Sunday, October 11, 2015

Another Fine French Book Giveaway


Hillary Davis traces her fascination with the cocotte--the enameled, cast-iron French version of a Dutch oven—to early memories of her grandmother: 

“She was pulling a hot pot out of the oven and was swinging it around heavily to land with a thud on the wooden kitchen table. Her pot was bursting at the top with a golden crust that oozed bubbling brown gravy down the sides. Ever since that pot had been brought to her as a gift from Europe, she had not gone a day without using it. If she was the queen of the kitchen, this pot was the queen of her cuisine...”

Today the New Hampshire-based author has grandma’s pot proudly displayed in her own kitchen...along with a vast collection of French-made cocottes she has collected over the years.

And, as of a few weeks ago, she has a gorgeous new cookbook devoted to cooking in them. Using techniques such as braising, stewing, roasting, baking, stovetop and frying, the 224-page hardcover Le French Oven will help you create tantalizing appetizers, soups, main courses and desserts, no matter the size, shape or make of your own pot. 

Hillary’s publisher, Gibbs Smith, has given me two copies of this beautiful new book to give away.

Hillary works as a food journalist, cooking instructor and publisher of the popular food blog Marche Dimanche. She's a long-time food columnist and restaurant critic for New Hampshire Magazine and her work has been featured in many national and international magazines.  She has an economics degree from Columbia, a Masters from Cambridge (yikes!) and two previous books to her credit: French Comfort Food and Cuisine Niçoise.  

When she’s not at home in New Hampshire, Hillary’s almost always in France. Having lived along the Cote d’Azur for more than eleven years and in Paris for three years, she now spends two to three months every year exploring different regions of the country she considers her second home.

In the book’s intro, Hillary gives us some brief background about the object of her passion: “The best [cocottes] are made in France and those are the ones I collect,” she explains. “It’s a subjective and personal opinion based upon years of trying different ones. Mine are French ovens and are 100 percent made in France.”

She also tells the stories behind the top brands-- Chasseur, Emile Henry, Fontignac, Le Creuset, Mauviel, Revol, Staub—and provides info on how to choose and care for their wares.

“I never realized they are like snowflakes," she says. "Each one is unique and hand made. Emile Henry even has its people sign the bottom of the cocottes they make. It makes me appreciate them even more.”

And then it’s on to 80 tantalizing recipes for full-size cocottes and mini-cocottes, including Warm Mushroom Custards with Garlic Toast, French Carrot Rice Soup, Basque-Style Paella, Two-Hands Praying Rack of Lamb Roast, Lemony Braised Chicken with Green Olives, and Beef Pot-au-Feu. Dessert recipes include Raspberry Clafoutis and Hot Brandied Peaches Over Ice Cream.

To illustrate Le French Oven, Hillary turned to her long-time collaborator, the photographer Steven Rothfeld, whose other titles include The Tuscan Sun Cookbook, Bringing Tuscany Home, Hungry for France, Simply French and French Comfort Food.  In addition to photos of the finished dishes you’ll find wonderful images of French villages, people, landscapes and more.

To enter to win a copy of the book, simply leave a comment under “comments” below. Tell us why you simply must have this book...or why you want to give it as a gift...or what you remember most about your own grandmother’s cooking...or how you came to have your own cocotte. Make sure to leave us a way to reach you; signing in with your Google account is not enough. Winners will be chosen in the next month and the publisher will send the books out tout suite.

If you’d like to go ahead and buy the book, it’s on Amazon here.

To learn more about Hillary:

39 comments:

  1. I love the foods from France and has been to Paris a couple of times and Provence three years ago. I love the idea of one pots meals and that is why I would love Hillary Davis new cookbook Le French Oven.

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  2. jillkane001@gmail.comOctober 12, 2015 at 2:56 AM

    My Nana wasn't the best cook, but she made a few things that I loved. Chicken breasts with mushrooms and tiny potatoes in a wine sauce was one of my favorites. She was also well known for her walnut Christmas cookies.

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    Replies
    1. I think everyone's nana made walnut Christmas cookies! I have my grandma's recipe and love them!

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  3. It will lhelp me bring french cooking to France.

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  4. I purchased my first cocotte (I love that word) during a picnic stop on a long drive home to Germany from Normandy. We weren't quite ready to end our French vacation so instead of just picnicking along the highway, we exited to a small village. And I couldn't resist the bright red cocotte smiling at me from a tiny shop window.

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    1. How could anyone resist a smiling red cocotte?
      :)

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  5. We returned from Provence last night where we recently enjoyed a wonderful cooking class at Carrasins! We are committed to a new fresh approach to cooking in our kitchen. Last year my husband received his first French cookbook and has been making Rabbit with mustard sauce repeatedly. He would definitely enjoy a Cocotte as he works his way through his cookbook!

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  6. A treasure to search for when we are back in France in the not too distant future.

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  7. It would be such a special gift to give my son-in-law who loves that type of French cooking, but does not have such a book. Also, because I although I wake up in the US most days of the year, in my mind I am in France.
    Harriett Godwin hgodwin77@gmail.com

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  8. I love France, try to get there as often as we can. Would love a cookbook to read and prepare food from when we aren't there. Wanda

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  9. This is the perfect time of year for this cookbook--fall, when I start dreaming of long simmered French dishes. I did have a large Le Creuset once, but it got lost in one of many moves.
    It would be also wonderful to have a book with Steven Rothfeld's great photos!
    Sharon

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  10. I am not a good cook...at age 56 I am becoming one!! Having my own Cocotte and this cookbook will make me a Great cook!!

