Monday, February 01, 2010

A Julia Child Celebration

Here’s a recap of the wonderful Julia Child Celebration meal that my friend, Steve, and I prepared this past Saturday evening. You know, the meal that entailed the lobster-killing.

For the record, I identify very much with being a vegetarian. Since I would be very uncomfortable killing a cow, a pig or a chicken, I don’t buy them at the grocery store for myself. I did not find any pleasure, whatsoever, in killing the lobster per se, but I did enjoy demonstrating a culinary technique. And like I said in the video, if you’re unable to kill a lobster, then don’t order one.

Anyway, here is the menu from Saturday night:

Oysters on the half shell
Lobster Thermidor
French Onion Soup
Beouf Bourguignon
Roast Potatoes
Steamed Asparagus
Pear-Almond Crostata

Preparations began by chopping four pounds of onions for the soup.

Peeling a pound of pearl onions for the bourguignon was pretty tedious.

Notice the “garbage bowl” to the side. I would give a shout-out to Rachel Ray for that idea, but I don’t like her. Besides, I was using the garbage-bowl technique when she was in diapers.

Pear-Almond Crostata were prepared and readied to bake off.

Just like Julia says, dry the beef – otherwise it won’t brown.
See? It’s browning nicely.
The smell of beef browning in bacon fat is “dog-torture”. Portia remained by the kitchen door, ever so ready for a scrap.
Potatoes were prepped. Red, purple, yellow, and sweet potatoes, thyme, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pearl onions sautéed in lots of butter, doused with chicken broth, and reduced until syrupy.
Oysters were shucked.

Lobster Thermidor: Lobster meat baked in a tarragon-béchamel. Normally served in a lobster cavity, we went for ramekins instead.
French Onion soup was dished up and broiled with the crouton and gruyere.
And here it is: Beouf Bourguignon
And not just any Beouf Bourguignon, but Julia’s Beouf Bourguignon.

Though it really is a very labor-intensive dish, her directions really were incredibly clear and easy to follow. This stuff is magical. Just like in the movie.

It was also served with Steve’s famous Cheesy Poofs: gruyere-laden popovers.

Pear-almond crostata. This was the only item that was not Julia Child’s, (it’s Brian Boitano’s) but it is a favorite of ours.

There you have it. Dear, sweet Julia was with us that evening. Cooking all day and serving such incredible food to good friends – more enjoyable things to do I have trouble imagining.

For dinner the next evening: a cilantro-grapefruit smoothie.

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At 3:43 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I LOVE the picture of Portia, ever so ready for a scrap! :)

At 7:28 PM , Blogger Bad Alice said...

We just saw the movie Julie and Julia, which was lovely. That's about the only time we'll experience cooking like that. I can't imagine doing it. Which is why there are people in the world like you who can kill a lobster and use 4 different colored potatoes is a dish (I would have to dye mine, as I don't think there are more than 2 colors in the stores near us. That meal looks over the top good. Beef in bacon fat. Man, that's awesome.


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