Long after Julia Child and friends published their definitive work on French cookery, we saw other French volumes: bistro books, baking books, regional books, and for one shining moment a couple of years ago, lots of books on macarons. But there’s one category of French cookbook that keeps coming back each year, the one I think of as easy French, and these include “Barefoot in Paris,” by Ina Garten, “The Bonne Femme Cookbook,” by Wini Moranville, and “My French Table,” by Dorie Greenspan. Readers have cried “Magnifique!” to each of them.
This season’s offering comes from Rachel Khoo, a photogenic British former fashion publicist who went to France to study pastry at the Cordon Bleu. Her first cookbook written in English (following two pastry books in French), “The Little Paris Kitchen,” has a surplus of charm and chic. Recipes are not particularly original — similar versions appear in many cookbooks and online — but they’re tasty, and basically, they work. They’re also easy. Khoo has just two gas rings and a mini-oven in her kitchen, so there’s no 3-day brown sauces or laminate dough construction.