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.
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.
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.
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
- 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup double cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- a pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 2 thyme springs
- salt and pepper to taste
- You will need 2 ramekins
- Mix the potatoes, cream, milk, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper in a pan
- Turn the stove on low heat and cook the mixture until the liquid starts to simmer
- Remove the garlic clove
- Rub the insides of the ramekins using the garlic clove. Discard the garlic once used
- 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
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees (Gasmark 6) for 30 minutes
B) Pan fried lemon sole
- Cut incisions across on both sides of the lemon sole
- Season with salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan
- Fry the fish skin side for 4 minutes, and flip it over, cooking for another 4 minutes
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Mix the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs
- 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
- Mix the apple slices with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and juice and leave for 20 minutes. Drain the apples
- Heat the butter in a pan. Once melted, add the remaining sugar and cook until it bubbles and turns to caramel
- Add the apples and cook for 25 minutes, basting the apples in the caramel 5 minutes or so
- Remove the pan from the heat
- 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
- Pour the caramel onto the apples, ensuring an even coating
- 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)
- 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)
- Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees (gasmark 5)
- Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream