Fresh Herbs for French Cooking – Part 1

It’s time to plant your herbs.  I moved to a new state just a few months ago, so I needed to plant a new herb garden for all my French cooking.  Which made me realize that some French cooking amateurs might not be familiar with the ideal French herb garden? Here are my suggestions.

French Thyme
This is used extensively in French cooking.  If you don’t have a garden and can only have a couple of pots on your window seal, then Thyme is the number one to consider.  So fragrant and delicious in many dishes!

Thyme is one of the herbs in “bouquet garni” often called for in French cooking.  The other herbs are laurel and parsley.  You tie the three kinds together and throw them in your stock.  Before serving your stew or soup (using the stock you prepared) you simply fish out your bouquet garni.  Et voila!  All the flavor without the annoyance of chewing on herbs.

I find there is a huge difference in flavor and aroma between fresh French thyme and dried thyme.  It is so worth the effort of growing it.  Hmmm … there is nothing like a nice French omelet with a few fresh thyme leaves, a bit of garlic and just a tad of grated Gruyere cheese.

French Cooking Blog

Finally!  After several months of battling with the intricacies of 21st century technology and a couple of vicious viruses which somehow made their way into my website … everything has been cleared.  It is finally time to launch Ma Belle France.  This was a very difficult birth and I Thank the French Cooking members of Ma Belle France who very patiently waited for me.

So, now that the technology war is over, I am going to dedicate some time every week to add more French recipes, interview French cooking and French wines experts, videotape some of my own french cooking recipes, and find other contributors to Ma Belle France to share their expertise.

French macaronsToday, I am developing my own French macaron recipe and when it is just right, I will share it with you.  It seems easy at first, but as I am on my third batch, I am discovering that it is a quite precise art for them to come out perfect.  French macarons have been the rave in France for the past few years and they are now making their way to the US.  They are so delicious!  The great news is that they are gluten-free so anyone who has a gluten intolerance can actually indulge in them.

My first two batches were chocolate.  The first batch came out a bit grainy because my almonds weren’t ground finely enough.  Second batch didn’t rise … the third batch is rapsberry and going into the oven in about 15 minutes.  They say ‘third time is the charm.”  Let’s see if they’re right!

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