Tag Archives: Julia Child

Bon Boeuf Bourguignon!

February 11, 1963,

the day the very FIRST episode of

The French Chef

airs.

The first recipe: Boeuf Bourguignon .

Which by most accounts is a lost episode,the tapes having been taped over…who knew?

Boeuf Bourguignon was reprieved in 1969.Both YouTube and Amazon streaming have likely candidates…….they claim 1963…….

 

 

Boeuf Bourguignon

This link will take you to Amazon streaming where you can watch the episode for $1.99.

There was later a companion cookbook

french-chef-cb

and there are also DVD’s

french-chef-tv-dvd

julia-child-rose

Julia Child Rose

Season One of The French Chef:

Season 1 Episode Subject
S01 (1963) E01 Boeuf Bourguignon (February 11, 1963)
S01 E02 French Onion Soup
S01 E03 Casserole Roast Chicken
S01 E04 The French Omelette
S01 E05 Scallops
S01 E06 Quiche Lorraine
S01 E07 Fruit Tarts
S01 E08 Chicken Breasts and Rice
S01 E09 Vegetables à la Française
S01 E10 Veal Scallops
S01 E11 French Salads- Mayonnaise
S01 E12 Chicken Livers à la Française
S01 E13 Roast Duck à l’Orange
S01 E14 Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Custard
S01 E15 Pâtés
S01 E16 Aspics
S01 E17 Bouillabaise
S01 E18 Lobster à l’Américaine
S01 E19 French Crêpes
S01 E20 French Crêpes II – Suzette
S01 E21 Steaks and Hamburgers
S01 E22 The Potato Show
S01 E23 Soufflé on a Platter
S01 E24 Dinner in a Pot
S01 E25 Pâte à Choux
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Filed under Influencers, The 1960"s, TV shows

Stations of the Crust

A walk through the making of a pie.

Pastry Station

The beginning  and the end of pie…the crust, the dough, the very pie-ness of pie. Contrary to all sorts of nonsense, pie dough is easy. Easy as Pie.

Three ingredients – flour, fat, liquid. Infinite variations.Change the flour, change the liquid, change the fat…The basic of basic: a 3:2:1: ration of  flour:butter :water. In Ratio (Michael Ruhlman precise by weight measurements; or in more eyeballing, not quite so scientific throw together school (mine) :  2  1/2 cups flour, 2 sticks butter, 1/4-1/2 cups water. You might also want a teaspoon of salt (not quite so necessary if you’re using salted butter) and perhaps a spoonful of sugar, but if  you don’t know if you need sugar, DON’T PANIC, don’t fret – leave it out and after you eat this pie, know more, know better for the next pie.

Add the butter to the flour, rubbing it in, letting some of the pieces remain the size of pease.Sprinkle the 1/4  water on top, stir it together until it comes together in a ball. Add a little more water if it’s still too crumbly. Don’t over-mix – you don’t want to wake up and excite the gluten. When it holds together, divide in half and make into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour, or even a full day. This waiting time lets the water molecules mix with the flour molecule and all be evenly hydrated. These 2 disks are enough for a top and bottom crust.

This is the outer gold of the pie.

pie_crust

Apple Station

5-10 apples, depending on their size, how high a pie you want to make and how patient you are with peeling and coring and slicing.If you don’t like slices,you can chop the apples….but in the end you want them to fit on a fork with some crust and then fit into your mouth. Or roses….you can make roses from apples instead of slices or chunks….

MA101146_WHOLETART01

Martha Stewart Living Feb 2005 – there are YouTube videos galore about this, too.

Any apple can make an apple pie – what are you looking for in a pie? Old Farmer’s Almanac has an Apple GuideApple Guide if you don’t want to trust your own taste.You can also mix apples…really, it’s your pie.You can mix otehr fruit in, too, but then it isn’t an apple pie, it’s and apple and____pie. Apple make good company. Cranberries. Squash slices. Pears. Onions (caramelize them first). Sweet Potatoes. Regular Potatoes. Bacon. Cheddar Cheese. Etc.

