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Barefoot in Paris: Americans think of French food as fancy food. We think of French restaurants as formal places where we’re always about to commit some hideous breach of etiquette. It’s true that some French food is elaborate and formal, but not all of it. What I love is simple, country French food, and I wanted to cook it in a way that was easy enough for me to use not only at Barefoot Contessa but also for entertaining at home. So, that’s what I did. For dinner, forget all those fancy sauces that either take hours to prepare or have to be made at the last minute when everyone’s hungry. In this book you’ll find plenty of traditional recipes, such as scallops Provencal and chicken with forty cloves of garlic, where the sauce actually happens in the cooking. And then there’s dessert. If you don’t even have ten minutes to make the crème brulee, just remember how French it is to serve a big bowl of fresh raspberries in season with just a dollop of crème fraiche and a cookie.

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