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Cooking to Honor Julia Child


GG Mora
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I went to fetch the Julia and Jacques book today, but couldn't find it at my parent's house. But I DID find a copy of 'Mastering' Volume 1. So, I'll make something from there. :)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I went to fetch the Julia and Jacques book today, but couldn't find it at my parent's house. But I DID find a copy of 'Mastering' Volume 1.  So, I'll make something from there.  :)

I'll be joining you with that book since it's the only one I have other than the three ...with... books. Should be fun.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'm still reading and deciding, but if there are novice cooks who'd like to join in but are a little nervous about taking on a Julia Child recipe, may I suggest her potato soup recipe in the front of Vol. 1. Potatoes, leeks, salt, and water. You can't go wrong. You will get a soup I keep in the freezer and it will cure whatever ails me in the dead of winter. It's one of the most soothing soups I've ever eaten. If you have a pot, a knife to peel and cube the potatoes and cut the leeks, and a fork to mash it all up with, you have the equipment.

Jenny

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It's half past midnight and we just returned from our Julia dinner. No gin but a nice Lillet to start. Loved the leek and potato soup ( aka vichysoise ) and the beef bourguinon was terrific. All served in French sized portions so it wasn't as heavy for a hot August night as one might expect. Besides the air conditioning was on max.

I made the crepes Suzette which I had never made before and really can't recall ordering in a restaurant. Probably something that one is familiar with but has fallen out of favor over the years. This recipe from the Julia and Jacques Cook at Home book was ultra tender ( read difficult to handle), super buttery and boozy. WONDERFUL! The orange butter should be scooped into little balls and called breakfast truffles. :biggrin:

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I feel like a big project is in order.... Eyeing the pate de campagne....

Yum.

We've settled on the Quiche aux Fruits de Mer from MAFC v I, made with lobster, as being seasonal, something Julia would enjoy being served, and something we will really enjoy eating and cooking.

It also gave me the excuse to order an adjustable ring mold from Amazon, after reading Michael Ruhlman's blog post about the Best Quiche.

I just hope the ring mold arrives in time, since I was cheap and picked super saver free shipping, what with the other cookbooks that somehow snuck in there...

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I feel like a big project is in order.... Eyeing the pate de campagne....

Maybe a boned out duck stuffed with something? I know there are recipes for something like that in volume 1 of "Mastering". Or, if the pate rotue sounds good, do one were you wrap it up in pastry dough.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I have settled on one of the dishes pictured in "Julie and Julia", the roast chicken with mushroom and port cream sauce. My husband and I both think it looked really good, and I am looking forward to starting a fire in the kitchen, on purpose.

Jenny

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I am thinking of maybe doing something on Friday, in addition to something on Saturday for breakfast. I bought a whole chicken this weekend. But I already cut it up because I needed the breasts boneless and skinless to make Chiken Milanese.

Thumbing through the poultry section, I see some recipes that call for cut up chicken instead of whole. Julia has them classified into "sautéed chicken" and "chicken fricassee". I've done pan sautéed and roasted chicken myself many times, so I think I am leaning to a "fricassee".

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I was planning on making Julia's tripe recipe from an old black and white episode of The French Chef. I got to the butcher shop, asked for tripe, and he produced a giant clear plastic bag containing "unwashed stomach parts from a cow". Mine for five bucks.

I bought a fresh duck instead. I'm thinking of doing the Designer Duck from The Way to Cook on page 178.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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We're having a yard sale on Saturday, so I made the choc. mouse last night. OMG, so yummy!! So light and fluffy and just plain good. I used some 85 and 65% sharfenberger( from Dollarama). I also used pasturized egg whites because of my autoimmune disease( dont want to take any chances).

How long will this mouse last? Can I freeze it? I should have made half a recipe, it made a lot!!

pics to follow.

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We're having a yard sale on Saturday, so I made the choc. mouse last night.  OMG, so yummy!!  So light and fluffy and just plain good.  I used some 85 and 65% sharfenberger( from Dollarama).  I also used pasturized egg whites because of my autoimmune disease( dont want to take any chances).

How long will this mouse last?  Can I freeze it?  I should have made half a recipe, it made a lot!!

pics to follow.

It should last about 5 days in the fridge. Some mousses freeze well, others don't. You may wish to run a small test immediately with a couple tablespoons, so it will freeze quickly and you won't waste much if it doesn't work out.

Good luck!

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We're changing tacks here. My 11-year-old is interested in the chicken kiev, and she's adamant that we make the stuffed eggs. So it's which came first, Julia style. Shopping and prep on Saturday.