Spice Station

Sugar and spice  and everything nice…

Sugar – white or brown? A little to enhance the other flavors or is it a flavor in an of itself? Maple sugar? Maple syrup will make it drippy….

Cinnamon – a little or a lot? Ginger? Nutmeg? Let your nose lead you…

Lemon juice is often added to keep the slices from browning – News alert : Cooking the apple is ALSO going to brown them, so add the sugar, add the spice and add the lemon juice if you like the taste.Or add a little of another juice. Apple juice/cider is good. Lemon juice is  very 20th century flavor in apple pie; a spoonful of lemon liquor would work, too. Grated orange peel is another option.  Caraway, dill seed or fennel seed add nice flavor. A spoonful of rosewater or orange flower water. Cinnamon and rum…lead with your nose!

barbieri_paolo_antonio_-_the_spice_shop_-_1637

Paolo Antonio Barbieri. The Spice Shop – 1637

Rolling Station

Now the component pieces start to come together as a whole. Before you gather together the pie pan, the rolling pin, the dough and the filling, there’s another decision – Is this pie to be bakes now, or is it to be assembled and frozen to be baked later? If you want to bake the pie now – turn on the oven to 425°F. If later – get rolling!

Sprinkle a little flour on a clean flat surface. Unwrap one disk of dough. With a rolling pin

rollingpin_japanese

One kind of rolling pin

 

roll one disk into a circle about 2 inches wider around then your pie pan. There are lots of rolling out videos and magazine hints. In the last few months both Christopher Kimball in his new magazine Milk Street has a new no-shrink dough

and – just about everyone else has a pie rolling video out. Apple Pie alone could entertain you on the internet for weeks on end…..

Roll out one disk, put it on the pie plate.

Roll out the other disk.

Put the Apple in the bottom crust. Dot with butter. Maybe sprinkle with sugar.

Put the top crust on.

Almost pie.

julia6

The other kind of rolling pin

Crimping Station

In pie, crimping is good. It holds everything together.It can be pretty, too. Remember that that oven is heating up, and the longer the filling sits in unbaked crust, the soggier your bottom will be. And a little venting in the top. Even a pie has to let off some steam.

 

Baking Station

Now is the time to pass this pan, with apples and butter and flour  through heat, where it will be transformed. It’s not really pie until it comes out of the hot oven.

Start at 425°. After 10 or 15 minutes take a peak – is it browning up? Is it smelling good. A good pie crust is golden brown, not pasty palely white. Let it cook! Turn it down to 375° when you see color on the pastry, and let it continue baking until juices are bubbling.Let the fruit cook, too. 30-45 minutes – don’t rush it.

Cooling Station

If you REALLY want to eat pie hot – even though pie is not at all it’s best then – use spoons and dish it up like like a baked pudding. Forget all pretense of slices.

As it cools, contemplate – whipped cream, ice cream, cheddar cheese?

pie-science2

 

Henry Ward Beecher on Apple Pie

[B]lessed be the unknown person who invented the apple-pie! Did I know where the grave of that person was, methinks I would make a devout pilgrimage thither, and rear a monument over it that should mark the spot to the latest generations. Of all pies, of every name, the apple-pie is easily the first and chief.

Apple-Pie should be eaten while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!), of a mild and modest warmth; the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied; the morsels of apple neither dissolved, nor yet in original substance, but hanging, as it were, in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood.

Not that apple is no longer apple! It, too, is transformed; and the final pie, though born of apple, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon, is unlike none of these, but the ideal of them all, refined, purified, and by fire fixed in blissful perfection.

Enjoy!

 

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Filed under Autumn, Pie

Punkin Bread Puddin

Last week, after making Indian Pudding and Sops of Pompion for the Mass Bay masses….I found I had rather a lot of sops of pompion left.

There are some things that can be re-heated and be just fine…but OTHER things need to be re-imagined to turn into something else altogether to eat.

