Crèpes au Froment recipe by Ann Mah

28 October 2014

  One of my favorite books of the last year, ‘Mastering the Art of French Eating’ by Ann Mah, is now available in a paperback edition!  In honor of this new release, I’ve invited Ann Mah to share a recipe from her edible journeys through France that didn’t make the final cut. Below, a simply delicious recipe for crèpes au froment (dessert!), as shared with Ann by Hervé Floc’hlay, a cooking professor with whom she spent time in Brittany over, bien sûr, a feast of delicate crèpes. See below!  — Crêpes au froment Ingredients 2 cups white flour 3 cups milk 2 eggs (Hervé suggests free-range) 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted 1/2 cup granulated sugar In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, mixing them together as little as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, stir delicately, passing the batter through a sieve to remove the lumps. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high flame. Distribute a small amount of batter in the pan, swirling and turning it to create a very thin crêpe. Cook for 30 seconds, turn and cook the other side for just a few seconds. Spread liberally […]…

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‘Mastering the Art of French Eating’ – Guest Post by Ann Mah and a Giveaway!

18 October 2013

‘Mastering the Art of French Eating’, the new food memoirs from my friend Ann Mah, is meant to be devoured. The book explores France’s regional cuisine and the passionate people who uphold the traditions over the course of a year in Paris while Ann’s diplomat husband is on a mission in Iraq. Each personal anecdote and confession of loneliness during his absence leads to a dish, a fixture of the national consciousness, that illustrates the salving power of food. Ann found a sense of comfort and home in the people and recipes she discovered along her travels and this comes to life through ten chapters of affective storytelling and delicious detail. Here, she shares her favorite French food souvenirs and offers a copy of her book to one lucky reader! Read on… *** There are few experiences as wonderful as traveling around France and eating. But, happily, while my book research taught me all about French regional cuisine, it also offered many shopping opportunities. Here are my favorite food souvenirs, discovered on the road, and brought home to my kitchen. They help bring me back to France, if only for an instant. Honey — Before I lived in France, I […]…

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Six France-Inspired Reads for Summer

25 June 2013

From indulgent treats to sultry love affairs, these six France-inspired stories will put some extra spice in your summer reading.  Paris, My Sweet: AYear in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate), Amy Thomas’s memoir released last year, takes us on her emotional journey from New York to Paris. Woven through each chapter of deeply personal tales – of making friends, navigating the grim dating scene, surviving bouts of self-doubt and defining happiness (both in and outside of the bakery) – are rapturous tasting excursions on both sides of the Atlantic. Not one to discriminate, Amy relishes the treats each city has to offer and provides a little black book of all her most cherished shops and bakeries so you can experience her edible adventures firsthand.  Self-discovery, questions of identity and the search for meaningful life experiences in Paris after college: the joys and hardships of Hilary Reyl’s heroine Katherine in her first novel Lessons in French remind me a great deal of myself when I first came to the city (sans the intellectual jousting at dinner with Henri Cartier-Bresson and Umberto Eco, of course). Paris in the late 1980’s may be the backdrop but this is a character-driven coming of age story […]…

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Eating Non-French Food in Paris

18 October 2012

North African and Middle Eastern cuisine notwithstanding, Paris isn’t exactly known for its ethnic fare. The prevalence of tacos, burgers, sushi and dim-sum is a relatively recent phenomenon but one which has completely reinvigorated an erstwhile lagging food scene. Slowly (and this is key because the French are historically resistant to change), Parisians are beginning to appreciate the variety and influence of foreign styles and tastes and expats are, well, ecstatic. I frequently field questions from readers about dining out in Paris, specifically for non-French fare. In addition to listing a few of my own favorites, I’ve enlisted the help of a few of my hedonist writer friends – Ann Mah, David Lebovitz, Amy Thomas, Erica Berman, Barbra Austin and Bryan Pirolli – for a varied list you can consult on your next trip should the idea of steak frites and French onion soup seem underwhelming. {MY PICKS} CandelariaA boon to taco-starved expats when it opened over a year ago, this taqueria-meets-cocktail lounge has been consistently good since day one.  Tuck into tacos, tostadas, and deliciously chunky guacamole in the narrow taqueria then head past the unmarked door at the back of the kitchen for prohibition-style cocktails and great music. El […]…

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Franco File Friday: Ann Mah

7 April 2011

Ann Mah has been all over. Originally from California, she worked in publishing in New York for Viking Peguin before calling Beijing her home. For four years she was the dining editor of That’s Beijing, an English-language magazine, similar to her main character Isabelle Lee in her debut novel Kitchen Chinese. She was awarded the the James Beard culinary scholarship to study Italian cuisine in Bologna in 2005 and has been eating and writing her way through Paris since 2008. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler and the International Herald Tribune, among other publications, and she’s currently knee-deep in her next literary project. Though she loved her experiences in Beijing, I got the sense that she feels particularly enamored with France’s rich, cultural and gastronomical offering and would therefore be an apt candidate for Franco File Friday! Describe what you love most about France in three words.Appreciation of beauty. Best place to feel inspired in Paris? I feel most inspired when I’m walking the city, seeing familiar landmarks, exploring new neighborhoods, and learning how the different quartiers connect to one another. My husband and I try to take a long walk every weekend — it’s such […]…

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