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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / French, Creole and Cajun Cuisine / What is French Country Cooking?
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    What is French Country Cooking?

    Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:41 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Dear French Cooking Forum,

    As a beginning cook, I've been asking questions about cooking from different places around the world. I'm now requesting information about French Country Cooking. I've learned to ask the following questions, which I request information on concerning French Country cooking:

    What foods and spices are common to French Country cooking?

    How could I tell genuine French Country cooking apart from Americanized French Country cooking?

    What cook books would you recommend to learn French Country cooking?

    I would appreciate replies as soon as is convenient. I've really enjoyed fielding questions so far about cooking in different parts of the world.
    Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:51 am
    Forum Host
    I just saw this, and did a quick search on the web for you, to give you a few ideas, regards herbs and spices and recipes

    Also here on there are over 8 thousand French Recipes, just
    click here
    Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:57 pm Groupie
    French Farmhouse Cooking by Susan Hermann Loomis and Country Cooking in France by Anne Willan are two good places to start. Both women live and cook in France, so they're fairly authentic, or as authentic as two non-French people can be. They interpret country French cooking so that it can be reproduced in the U.S. The more rural style of cooking isn't as fancy as the cuisine you'd find in high-end restaurants, depends on fresh local ingredients, and often uses odd bits of the animal because it derives from farm practices.

    Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:10 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Dear JoyfulCook and RiverRat,

    Thank you very much for this information. As a person new to cooking, I remember Bobby Flay saying that with French Cooking, there is no limit except your imagination. That's why I decided to check this topic out. I saw on "Essential French Pantry" on the Cooking Channel web site, they talked about how essential it was to even have different kinds of butter. I was about to back off from French cooking completely when I saw that, thinking "This is too complicated!" But your information seems to tell me French cooking doesn't have to be that complex.


    ruralgentleman icon_biggrin.gif
    Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:26 am Groupie
    Ruralgentleman, it doesn't have to be complicated at all! It's basically peasant cooking, fancied up just a little sometimes. Check out Loomis first; she's not as fussy as Willan. And let me know if you need more cookbook suggestions; I have quite a collection. Another good one is Jeanne Strang's Goose Fat & Garlic ; that focuses on Southwest France.
    Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:19 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Dear RiverRat,

    Thank you very much for your feedback! icon_biggrin.gif

    Because I was raised on a family farm, I can relate when someone talks about peasant food. For one thing, I grew up poor, including growing our own food because we couldn't afford to buy all we needed to feed the family (l am so glad the days of shoveling and putting cow manure in plant holes for fertilizer by hand is over!).

    One idea I'm still toying with is to learn to do like my "Cooking Light" Cookbook promotes, to have my pantry ready for all kinds of cooking from the U.S., or Italy, or France or China or what have you. I'm guessing they are working to give me all kinds of ideas to cook light every day (in my case, with several food restrictions by my doctor). I can see the logic in that, when I prepare for the week to come home from work every day so I can have a fun variety for supper, or on the weekend, lunch and supper.


    Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:18 am Groupie
    I take it that goose fat isn't going to be a large component of your new menu, then!

    I think all you'd need to stock for spices and herbs would be items like rosemary, thyme, herbes de Provence, and the makings of a bouquet garni, which usually includes a leek section and at least a bay leaf, some thyme and some parsley. I actually have a mesh metal holder for those herbs so I don't have to tie little bundles with linen string when a recipe calls for a bouquet garni.

    Fresh veggies will be harder because they don't keep as well; I have to buy fennel bulbs and celery root and other produce as I need them, so I still have to plan ahead and know what I'd like to cook for the next few days before I go shopping.

    Growing up on a farm and eating that way was probably a lot healthier than the alternatives. I imagine it will feel like getting back to your roots - and I don't just mean vegetables! Do you have room and/or the inclination for a garden?

    Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:15 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Dear Rattie,

    You asked if I have room or inclinations for a garden. I plan on doing something perhaps this year. I'm thinking about growing some herbs in buckets, planting what veggies I can in buckets and sharing a garden space with my Mother, since my soil has so much tough, dense pasture grass in it (the area used to be a huge old style garden). To keep things manageable I will plant only key veggies that I will use a lot. For example, if I zero in on Italian cooking, I will grow tomatoes and eggplant. Or if I plant veggies common to all kinds of cooking, again it will be something small scale: When you have a full-time factory job with a full-time agenda ministry, you don't have bookoos of time left over for other things.


    Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:32 am
    Forum Host
    Good morning Ruralgentleman,

    growing vegetables in containers can be very sucessful. With a good mix of soil and composte they do even better!

    I used to grow the Italian bush tomatos, Bell peppers, Onions, Runner Beans
    and potatoes - There is something so nice about new potatoes straight from your garden. This is the time to be thinking about it too.

    Although not French - I made a Flemish Stew this week, it was so nice and very close to what we had in Belgium in a small Restaurant. I guess thats because its a simple, back to basics kind of meal.
    Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:15 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Dear JoyfulCook,

    Thank you for your ideas! icon_biggrin.gif

    Because I'm in Georgia, then I do agree this is a good time to start thinking about a garden. My Mother is making plans about it right now. I will share garden space and work with her on larger plants that won't work in buckets.

    Because I was raised on typical rural food growing up, I always enjoy reading about new recipes along that line. Today I bought a magazine on Gourmet Italian, including rural Tuscan. I can add that to other magazines I bought, like the Food Network magazine edition on Italian.

    I admit, I enjoy going to an Italian restaurant on Friday after work, right across the road from my job, because of the comfort food.

    I need to read more French recipes at this web site when I get enough spare time.


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