Let’s start with the sops……..

Here’s the 17th century recipe for the sops…..

To butter Gourds, Pumpions, Cucumbers or Muskmelons.

Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them; then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c. with some salt, being boil’d, drain them well from the water, butter them, and serve them on sippets with pepper.

– 1675. Robert May, The Accomplist Cook,

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispieceI’ve never tried this with gourds or cucumber or even muskmelons – only pumpkins.And my pompion/pumpkin/punkins  in this case were pre-peeled butternut squash from the grocery store.
In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin...confused yet?

In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin…confused yet?

I cut the pumpkin into smallish cubes, and dropped it into a pot of boiling, salted water. When it was tender I drained it.

Just like macaroni.

I toasted sliced Thirded Bread from Plimoth Plantation’s  Plimoth Bread Company. For the Boston event I carried both elements separately and finished the sops when I got there to Boston:

Put ample butter in a frying pan, add the cubed, boiled squash and saute until heated, golden and just starting to get a little not quite mushy, but most definitely soft. Spread the pumpkin and butter on the toasted bread – I cut each slice into halves or thirds to make it easy to eat as an appetizer.. Sprinkle the tops with fresh ground pepper. Easy. Serve. Great with beer.Or with soup. Once you have it, you’ll figure out how it fits into your life.

And then the leftovers ( a late 19th century term) …..otherwise known as the relics or the orts……to PrestoChangeo into

PUDDIN

  1. Take your pumpkin sops and eyeball them. You should roughly equal amounts of bread and pumpkin. There were some pears that were a few minutes past peak, so they got cut up and added to the mix. With a whole grain bread you’ll need to add a little more moisture. If you have an enriched type bread, not so much to worry.You can break the pieces up or keep them very large to be broken up in the serving.
  2. The liquid is going to be about equal to the mass of the bread and fruit (technically, pumpkin is a fruit, so is squash) so plan panage accordingly.
  3. The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice

    The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice. Any type of baking dish you can put in the oven will do.

    Butter the pan very well. Then butter it again even better. As Julia Child has said, “Add more  butter”. The butter keeps it from sticking and the butter will help the edges brown and crisp up nicely and just improve everything.

  4. Mix equal amounts of milk/cream and/or half and half with beaten eggs . We used 6 eggs, but four would be enough for a smaller amount. I’m thinking the ratio is 1:1:1:1 – bread:fruit:eggs:milk. If you have juicy fruit (peaches, say, not the gum) keep that in mind when sloshing in liquids. It’s very forgiving. A little longer in the oven helps dry it out.

    juicy-fruit-vintage-packaging

    Commercial Break!

  5. Mix the eggs and milk together with the bread and fruit. Now is the time to think about spicing…..if you don’t know how to pumpkin spice…….pumpkin pie spice
  6. Or you could go with something different….Ginger, cinnamon and some anise seeds are good. Nutmeg on top another good choice.  Or orange peel and fennel seeds…..
  7. Drizzle honey all across the top. Be generous, like the caramel on a sea salt caramel latte generous.
  8. This whole thing can sit while the oven heats up…helps every little thing to soak up and get it’s act together, working out the melody and the harmonies so it can stand up and sing when it time to serve it.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through and has crispy edges and a knife in the middle comes out dry and not dripping.
  10. Enjoy hot, warm or cold.

Now if you had Pumpkin Bread….you could also make a different Punkin Bread Pudding again…

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Recipe

Rat-a-tat-touille

Back to the garden……

Back in the day, we walked out back, pulled weeds and gathered what was ripe.

And tossed what was eaten by insects and animals.

One year the peppers had strange bites taken out of them, while they were still on the plant…..rabbits??? squirrels??

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat...Maybe next time!

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat…Maybe next time!

Turns out it was

Baby Brother

A typical mid-August haul would include zucchini, summer squash, peppers of various sorts, possibly an eggplant or two. We didn’t grow eggplant every year, some years omitted by design, some years there just weren’t any that survived drought or flood or powdery mildew or cutworm….

cutworm800px-Neil_Phillips_-_Large_Yellow_Underwing_caterpiller_(by)

Large Yellow Underwing Caterpillar

Our eggplants were always purple...

