’t have time to do, from a quality source.

Now, light a couple of candles for the table, and  sit down to enjoy a French-style meal, at a French-style pace.  Let me know how it goes!

The Organization:

Stock certain things in your pantry.  In a French Kitchen has a great pantry list.

Step 1: Start with an apéritif: a glass of wine, or juice, or a cocktail with a little something to nibble on.

Step 2:  Serve the first course, on its own.

Step 3: Serve the main course, on its own.

Step 4: Toss the green salad (just lettuce leaves with a great vinaigrette) and serve that. If you want to include cheese in your  meal, serve it alongside the salad.

Step 5: Clear away plates and serve dessert.

Ok, that’s the easy part. Now, what to serve?  What follows are a few suggested meals. You take it from here. Bon Appetit!

Suggested Appetizers:
Sliced black radish (now that red radishes are out of season) on rounds of buttered baguette, with fleur de sel
Toasted almonds or other nuts

Suggested First Course:
Squash Soup
Green Beans Normandes
Charcuterie Platter that includes sliced sausages and pâté

Suggested Main Course:
Roasted chicken
Simple Family Omelette
Braised Aromatic Pork

Suggested Salad:
The Perfect Vinaigrette

Suggested Dessert:
Apple Compote
Chocolate Mousse
Fresh Seasonal Fruit

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