July 2, 2012 § 2 Comments
I remember seeing Julia Child on tv when I was a child. Keep in mind, there was no such thing as the Food Network or Cable television for that matter until I was a teen. I have a great memory of making stuffed mushroom from something I saw on a cooking show when I was a kid. I never wrote down the ingredients I just made it from memory and based on “taste” as my Granny taught me. Today, I usually follow recipes, but one of the things I like better than anything is figuring out what to make from the ingredients I have on hand. I keep a well stocked pantry, freezer and fridge. Here are some of my suggestions to have in your pantry (would love to see in the comments your favorite pantry items):
- Infused High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils
- Coconut Oil
- Flavored Vinegars
- Grey Sea Salt
- Himalayan Sea Salt and other Gourmet Salts
- Smoked Paprika
- Garlic, Shallots and Onions
- Chicken Stock
- Canned Tomatoes (I love to buy mine from Caputto’s- imported from Italy)
- Dijon Mustard
- Basil Pesto
- Olive Tapenade
- Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- Marinated Sundried Tomatoes
- Hearts of Palm
- Assortment of Beans- Garbanzo, Cannellini, Kidney, Black, Pinto, and Lentils
- Short Grain Brown Rice
- Assorted Pastas
- Arborio Rice
- Dried Mushrooms
- Dried Fruits- Figs, Cherries, Blueberries, Cranberries and Apricots
- Nuts of all kinds including Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds
- Chocolate- 70% Cacao
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
― Julia Child
The one cooking show I record on my dvr is The Barefoot Contessa. Cooking television has come a long way since Julia Child. The Food Network was founded on April 19, 1993 and launched on November 23 of that year. Here’s a bit of cooking tv history and some recipes I have saved from shows I have seen over the years.
The French Chef had its debut on February 11, 1963, on WGBH and was immediately successful. The show ran nationally for ten years and won Peabody and Emmy Awards, including the first Emmy award for an educational program. Though she was not the first television cook, Julia Child was the most widely seen. She attracted the broadest audience with her cheery enthusiasm, distinctively charming warbly voice, and non-patronizing and unaffected manner.
The Naked Chef (1998–1999) was Oliver’s first series. The title was a reference to the simplicity of Oliver’s recipes and has nothing to do with nudity. Oliver has frequently admitted that he was not entirely happy with the title, which was devised by producer Patricia Llewellyn. (In the UK edit of the show, the opening titles include a clip of him telling an unseen questioner, “No way! It’s not me, it’s the food!”) The success of the programme led to the books Return of the Naked Chef and Happy Days with the Naked Chef.
Barefoot Contessa is a cooking show that premiered November 30, 2002 on Food Network. This popular show is hosted by celebrity chef Ina Garten. Each episode features Garten assembling dishes of varying complexity. Though her speciality is French cuisine, she occasionally prepares American, Asian, British and Italian foods. Her show also gives tips on decorating and entertaining.
(me- getting my cookbook signed by Ina)
Boeuf Bourguignon a La Julia Child
Interestingly enough, I have made Ina Garten’s adaptation of Julia’s Beouf Bourgignon. I have an original copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and swear by Julia’s quiche recipes. Julia Child was brilliant!
For the Stew
- 6 ounces bacon, solid chunk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups red wine (a full bodied wine like Bordeaux or Burgundy or Chianti)
- 2 -3 cups beef stock (Simple Beef stock is posted on the site, unsalted and defatted)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed (you may choose to add more)
- 1 sprig thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dred thyme)
- 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
For the braised onions
- 18 -24 white pearl onions, peeled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 sprigs parsley
For the Sauteed Mushrooms
- First prepare the bacon: cut off the rind and reserve.
- Cut the bacon into lardons about 1/4″ thick and 1 1/2″ long.
- Simmer the rind and the lardons for ten minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water.
- Drain and dry the lardons and rind and reserve.
- Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
- Put the tablespoon of olive oil in a large (9″ – 10″ wide, 3″ deep) fireproof casserole and warm over moderate heat.
- Saute the lardons for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly.
- Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
- Dry off the pieces of beef and saute them, a few at a time in the hot oil/bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides.
- Once browned, remove to the side plate with the bacon.
- In the same oil/fat, saute the onion and the carrot until softened.
- Pour off the fat and return the lardons and the beef to the casserole with the carrots and onion.
- Toss the contents of the casserole with the salt and pepper and sprinkle with the flour.
- Set the uncovered casserole in the oven for four minutes.
- Toss the contents of the casserole again and return to the hot oven for 4 more minutes.
- Now, lower the heat to 325°F and remove the casserole from the oven.
