Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cookin' With Julia

Okay, so here it goes. This isn't going to turn into a Julie and Julia kind of a blog, but I did prepare a meal out of Julia Child's "Mastering The Art Of French Cooking," and my brother-in-law Jim was running around with my camera, so what the hell?

Of course the first thing you have to do is read the cookbook. Initially to try to find some recipes that were simple enough for me to handle. Believe me, this was not an easy task. Some of her recipes are multiple day events.

What Will It Be?

I settled on Steak au Poivre with a brandy sauce, Haricots Verts a l'Anglaise, and Pommes De Terre Sautees. That would be a pepper steak with brandy sauce, green beans sauteed in butter and potatoes sauteed in butter..

Well, first off I had to crack "several kinds of peppercorns." I had a variety of peppercorns so it was just a matter of cracking them up.

Let's Get Cracking

I picked up two ribeye steaks from my favorite butcher, Staubitz, and peppered them up.

Looks Ready To Eat Already

Okay, now back to the book again.

Hmm, ... Preceding Master Recipe

Yeah, her cookbook is interesting alright. You need book marks because she is always referring to another recipe or to the "preceding master recipe." Luckily, I wasn't making anything that was too complicated. Still, I had to clarify butter and mince fresh tarragon and shallots, but nothing too difficult.

Melting Butter, Lots Of Butter

Okay, One More Look

Without too much trouble I got everthing going. Blanching the beans in the big kettle, frying the potatoes in butter, and frying the steak in clarified butter. Or was it the other way around?

All Systems Go

And here I am, plating the dish. The steaks atop a bed of potatoes surrounded by the green beans and with the cognac sauce poured on top.

Easy Does It

The Grand Presentation

On The Table

I would like to say that everything went off without a hitch, but that wasn't quite right. The fried potatoes came out more like very rich mashed potatoes. They were very good, but the texture was not what I was looking for. I let them sit too long in the butter while I waited for the steak to get done.

And then there was a little mishap with a dish that I had balanced on the edge of the sink. And there I am, in my barefeet, and having to keep cooking. Luckily the Mysterious Chinese Woman was there to take care of things.

Thank You

Well, that was it. Not too difficult and I will certainly be trying out a few more of Julia's recipes. Maybe even one of the multi-day events.