Julia Child’s Coq au vin

It has been very cold here in London for the past week.  I thought a nice hot stew would be just the thing to warm us up. I found a recipe for Coq au vin in both Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and in Bill Granger’s Bill’s Basics. I decided to try Julia Child’s recipe, and then perhaps next time use Bill’s recipe.

Julia Child’s recipe calls for a number of steps, however I omitted the bacon and cognac.

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Asparagus and Gorgonzola Soufflé

I was going to name this post – ‘Oh my god, I made a soufflé’! To say that I was terrified was an understatement. I armed myself with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and re-read the section on soufflés as well as watched one of her episodes from The French Chef (1972) where she made a cheese version. This was after I googled ‘Eggless Soufflé’ but didn’t really have much luck finding any good recipes. I settled on asparagus and gorgonzola as I hoped they would mask the eggy-ness in the soufflé.

 

 
 
The soufflé turned out really nice, and not eggy at all. The asparagus and gorgonzola both  added a lovely texture and dimension to the dish. I would probably make it in a big soufflé dish next time.

Chicken grilled with Mustard, Herbs and Breadcrumbs

There were train problems on the way home today so I gave Waitrose Roast Chicken a miss. I stopped by at M&S instead and bought some chicken legs. I decided to bring forward Friday’s meal plan, Chicken grilled with Mustard, Herbs and Breadcrumbs which is a recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French cooking Vol 1. As usual, I modified the recipe slightly to cook a smaller portion.

 

Whole lemon sole served with beurre blanc

I bought Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking a few weeks ago. Like a lot of people, I was inspired to expand my knowledge of food after watching Julie/Julia last year.  For our dinner tonight, I made pan-fried lemon sole served with beurre blanc, potatoes dauphinoise and string beans.  I followed the recipe for the beurre blanc from Mastering the Art of French Cooking – I think I added too much lemon juice, so ended up modifying the recipe. In future, I might just add a drop of lemon juice to make the sauce.

A) Potatoes dauphinoise

Ingredients

  1. 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 cup double cream
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. a pinch of grated nutmeg
  5. 1 garlic clove, halved
  6. 2 thyme springs
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. You will need 2 ramekins
  2. Mix the potatoes, cream, milk, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper in a pan
  3. Turn the stove on low heat and cook the mixture until the liquid starts to simmer
  4. Remove the garlic clove
  5. Rub the insides of the ramekins using the garlic clove. Discard the garlic once used
  6. Arrange a layer of potatoes in a ramekin, season with salt and pepper, pour some cooking liquid, and repeat the step until the ramekin is full. Repeat the step for the second ramekin
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees (Gasmark 6) for 30 minutes

B) Pan fried lemon sole

  1. Cut incisions across on both sides of the lemon sole
  2. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Heat 1 tsp olive oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan
  4. Fry the fish skin side for 4 minutes, and flip it over, cooking for another 4 minutes
  5. Dish up on a warm plate, and cover with foil while you make the sauce

The meal went down a treat. I didn’t feel like I had missed out on a restaurant meal by opting to cook on a Saturday night. The combination of the lemon sole, the lemony sauce and creamy potatoes was simply wonderful. For those who’ve seen Julie/Julia, remember the first restaurant scene in the movie where Julia Child marvels at how tasty the fish and the sauce she ordered was? That was me tonight. This recipe is a keeper.

Julia Child’s Apple tarte tatin

I wanted try make an apple tarte tatin ever since Hubby and I shared a slice in Brasserie Gerard a few months ago. I googled Julia Child’s recipe for apple tarte tatin, which I found on foodnetwork.com http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-live/tarte-tatin-recipe/index.html Here is the recipe for ease of reference, modified slightly.

Ingredients

A) Pastry

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp chilled butter, diced
  • 1/4 cold water

B) Tarte tatin

  • 6 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (say 1 cm in width)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6 tbsp butter

Method

A) Pastry

  1. Mix the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs
  2. Add the cold water and quickly work the crumbs into a dough. Shape it into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

B) Tarte tatin

  1. Mix the apple slices with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and juice and leave for 20 minutes. Drain the apples
  2. Heat the butter in a pan. Once melted, add the remaining sugar and cook until it bubbles and  turns to caramel
  3. Add the apples and cook for 25 minutes, basting the apples in the caramel 5 minutes or so
  4. Remove the pan from the heat
  5. Use a 9 inch glass Pyrex dish and carefully arrange the apples into a fan shape, starting from the outside of the bowl. Please be careful and take your time as the apples are very hot at this stage
  6. Pour the caramel onto the apples, ensuring an even coating
  7. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface into a 10inch circle in diameter (i.e. slighly bigger than the pyrex dish)
  8. Place the pastry on top of the apples, tucking the excess pastry into the sides of the dish (i.e. between the sides of the dish and the apples)
  9. Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees (gasmark 5)
  10. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream