Book Review: Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon by Andy Brabon

Book Review: Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon by Andy Brabon
August 30, 2012 Leslie Juvin-Acker

Andy Brabon’s, Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon, is the third cookbook in a series geared for English speakers on France’s metropolitan regions.

With the experience from his previous two books, Andy Brabon has taken more attention to the food design, photography, colors and typefaces offered in the book. Having taken the photos himself, he has created more control in the presentation of the food he actually makes. The food styled in the images are actual results he has made in the kitchen, so what you cook in your own kitchen will look like the images in the book.

Like the first two books, the 33 recipes are varied and broken down with simple to follow instructions that don’t require too much thinking. Preparation of the dishes don’t require fancy machines or tools, instead just basic cooking utensils found in the average household.

The most complicated recipe to the French is the bouillabaisse. Andy breaks down the recipe with education, tips and hints on how to select the best produce and fish for this popular and seemingly unsurmountable dish.

Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon is chock full of interesting food culture and ecology information, so that readers understand the background of the recipes they make in their own kitchen. The education increases the appreciation of French culture and cuisine. The tone of the book is warm, friendly and approachable, just like Andy himself.

Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon starts out with information and education on the Languedoc region. Andy goes over the selection of fruits and vegetables during each season in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. There is a section on anchovies and oysters in which readers can learn about the history of anchovy fish

ing, its present day ecology, and how anchovies are prepared for sale and consumption. Naturally, Andy covers cheeses with sufficient detail so that readers can identify and understand the cheeses associated with this region – and of course, wine is certainly remembered!

Continuing on the theme of fish, Andy goes into fish selection and information in the Mediterranean and how to select fish for preparation in the book’s fish based recipes.

One of the recipes I tried was the Estouffat, a slow simmering dish of pork shoulder and bacon. I over thought one of the steps to drain and did not drain and wound up with a soup instead of a stew. The dish was delicious, however made me reinforce the main idea that Andy’s instructions are so simple, that anyone with limited culinary skills can make delicious French dishes in full simplicity. Don’t over think his instructions! They are simple with basic ingredients.

In total, Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon is a beautifully styled and planned cookbook full of educational information and simple, yet impressive, recipes from the Languedoc-Roussillon.

At 9,50€, Recipes from Languedoc-Roussillon is published by Neva Editions and available for sale online and throughout various bookstores located throughout France.