Simone (“Simca”) Beck is known to millions of Americans as Julia Child’s French partner in the creation of the two classic volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now, she gives us her own delectable recipes—the ones she most treasures out of a lifetime of cooking creativity that has made her one of the great cuisinières of her day. Here are recipes that were inspired by old French family specialties found in her mother’s and grandmother’s well-thumbed notebooks; recipes that grew out of Simca’s life in the provinces (particularly Normandy, Alsace, and Provence) where she has gardened, cooked, dined out, and entertained; simple delights and fabulous concoctions all set down with a beautiful French clarity.
Skillfully adapting her French ways to American needs, she presents over 100 recipes in 31 alluring menus designed for every sort of occasion—a warming dinner after a winter walk in the woods, a feast to dazzle your friends, a buffet for winter and one for summer, even an elegant picnic.
For each menu Simca has written a charming, altogether personal introduction filled with nuggets of useful information, like what can be cooked ahead of time or how long last-minute preparations will take. Specific wines are always suggested with the menus, along with specific cheeses when called for. In addition, this volume features a small collection of other favorite dishes that did not fit into the menus but were simply too good to leave out.
All in all, Simca’s Cuisine is a lasting treasure for everyone in search of new delicacies to serve, new menus that will enchant, new aromas and flavors in the French tradition, and new ways to find expertise in the kitchen and joy at the table.