I'm doing a theme-thing Julia style as well. I got an unexpected last minute "please, please, please" call for a small catering job for this evening so it may be late tonight or tomorrow before I actually get a pic posted but it will be done today.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I made the Aspic de Pommes last night, unmolded it today.

The recipe is essentially applles boiled in sugar with a touch of lemon juice and a shot of rum added at the end, garnished with candied fruit. Yes, the recipe actually calls for red and green candied cherries.

Before making this dish, I took a look around online and discovered that it's like many aspics: simply not made much any more. I read Julie Powell's blog entry on the recipe; her attempt did not solidify. I also happened to watch an episode of The French Chef from the early 1970's where Julia made a tart tatin and it had two very interesting portions: her tart came out soupy, and the only apple variety she mentioned that I recognized was Northern Spy.

So, I was prepared for potential disaster, and very aware that modern supermarket apples are nothing like the apples of 1961.

I followed the recipe to the letter in terms of ingredients. I chose to go with Granny Smith apples because of their high pectin content. I peeled them with a ceramic peeler, then cut & cored them, reversing Julia's direction on prep. I noted that she specified a 12" enameled skillet (the popular non-stick option at the time: 1961 was the year the very first teflon pans were sold in the US, they weren't in stores when the book was being written) and recommended continuous stirring during the 20 minute cooking time.

I got my apples cooking and noticed that they didn't need much stirring and burning was out of the question -which was a bit disconcerting. I had them on a low boil with a few bubbles coming up every few seconds. They formed a mass which floated on an inch+ of boiling liquid. I flipped the slices around a bit so they would cook evenly, but realized that these apples weren't really translucent as specified at the 20 minute mark. I also realized that the water content was probably too high, since there was no need to worry about burning or sticking with an inch of water.

So, I turned up the heat to a rolling boil and cooked them for another 13 minutes. Note to novice cooks: texture and result is more important than precise timing in many cases. Fruit can have variable water content, and other factors like altitude affect boiling watery things, so I looked for the described result instead of the precise time. (My suspicion is that Julie Powell cooked for the recommended time, without checking to see if the mixture was scorchable.)

I suspect that modern apples, with the wax that gets applied, are more watery than older apples. -Or the crop my apples came from was watery.

As they cooked down, the apples became more translucent and the sauce thickened. Since I used Granny Smiths, the slices still held together which I do not think was intended because Julia's instruction was to look for the apple/sugar mixture to trun to a 'translucent mass'. If I were to make this again, I would probably use an apple like Braeburn, Pink Lady or Golden Delicious -just to have the slices break down a bit more.

I added the candied fruit as directed, about 2 minutes before finishing the cooking. I used green cherries throughout to try and boost the Granny Smith theme.

I cooked the mixture until it was thick enough that when I dragged my silicone spoon across the bottom a dry area remained for a few seconds. The sauce was syrupy and was reduced to about 4 tablespoons in volume. I removed it from the heat, stirred in the rum, and allowed it to rest for about 5 minutes.

I sprayed my 4-cup aspic mold and decorated the bottom with candied fruit as directed. I then scooped and patted the apple mixture into the pan. It was pretty thick, like a good apple pie filling. Here's the mold before:

gallery_35993_6457_7731.jpg

I chilled it overnight, then warmed the bottom and tried to unmold it. It did not work, and after several tries, I used a small silicone spat around the edges to loosen it. In doing so, I messed up some of the pattern from the mold around the base. (see photo)

Here's the final result:

gallery_35993_6457_22661.jpg

Results:

1) It held together well, and the jellied portions were perfect. The jelly was smooth, unctuous, clear, and not at all chewy.

2) The apples did not break down as much as they should have, making slicing messy. I therefore recommend against Granny Smiths, unless one makes individual portions. I would also cut the apples into small chunks.

3) IMO, the candied fruit is unnecessary.

4) This dish is super-sweet like hard candy, the tartness of the apples is almost completely gone. It does have a good solid apple flavor, but it's way too sweet to eat alone.

7) The directions call for serving with Creme Anglais, and I can see how a rich cream would balance the flavor nicely.

6) No one can detect any rum flavor.

7) I did not use the recommended bucket-shaped charlotte mold, and I wish that I had. The chunkiness of the final product isn't complemented by a textured mold.

If I were to re-work this for modern serving, I would:

* Eliminate the Rum, you cannot taste it.

* Add a bit of fresh lemon zest along with the lemon juice.

* Eliminate the candied fruit. It didn't add anything.

* Cut the apple slices into smaller 1cm chunks for easier serving & degustation.

* Serve it with something crunchy/nutty and something creamy.

* Mold it in individual cups.

* Mix apple types to get a clearer, less chunky result. Maybe ½ Granny Smith and ½ Golden Delicious.