- Add the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered.
- Add the tomato paste, garlic and herbs and the bacon rind.
- Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove.
- Cover and place in the oven, adjusting the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly for three to four hours.
- The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
- While the meat is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms and set them aside till needed.
- For the onion, if using frozen, make sure they are defrosted and drained.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the onions to the skillet.
- Saute 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 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.
To Finish the Stew:.
- When the meat is tender, remover the casserole from the oven and empty its contents into a sieve set over a saucepan.
- Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it (discarding the bits of carrot and onion and herbs which remain in the sieve).
- Distribute the mushrooms and onions over the meat.
- Skim the fat off the sauce and simmer it for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface.
- You should be left with about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock.
- If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
- If you are serving immediately, place the covered casserole over medium low heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve in the casserole or on a warm platter surrounded by noodles, potatoes or rice and garnished with fresh parsley.
- If serving later or the next day, allow the casserole to cool and place cold, covered casserole in the refrigerator.
- 20 minutes prior to serving, place over medium low heat and simmer very slowly for ten minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
― Julia Child
Jamie Oliver’s Midnight Pan Cooked Breakfast
- First of all get the biggest pan available, preferably non-stick, and preheat it on the highest heat while you gather your ingredients. Obviously you wouldn’t be organized at this point so it’s a matter of using what you’ve got, but ideally I like to have mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, sausages and Large eggs.
- By the time you have got these together, the pan will be warm so slice your sausages in half lengthways and pat them out flat so they cook quickly. Place into the pan at one side.
- On the other side, put Tbsp. or possibly so of oil and place a pile of mushrooms over it that can be sliced or possibly whole. Shake the pan about a bit to coat the mushrooms and season with some salt and pepper.
- Push to one side and then lay some slices of bacon and halved tomatoes in the pan. Cook for a couple of min till the bacon is crisp and golden brown.
- Shake the pan a little and turn the bacon over. Now is the time to put a round of toast in the toaster.
- At this stage you should respect the rustic and authentic look and shuffle everything about so which it’s all mixed together and add in 2 or possibly 3 Large eggs at different ends of the pan. The whites of the Large eggs will dribble in and around the sausage, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms.
- You could turn the heat down a little at this point. Cook for another 1 or possibly 2 min till the yolks are slightly soft or possibly to your liking.
- In a non-stick pan I’ve always found the removal of this dish to the plate extremely easy as it resembles a frisbee and will slide onto your plate with no trouble at all. Doesn’t which sound appetizing But honestly, it really is a gem.
- Anyway, I always used to have 3 or possibly 4 friends back to my house for munchies or possibly to stay the night and this dish was devised so we didn’t have too much trouble making it or possibly much washing up to do. In actual fact, I only had to wipe the non-stick pan clean. It also makes its way from the pan to the plate quite quickly, as patience isn’t a virtue at which time of night with my mates!
I loved the episode when the Naked Chef had his mates to his house after a night out and made his famous breakfast along with Chocolate Pots. I have made both many times, but bedtime comes much earlier in our home.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, at room temperature, coarsely chopped
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, then whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot chocolate cream. Scrape this mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly until smooth. Stir in the rum and butter. Pour the custard into eight 1/2-cup ramekins or espresso cups and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
― Julia Child
Kitchen Clambake from Barefoot Contessa
- 1 1/2 pounds kielbasa
- 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
- 2 cups chopped leeks, well cleaned (2 leeks, white parts only)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes (red or white)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 2 dozen steamer clams, scrubbed
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, in the shell
- 3 (1 1/2 pound) lobsters
- 2 cups good dry white wine
Slice the kielbasa diagonally into 1-inch thick slices. Set aside. Saute the onions and leeks in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 16 to 20 quart stockpot over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the onions start to brown.
Layer the ingredients on top of the onions in the stockpot in this order: first the potatoes, salt, and pepper; then the kielbasa, little neck clams, steamer clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobsters. Pour in the white wine. Cover the pot tightly and cook over medium-high heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes. The clambake should be done. Test to be sure the potatoes are tender, the lobsters are cooked, and the clams and mussels are open. Remove the lobsters to a wooden board, cut them up, and crack the claws. With large slotted spoons, remove the seafood, potatoes, and sausages to a large bowl and top with the lobsters. Season the broth in the pot to taste, and ladle over the seafood, being very careful to avoid any sand in the bottom.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child
As Julia put it so well, find what you really love. This is what I get to do every day, in my work, in my life. I am truly blessed. And I get to help other people discover their love and passion and maximize it in every way. It’s a wonderful life.
To You With Love,