Monday, February 27, 2012

The Julia Child Meal

The Julia Child meal was a success and is now featured on Foodbuzz.
Click here.

And if you'd just like to see how a duck is de-boned, here you go:


Monday, February 20, 2012

Julia Child Blog

You may want to head over to my Julia Child blog for the time being. 

I practiced de-boning a duck. (Actually a chicken.)

Confront the duck!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Gimme Some Sugar

I keep a Tupperware container filled with Splenda near my coffee maker. However, it's always a hassle to pop off the lid every time I need it for my coffee. I often end up scattering the stuff around, too.

Here's a clever solution that I came across in Cook's Illustrated magazine:

Cut out the top of a salt container the size of a Ball jar lid.

Pop it in the lid.

And, voila! Now you have a handy dispenser. 

Julia Child

I realize I haven't been blogging much lately, but there's a reason for that.

Recently, I entered a contest of sorts in which 24 food bloggers would be selected to prepare an "over the top" meal and blog about it -- and I was selected. So, my attention has been directed toward my Julia Child blog lately. My meal will feature recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and the title of the blog coverage will be, Mastering the Joy of Julia. It will take place on February 25 and will feature the following menu:

Amuse Bouche: Beluga caviar, Stolichnaya vodka

Appetizer: Pâté de Canard en Croûte -- the infamous boned, stuffed duck in pastry featured in the movie, Julie and Julia.
Wine: An Uruguayan sparkling red. 

Soup: Soupe a l'Oignon -- French onion soup.
Wine: 2010 Bin 36 Monterey Chardonnay

Entree: Sauté de Boeuf à la Parisienne -- beef filet with mushrooms in a port and cream sauce.

Sides: Asparagus with beurre blanc, pommes Parisienne, petit choux au fromage. 

Wine: 2009 Domaine Chêne Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Dessert: Bavarois aux Praline -- Almond praline Bavarian cream. 

Liqueur: Sortilège -- A maple syrup and whiskey liqueur
I'm already in preparation. For this meal, I'll need a quart of heavy cream, at least two pounds of butter and fourteen egg yolks. 

And a defibrillator.

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Monday, February 06, 2012

Rubbing Shoulders with the Mayor

Recently, I was dining with some dear friends at our usual hang-out, the incomparable Lao Sze Chuan in Chicago’s Chinatown. We had brought our own bottle of wine to accompany the meal; an Australian malbec. 

It was a Sunday evening and the place was unusually crowded, probably due to the Chinese New Year celebrations. We had placed our orders and noticed that Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and his family appeared and had taken a large table near ours. 

Two of our entrees appeared and we gave our bottle of wine to the server to be uncorked. By that time, most of the servers and the owner of the place were all buzzing around the mayor’s table. 

Our entrees stopped coming. The wine hadn’t been returned. It was obvious that the staff were occupying themselves with the mayor and his entourage. 

I looked over at the mayor’s table and said to my friends: “Hey. I think that’s our bottle of wine on his table!”

I walked over to ask a waiter about our elusive bottle of wine. More buzzing ensued upon my query. It turned out that, yes, they had plopped our wine down in front of the mayor. The owner was frantically ‘shooshing’ me, placing his index finger over his lips. A substitute bottle of wine was promised.

I returned to our table where my friends were having a good laugh over the mix-up. By that time, the owner and a waiter appeared with an ersatz bottle of pinot noir and many apologies. We told him that all was well, for this would make a great story. The entertainment value of their mistake was far higher than our malbec. 

And here’s a photo I snapped of our mayor. 

Yes, it’s uncool to post this. But after all, he got our wine. 

Needless to say, the fact that the mayor chose our favorite restaurant for his evening out (and subjected himself to patrons snapping his photo) just goes to show you how great the food really is at Lao Sze Chuan.

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