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  11. My cocotte (French, of course) is apple green and came with two handles, one to use in the oven, the other for at table presentation! I use it all the time and would certainly put it to good use for recipes like the mushroom custards (sounds amazing!) or the chicken with green olives (a favorite!). Needless to say, I'd love to win the book!
    anne@accidental-locavore.com

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  12. I should win tho book, as I have three different sized cocottes and use them every week for something delicious I am cooking. Plus, I live in New Hampshire and will be happy to share some of my recipes and maybe even have a joint cook night with Hillary Davis!

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  13. There is that moment when you bring the cocotte to the table and remove the cover....and you know every one of your guests is 'hooked'. Would love to try some of Hillary's recipes.

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  14. My Mother would be absolutely thrilled to have this cookbook, I would LOVE to win it for her. She is a huge french culinary fan! :)
    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

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  15. All my grandparents passed away before I was born, so I never had the honor of knowing them, but my mother was a gourmet cook! Everyone remembers her for her delicious creations, but the sad thing is she never wrote down a recipe...not a single one. After she passed away, I've not been able to recreate any of her wonderful meals with any success. I would be so blessed to be able to share in someone else's grandmother's treasures. Thank you for considering me! Pacificaloha at yahoo.com

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  16. Love one-pot cooking. This is for me. Many thanks. J

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  17. I absolutely cherish my beautiful cherry red cocottes and I proudly display my Dutch oven on top of my stove. It gives me the most joy when I cook with them, along with my copper pots! Although I am single I only know how to cook in great quantities for friends and loved ones. They are the ones I experiment all my new recipes on and that, in turn, is what feeds my soul. I would LOVE, and feel so grateful to have, the opportunity to broaden my repertoire with your mouth-watering recipes. Merci! meganbh at cox.net

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  18. I have seen the beautiful (and heavy!) Staub cocottes in stores and silently longed for one. The idea of something cooking long and low, with savory steam rising from the bubbling contents when the lid is lifted, transports me to special meals and makes me yearn to recreate them in my own kitchen.

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  19. I have been dreaming of going back to France for years-this will be just like bringing it home to my kitchen! marylynnconroy at gmail.com

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  20. 1. I love one-pot cooking.
    2. I just returned from my first trip to Provence, and I am totally in love with that enchanted part of the world.
    3. I'm a Hilary, too (albeit with just one "L")
    (hilary at hilarygardner dot com)

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  21. Thank you for the chance to win this lovely book! I have been wanting a cocotte for some time now. This book will give me motivation to buy one. Preferably while visiting France of course! I am now on my way to follow Hillary's blog.

    Carol @ terrarusticadesign@hotmail.com

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  22. I would love to own this cookbook. I am always trying to find new foods to cook the French way. Thank you for your blog as it reminds me of our days in St. Remy and Apt.

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  23. Love love the family history behind this book. The recipes look hearty and amazing. I hope I win!

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  24. Is cocotte related to the word chouchouter? I just learned that word for pampering or cosseting --nourishing-- and cooking something warm for a long time in a cocotte...that's a way to pamper and nourish our families. That's what cooking means to me--loving! So I adore making braises and long-cooking stews. This home cooking for family is so much better than eating in restaurant, as much as I love eating out. I imagine that the book about the cocotte has many, many ways for pampering and cosseting a family!

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  25. I do not yet have a cocotte, but now that I see how much can be done with them--those dishes sound wonderful--I'm going to find one (maybe in France!). I'll need a book of recipes and would love to have this one.

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  26. J'aime bien la cuisine française et voudrais cuire comme une française.

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  27. I own 8 LeCreuset pots (cocoettes) from my early days as the USA Culinary Consulant to LeCreuset to a recent book signing tour at the LeCreuset stores. It is the best, so I will order this lovely book immediately since one can never have to many cookbooks or to many LeCreuset pots and pans!

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  28. As I have no cocette,
    I made do with a galette.
    Flat as a pancake, no pot to be had
    Tastes just as good my dear daughter said.
    Yet I know that she yearned for oh so much more.
    Chicken and carrots, potatoes galore!
    Please pick me to be the big winner,
    My family is desperate for a dig in to dinner!

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  29. Le French Oven would make my cocotte queen of the kitchen! Thanks Julie and Hillary for the chance to have a cope of this beautiful book. I left my heart in France, I can't wait to visit again.

    Barb
    Martinhouse57@yahoo.com

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  30. I love one pot cooking! Years ago I bought a goose cooker at an antique store in Switzerland. I refused to ship it and hand-carried it all the way home to California! Thanks for sharing about Hillary's new book - I loved her "Cuisine Nicoise"🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷pamelahutchings@me.com

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  31. My first piece of good c [kare is a Cressey cocotte
    I bought it when I was a stain Paris and lugged it back to b the US. Over 40 years later I still love it!

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  32. I have a brown LeCreuset cocotte from 1991. I have used it so often and was so proud when I learned how to make the flour and water "ribbon" to seal the pot. Like my mother's iron skillet, it will never wear out. Thanks Julie. rainey.vivier@gmail.com

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  33. Would love to have this book as I am fascinated with all things French and enjoy trying new recipes from France . I have one le Creuset cocotte but since I have a large family , could use several. Thanks for offering all the books that you do .

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  34. Having just returned from my first trip to France (Provence and Paris), I have come to appreciate the beauty and comfort that French Food provides. Hillary Davis' Le French Oven would be the perfect way for me to continue to explore French food with my red Le Creuset cocotte.
    Kish Augustus (kishore at stanfordalumni dot org)

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  35. I am dreaming of some fabulous table d'hote experiences I have had in various parts of France as well as thinking of my sweet Cajun great-grandmother that made the most wonderful food!

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  36. Winter is coming and warm bubbly French food sounds very comforting.
    Greg Davis
    greg at gregkathryn dot com

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