Julia Child madness!

by guest blogger on August 21, 2009

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today’s guest blogger: the KevStar

Seems all my favorite foodies have been inspired by the release of Julia & Julia to explore the joys of French cuisine that Julie brought to American culture. I think we’d all forgotten how influential Ms. Child was on our national consciousness about fine food and the joy of cooking. The movie was such a treat that everyone that I know has been digging into her well assembled recipes and discovering many old gems.

braised pearl & chippolene onions

braised pearl & chippolene onions

So it was this past Saturday at the KevStar pad. We decided to reproduce the pivotal recipes of the movie at home. Our menu: Tomato Relish on Toasted French Bread, Boeuf Bourguignon, Braised Pearl & Cipollini Onions, Sautéed Portabellos, French Silk Chocolate Pie and of course, a generous selection of French red wine. None of us ate the entire day just to save up for the calorie feast Saturday evening.

Julia embraced the French style of cooking long before we all became victims of the double-pronged curse of American obesity and the outlawing of saturated fats and caloric excess by the new health Nazis. Her recipes call for bacon fat and butter with abandon! We toyed with the idea of substituting healthier fats and low sodium alternatives, but ultimately decided that if Julie had lived to almost 92 on rich French cuisine, that we could afford one night of decadence.

bruschetta a la Child

bruschetta a la Child

Now, Hegui and Steven have cautioned me that this blog is dedicated to more vegetarian food choices, so Boeuf Bourguignon, with 2 inch cubes of stew beef, is not a natural fit…so we’ll only make reference to it here. (Bon Mot: it was, however, delicious!!). The menu options that might be of interest to you, dear reader, are the simple yet delicious Braised Onions and Sautéed Portobellos.

portabellos & beaujolais

portabellos & beaujolais

For the braised onions

18-24 white pearl onions, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cup stock (beef or veggie)
Salt & fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 sprigs parsley

Prepare the onions by trimming the ends and peel. The Cipollini onions looked fantastic at the grocery so they went into the mix too.

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the onions to the skillet. Sauté over medium heat for about ten minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown as evenly as possible, without breaking apart. Pour in the stock, season to taste, add the herbs, and cover. Simmer over low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove the herbs and set the onions aside.

For the sautéed mushrooms

1 lb mushroom, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil over high heat in a large skillet. As soon as the foam begins to subside add the mushrooms and toss and shake the pan for about five minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.

These make delicious accompaniments to your main course. We all tucked in to this unforgettable meal and praised Julia for her contribution to our contemporary urban feast. A toast to Julia…bon appétit!

sauteing portabellos in butter

sauteing portabellos in butter

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Kevin Gibbs August 22, 2009 at 5:13 am

Thanks for the reformat Steven, looks great!

Cory Spackman September 1, 2009 at 3:43 am

Nice post, Kevvie. Are those teflon pans/pots?

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