Happy 99th Birthday, Julia Child!

By Monday, August 15, 2011 Permalink 0
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by Julia Child

Julia Child would have turned 99 today.

Julia Child brought French food to post-war America. When her husband Paul was posted to Paris, she studied at L’Ecole du Cordon Bleu, and went on to form her own cooking school with fellow students Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Louisette Bertholle. The threesome went on to write the 2-volume classic Coq au Vin , which covered all the basic techniques and dishes of classic French cuisine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And indeed she proved to be right. It is only now, 60 years later, that cooking has established itself as gastronomy, and only when referring to a few great American chefs.

This is Foodista’s list of their favorite Julia recipes.

Coq au Vin

Rooster cooked in red wine is a classic Burgundian dish made with red wine, mushrooms, onions, bacon and herbs.

Duck a l’Orange

Vichyssoise is actually the base of almost all French soups. This simple base — made of potatoes, leeks, and salt — is elaborated on in countless ways to make an endless variety of soup. When served cold in summer and cream is added, it is referred to as Vichyssoise.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ratatouille brings all the flavors of the Southern sun together: red ripe tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, garlic, onions and Provençal herbs. Today there are many other versions, many of them even in the oven, but this is the classic recipe.

Upside-Down Martini

The problem with duck is always the same: the fat spews all over the place and it is difficult to digest. The acid of the orange in this classic French dish helps digest the fat, and makes it tasty too. This is a favorite Julia Child recipe.

Custard Apple Tart

Boeuf Bourguignon is a fancy version of our classic beef stew. What makes it different is that it is cooked in red wine, and pearl onions and mushroom caps are added to it.

Plum Clafoutis

Not surprising that Julia loved Martinis. She added vermouth to just about any sauce she could work it in to.

Sabayon

Not all French pies are made with custard, but you often find this version in Normandy, the land of cream and butter. It can be served either cold or warm.

Lessons from Julia Child

Clafoutis can be made with many different fruits, but plus and cherries are all-time French favorites. This tart has a custard-like consistency, but also contains ground almonds, giving it a salty edge.

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Sabayon is a a cousin of the light, egg-based Italian dessert zabaglione. It is light and custard-like, and a standard in French as well as British cuisine.

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The Rambling Epicure Voices

By Monday, February 7, 2011 Permalink 0
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Food writer, Culinary Chemistry, The Rambling EpicureJenn Oliver writes our column Culinary Chemistry. She has a Ph.D. in science, where she explains the scientific aspects of what really goes on when you cook (the next Harold McGee?). She’s been running a gluten-free blog, Jenn Cuisine, since 2008 and her kitchen is more like a laboratory than a kitchen. She’s focuses her chemical calculations and experiments on figuring out how to make traditionally glutinous food gluten-free.

Esmaa Self writes the Wild Woman on Feral Acres column. She lives on a small farm in Colorado where she employs organic and sustainable methods to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs, raise chickens, bees and fish and where she routinely turns out imaginative, healthy, guilt-free meals from scratch. One of her numerous blogs recounts her farming adventures: Backyard Eggs. She also writes novels and contributes to numerous organic farming and green publications, and runs a sustainable living site, Homeostasis.

Simon de Swaan is Food and Beverage Director at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and has an incredible collection of antique cookbooks and books about food and eating, from which he often posts interesting and unusual quotes. In his column Simon Says, he gives us daily food quotes from his tomes.

Jean-Philippe de Tonnac is an essayist, editor and journalist. He directed the special editions of the Nouvel Observateur for almost ten years and and has published twenty books. As preparation for publication of his Universal Dictionary of Bread (Dictionnaire universel du pain, Bouquins Laffont, 2010), he obtained a baker’s certificate (CAP) at the Ecole de Boulangerie et Pâtisserie de Paris in 2007, and traveled worldwide to countries where bread held a particular cultural significance.

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