I can see this as a vehicle for additional flavors: spices, green chiles, herbs, etc. I can also easily see it as part of a plated dessert.

Summary:

I had fun making this dish and suspect that I may be the first person to have made it in about 30 years. The recipe worked. The directions were fairly easy to follow once I decided to ignore timing and look for the desired texture and consistency. I wouldn't make this as part of my everyday routine, but, I would make it again (with above modifications) as a holiday or party dish.

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It's 90F and terribly humid here, so I just moved an air conditioner from a bedroom into the kitchen. Off to shop!

I got up at 6 this morning to make the pate brisee for the quiche. And then I decide to prebake early as well. Smart move.

There's a big fan pointed at the stove in the kitchen (we have electric), and two lobsters are giving their all in Julia's honor in the steamer right now.

The salad is prepped and the dressing is made -- lemon vinaigrette from The Way to Cook.

Also on the menu to start are oysters. Because I knew she'd approve. And there's a bottle of Macon-Villages chilling in the freezer.

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I made the Aspic de Pommes last night, unmolded it today.

Here's the final result:

gallery_35993_6457_22661.jpg

Nice one Lisa!

A bit of malic and citric acid at the end just before molding might bring back some of that fresh apple tartness. I did that with a caramel apple consomme I made a while back and it really helped bring back some of the fresh apple thing that was missing after all of the cooking and sweetening.

My project is done and ready to plate and take pics but I have to head out to work soon so I'll probably wait until I get home to finish up.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Summer Surf and Turf a la Julia

gallery_53467_5170_43787.jpg

poulet en gelee a l'estragon (p. 549) - mousse de saumon (p. 562) - concombres a la grecque (p. 538) - pate brisee (p. 139) nuggets

For the chicken, I arranged alternate slices of the poached chicken and blanched tarragon in the gelee-lined mold then filled in the mold with more gelee.

The salmon mousse is encased in a gelee of lemon zest infused creme fraiche (would that technically be a savory panna cotta?).

For the pate brisee I took some liberties and subbed rye flour for part of the white flour and added caraway seeds.

On the plate is the liquid from the cucumbers refreshed with a bit of lemon juice and some pink peppercorn skins.

All recipes are from Mastering the Art of French Cooking vol. 1. I hope Julia would approve.

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I was considerably less ambitious than the rest of you, but this evening I made "Filets de Poisson Pochés au Vin Blanc" sauced with "Beurre au Citron," from Mastering the Art of French Cooking volume 1. In the spirit of that tome, I present it to you in all its glorious detail:

Filets de Poisson Pochés au Vin Blanc

The main attraction:

3824144011_503ecedb62_o.jpg

Technically filleting, but perhaps "butchering" is a better word:

3824947372_010536458f_o.jpg

Making the stock (I used vermouth, and no parsley):

3824947490_77bbbfdb4d_o.jpg

Chilling the stock:

3824144525_8e4d7f0365_o.jpg

The fillets before adding the liquid: no one should be surprised by the quantity of butter in this recipe...

3824947578_2ebb05bcf8_o.jpg

And with the stock added:

3824948206_788e00f150_o.jpg

Into the oven to poach:

3824145167_651aa6e8d0_o.jpg

Out of the oven, poached:

3824145281_754305f536_o.jpg

The sauce, "Buerre au Citron," is 4:1:1 butter:lemon juice:fish stock:

3824144649_fda9653439_o.jpg

Emulsifying the butter into the lemon juice:

3824144791_b5e06d14d0_o.jpg

And finally, the plated dish (snap peas on the side):

3824145375_61a96db3a4_o.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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It's 90F and terribly humid here, so I just moved an air conditioner from a bedroom into the kitchen. Off to shop!

I got up at 6 this morning to make the pate brisee for the quiche. And then I decide to prebake early as well. Smart move.

There's a big fan pointed at the stove in the kitchen (we have electric), and two lobsters are giving their all in Julia's honor in the steamer right now.

The salad is prepped and the dressing is made -- lemon vinaigrette from The Way to Cook.

Also on the menu to start are oysters. Because I knew she'd approve. And there's a bottle of Macon-Villages chilling in the freezer.

Well, it was not pretty by the time I was done with it, but the Quiche a l'Homard Americaine, was To. Die. For.

Even after I discovered that I had no Madeira in the house and had to substitute Armagnac. Even after it turned out the the filling didn't even come close to the top of the 2" ring mold, and I had to hack away at the extra crust in self defense. (DH loves the extra bits as crackers.)

I did add more scallions and about 1/3 cup of leek, because they were home-grown and looked beautiful at the market stand.

But that didn't really matter. The thing was a revelation. I realized I had never had a real quiche in my life. And it was sublime.

Thank you Julia. Bon Appetit!

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