Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Skinny French Kitchen – Review and First Makes

Before the main review of this post I’ll start with the winner of Audrey Gordon’s Tuscan Summer draw: the second comment from Loving Food from the Humble Home Cook - please email me to arrange delivery. Well done!

J’adore The Skinny French Kitchen! Well, I am a bit of a Francophile where food is concerned; there is no getting away from it.

The author had co-authored two Cook Yourself Thin books, one in the UK and one in the US. This is her second solo cookbook, the first being Red velvet, Chocolate Heartache which I have recently been cooking from (more on that one another day though). When I first saw the title for pre-order I smiled – French food that I could slip into my cooking routine and know the calorie count of for the healthy eating plan- oh yes! Ah, le regime - see I took it all in when reading David Lebovitz’s wonderful blog.

The Skinny French Kitchen by Harry Eastwood published by Bantam Press 2011. It’s a very nice book, with a distinct French and more specifically Parisienne feel from the photography. There are Paris shots, food shots and recipe shots too. I would have liked more savoury recipe pictures, but this is my only little moan here.

Harry does a good introduction to the book to set the mood for skinny French cooking. She also has little appendages to her recipes called “Skinny Secrets” where she tells us about how the recipes are skinny. Calorie count per portion on each recipe page as well. Chapters are *Aperitif* Sides* A Table for Two* Dejeuner sur L’Herbe* Cold Comfort * and finally * Les Desserts*. I like the layout, and each recipe has a nice intro from Harry.

No crème brulee recipe, Harry says she tried hard but it wouldn’t be made skinny, despite her best efforts. Maybe it could have had its own chapter at the end – the once a year blow out recipe (!), but that wouldn’t have been in keeping with the book at all.

I have bookmarked 61 recipes – which is more than half the book!! I couldn’t wait to get cooking, so here is my first round up of recipes. I have managed to find a link for the profiteroles recipe, so have posted it below. Here is a taster of the recipes I've tried so far, but do expect another post about this book!

Coq au Vin Blanc with Light Mashed Potatoes

Light and brightly flavoured chicken, liked it a lot. Served with the mash from the book which is less rich, but still yummy.

Chocolate Truffles

Small, but absolutely packed with flavour. I have kept some of mine in the freezer for emergencies!

Profiteroles au Chocolate

The choux pastry is made with Harry’s lighter recipe, and it really works. The lighter crème patisserie is a good consistency, but not sweet enough for me. I made this for our Mother’s day dessert, and we all enjoyed it. I’ll make it again but add a bit more sugar to the crème next time. Recipe link here.

Carrot Salad

This was light and delicious, a definite keeper.

Salmon in a Paper Parcel

Another keeper, the salmon is just gorgeous cooked in its own paper parcel. Another light and fresh dish. I added some prawns because I had some left over. The fussy little one will not touch salmon, but prawns go down well, so I did an extra parcel without wine and herbs and with prawns, and it still worked!

Crème Caramel

I liked this one, it isn’t rich at all, but a nice end to a slimmers midweek meal.


A bit of work, but a lovely reward of beautiful vegetables afterwards.

Crepes Suzette

A light version of the original, the sauce was particularly good, and we poured what was left into small glasses, hic!

Croque Monsieur

I’ve not quite followed Harry’s method here, (1) I’ve used soda bread (no yeast for me) and (2) I’ve not made them double deckers. Fabulous recipe, lighter than the normal one, but in a good way, not fatty, just cheesy, creamy and good.

Next Up: Cake Slice Bakers

Next Review Up: Gran's Kitchen


Maria♥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria♥ said...

I have this book in my wish-list at amazon. I definitely need to get this soon! Everything you've tried looks so yummy, especially the coq au vin blanc.


At Anna's kitchen table said...

I wouldn't have thought this would be worth buying KJ, but you've given me second thoughts now!
As long as the flavour doesn't go down along with the fat levels, which judging by your photos is definitely not the case!

Anonymous said...

The coq au vin is on my to make list as well, even more now I've seen your picture.

You need to make the chicken liver salad with pear and port, I've made it twice already. It is divine!

Making the lentil and lardons next week.

Fabulous book all round.


LF said...

Thank you ever so much! I have emailed you details. This book has actually not come to my attention until, but now you have tempted me. You've got to love French cooking and most of us benefit from taking healthier choices.

LF said...

I'm a bit tired and the typos are coming like pearls on a string :)

That should be 'until now' and 'making healthier choices' lol.

Jacqui said...

Saw this book today and thought I must have it. You've just convinced me.

missflash said...

I didn't know the French did low fat food. I need to hunt and see whether I can get any of these recipes online . Your pictures look good, especially the chocolate truffles x