Most of us can cook a reasonable range of staple dishes. But if someone were to ask you to cook a French dish of some kind, what would you do? Would you panic or would you immediately think of some great ideas to tempt them with?

Cooking food that has originated from another country can be nerve wracking, but in truth it doesn’t have to be. The chances are you may already be familiar with recipes that hail from France – you just may not realise it!

Take beef bourguignon for example. This is a superb French stew that is very easy to make at home. It’s basically a beef stew done French style, and it is impossible to get it wrong if you follow the instructions. You’ll be familiar with most of the ingredients too.

Another example of a nice dish that could be a light starter or even a main course is French onion soup. Have you ever tried making homemade soup before? If not, now is your chance. It only has a few ingredients, it is excellent value for money and you can even finish it off in true French style by adding some hunks of French bread to dip into it.

When some people think about French food they rather unfortunately think of frogs’ legs and snails. While it’s true that the French do eat these things, they don’t eat them all the time. It would be the same as saying English people eat roast beef and Yorkshire pudding all the time, which of course is not true!

If you want to try making some classic French dishes a bit more often, start with some simpler ones and move up from there. This will give you confidence to try more and you’ll soon have a range of superb French dishes in your repertoire. They’re ideal for when you have company as you can easily impress people with your beef bourguignon as a main course and crème brulee for dessert.

There are plenty of simple recipes you can try too, whatever time of day it might be. One of the most famous sandwiches you could have is the croque-monsieur, made from two slices of bread and some fresh ham and Gruyere cheese. There is also a slightly more filling version – the croque-madame, which adds an egg on top. Not every French dish has to be complicated, but they do all have to be full of flavour.

Whatever French recipes you decide to start with, there is every possibility that you will eventually start looking out for more. Whether you decide to become more ambitious or you simply want to build up a range of tasty French dishes for all occasions, you’ll love every educational moment of it.