Our eggplants were always purple…

It was not uncommon to bring in a haul, wash them off and start lunch.

A good circle of oil in the bottom of a good sized frying pan.

Cut up an onion (we never grew onions, for reasons I know not, which is a pity (was a pity?) because they are dead easy if you start with sets); cut up the pepper and add it next. Nothing really browns, it cooks and gets a little weepy….cut, add, stir around……

Then the green zucchini, cut into circles or half moons or triangles, depending on big around they are….they should all be the same size, and not too terribly big.

Summer squash….same delio.

Cucurbita_pepo_collage_1Salt. Pepper. Stir.

Cut and seed tomatoes.

I know you got’em

……add them last, stir again.

Any fresh herbs in your garden?

Come on – if you’ve got tomatoes, you must have basil

– wash, chop and add.

Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahacaSmells good?

You betcha.

Serve over pasta or leftover rice or just put in a nice bowl ….top with grated cheese…..Lunch is ready.

Mangia!

Imagine my surprise when I caught Julia Child making this on The French Chef….and it was called

Ratatouille

Julia tasting

Julia Child – taste as you go!

Ratatouille

from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 lb. eggplant

1/lb. zucchini

1 teaspoon salt

6-7 tablespoons olive oil, more if necessary

1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

1 pound firm red tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups pulp

2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers

2 cloves mashed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long, and 1 inch wide.  Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.  Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain.  Dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, saute the eggplant, and then the zucchini in hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly.  Remove to a side dish.

In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned.  Stir in the garlic and season to tastes.

Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8 inch strips.  Lay them over the onions and peppers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.  Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil off several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of parsley.  Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley.  Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices.  Correct seasoning, if necessary.  Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil.  Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.

Set aside uncovered.  Reheat slowly at serving time or serve cold.

JCMastering

https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/news/in-news/ratatouille-mastering-art-french-cooking-and-day-julia

Julia cooking up ratatouille on ABC network

Julia cooking up ratatouille on ABC network

Ratatouille – it’s also a movie….starring…a Rat.

RatatouillePoster

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Filed under Eating, Influencers, Lunch, Recipe, The 1970's

Julia

Julia Carolyn Child (born McWilliams; August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004)

Her kitchen is now in the Smithsonian.

Julia Child's kitchen Cambridge, Mass

Julia Child’s kitchen Cambridge, Mass

She’s on a stamp.

Juliastamp

A forever stamp, no less.

Juliaquote And if you need a recipe for that cake, she had that, too.

Julia making the Queen of Sheba Cake

Julia making the Queen of Sheba Cake – this links to the episode

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Car O’Beans

The Bean 11 RH 22

The Bean 11 RH 22 – this is not the Car O’ Beans, but rather the Bean Car. They are not the same thing, although they could be confused.

An invitation to a family cookout on a Saturday in the Summer – what to bring? what to bring? It should be something that

  1. Can be made ahead
  2. Travels well
  3. Tastes really good
  4. Family approved
  5. and Plays nice with other  cook-out food.

My favorite go-to take-away dish of the time:

Boston Baked Beans

recipe by none other than Julia Child, and made in a slow cooker, no less.

Easy-peasy.

Mixed everything up the night before. Remember to plug in the plug. Everything bubbling on schedule. Remember to put the beans in the car – the brand new, the first and only owner being me, me , ME, new car. Complete with new car smell.Tried out several places for the beans – in the end they fit snug and well in shotgun seat. I put the safety belt across. Time to go!

I drove the many miles, crossed town line after town line to get there. Turned into the drive, which has quite a slope. Went up the hill and then had a little physics lesson:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

action-reactionTurning off the slope into the flat parking place = slop of beans into the car.

