French cuisine has a deserved reputation for being some of the most impressive food in the world. However, even though the cuisine can be taken to amazing extremes it's also possible to attempt simple but delicious French meals at home with minimal cooking skills.
Here are some tips to help you make a French style meal at home.
A focus on quality
French meals have a focus on quality, with each course consisting of the best and freshest quality of each ingredient to get maximum quality and taste impact. These ingredients don't need to be the most expensive option but should be the freshest items that you can find. Many French chefs grow their own vegetables and herbs or frequent farmers markets to get the best possible ingredients for their meals. Try looking at the market to see what the best quality items at the market are, and then planning your menu around these items (rather than planning a menu ahead and searching for ingredients to match).
Accompany the meal with tasty wine
French food is often matched with wines that suit the tastes of each course. It can be worthwhile, once you have planned your course, heading into your local wine shop and getting some advice on matching wines for each course. Again quality is not directly related to price as you can often find a tasty and well-matched set of wines for an affordable price. Don't be afraid to mix local wines with French meals as Australian wines can be a great complement to local ingredients.
Play with sauces
French cuisine makes great use of sauces. This can be a great way to experiment within your meal and you can even look at providing more than one sauce so that people can personalise their dishes to their own tastes.
Keep it simple
While French deserts are known for their intricate pastries and finely cooked petit fours, it can be just as easy to try for a cheese dish where you serve fine cheeses and preserved fruits to finish the meal. Pastries and chocolate truffles can also be purchased and served as an easy dessert.
Serving a French cuisine meal at home doesn't need to be hard as long as you focus on quality ingredients and well-matched tastes and flavours. Of course, if it all seems overwhelming it can be just as easy to make a reservation at a local French restaurant.