NEW car smell….shades of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919

450px-BostonMolassesDisaster

The smell of it, not the mess of it. A small shadow of the mess of it.

I thought of Saturday nights and Boston baked beans, whenever it was warm or I turned on the heat while I owned that car. I owned that car until it was an old car.

BOSTON BAKED BEANS

SLOW COOKER, JULIA STYLE

2 quarts of beans serve 6-8 or (double)

4 quarts of beans to serve 12-20.

6-8 (1#) oz salt pork

This is what the salt pork should look like after it's blanched. Salt pork is salted but not smoked,and the same part of the pig as bacon.

This is what the salt pork should look like after it’s blanched. Salt pork is salted but not smoked,and the same part of the pig as bacon.

2 (4) cups small white beans

Navy beans, soldier beans, pea beans - small white beans

Navy beans, soldier beans, pea beans – small white beans

4 (8) cups water *you’ll need to check and possibly add a little more later

1 ½ tsp (1TBL) salt

1 (2) cup finely diced onion

2 (4) finely minced garlic cloves

¼ (½) cup dark unsulfured molasses

grandmas_molasses

2 (4) TBLS Dijon or spicy brown mustard (secret ingredient)

½ tsp (1) ginger

Fresh ground black pepper

  1. Blanch the salt pork: put the salt pork into strips against the rind, simmer for 10 minutes water; drain and add to the slow cooker. (see illustration above)
  2. Add all the other ingredients, mix together.
  3. Turn slow cooker to high.
  4. When bubbly through, turn to low for 12-14 hours.
  5. Check every now again – * if the beans are soaking up the water, add more. If they seem soupy enough, leave them be.
  6. When they’ve turned a dark reddish brown, they’re done. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. The smaller amount doesn’t really take less time to cook. If you cook beans on high It will take less time, but you won’t have that luscious partial bean breakdown that makes the BBbeans so thick and good.
  8. Made be made a day or more ahead and reheated.

Adapted from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. 1989. p. 335.

waytocookJC

Hamilton-Beach---Slow-Cookers---5-Qt-Stay-Or-Go-Sc---Red_1368322

Years later – 2011, in fact – I saw this slow cooker on a supermarket shelf the week before Christmas. It was marked down and I bought it. Just like that. It wasn’t even on my wish list, much less my shopping list. LOOK at those clips to lock the lid! NO MORE SLOP ON THE SLOPE.

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Filed under 1990's, Recipe, Summer

Early Influncer – JULIA

I can not talk about cooking without mentioning Julia Child.

We were allowed to watch Educational TV (that was what PBS was called back in the dim, dark ages) and THERE SHE WAS. Right in our Living Room.

Julia at work

Julia at work

Just like Miss Jean on Romper Room, she looked right into the camera and talked right at you. It was always Magic Mirror time with Julia.

I love the towel in the apron

I love the towel in the apron

But practically from the start -and by start I mean 1963 – The French Chef  was a presence in our house.

julia-turkey

She was The French Chef, and yet she wasn’t French.

She cooked thoughtfully and fearlessly and with interest and curiosity.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine November 25, 1966

In this Time interview she says she’s tired of grey food and waiting to shoot a cooking show in color. For those of us with black and white TV, there was a whole grey world  that was no less magical for lack of color.

Julia tasting

Julia tasting

It wasn’t until the late ’70’s that I even read one of her cookbooks. I would take notes and cook from the shows. Unlike so many others, I did NOT start with boeuf bourguignon . She did LOTS of other things.

Julia and monkfish - where's the beouf?

Julia and monkfish – where’s the boeuf? I did not do monkfish, although I since skinned eels

I distinctly remember French Onion Soup, but it was not the first thing I made

Julia making French Onion Soup –

the episode is on YouTube

Tamar Hapsel at Starving Off the Land has a different version that is also great…

starvingofftheland.

February marks the anniversary of the first airing of The French Chef, so there’ll be more then.

August marks the anniversary of Julia’s birth – I usually dedicate the month to reading her and cooking from her….So much Julia!

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