Tag Archives: Julia Child

Cherry Clafouti

I was in a Julia frame of mind this weekend. After weeks of neglect due to other obligations I put the brakes on, shut the phone off, put the laptop away and got the measuring cups out. What a great way to bring me back to centre.

I made heavenly Cherry Clafouti (thanks Don Chow for the idea). Not the prettiest dish, but simple, easy and delicious.

There is something sexy about cherries. It could be the colour or perhaps the way advertisers have used them. Whatever it is, I LOVE THEM.

I think if this wasn’t The Lemon Kitchen it might be The Cherry Kitchen. Really.

The Recipe

1 -1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
icing sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a blender or food processor, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.

Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.

Place dish into the oven for 7-10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (don’t turn the oven off).

Place the cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.

Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with icing sugar. Best served warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

Love and Food

I really do believe the way to your true loves heart is with a good meal. What better to serve on Valentines Day than Julia Child’s wonderful Beef Bourguignon. From “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”:

  • 1 6 ounce piece chunk bacon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1  carrot, sliced
  • 1  onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1  bay leaf, crumbled
  • 20 small white onions
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
  3. Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to side dish with a slotted spoon.
  4. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
  5. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust). Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  6. Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  7. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet. Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly. Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
  8. Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms. Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
  9. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top. Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for 1-2 minutes, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.
  10. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

Potage Parmentier (My Version)

LeeksI feel like I have committed a crime. This past weekend I took a favourite Julia Child recipe and put my own spin on it (I can see the purists cringing now, give me a break I am off caffeine and having some issues…).

I love leeks, I love the smell of them cooking in butter on top of the stove. I love potato and leek together, but the addition of chicken stock, a couple of cloves of garlic, crumbled bacon and cheese make them fabulous!

Julia’s Recipe:

3-4 cups of diced peeled potatoes (1 lb.)
3 cups thinly sliced leeks, including the tender greens
2 quarts water
1 Tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream or 3 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons minced chives or parsley

Simmer vegetables, salt, and water together, partially covered for 40 minutes in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Mash the vegetables into the soup with a fork or pass through a food mill. Julia Child did not like the texture of soup pureed in a blender, I use one of those hand mixers and leave a few bits. Adjust salt and pepper. You can stop at this point. When ready to serve, bring soup back to simmering. Then off the heat, stir in the cream or butter (I use cream) and top with chopped chives or parsley. Delish! Makes 6-8 servings.

So, I replaced the water with chicken stock and added two garlic cubes to the simmering vegetables, and at the end threw in some crumbled bacon and topped it off with some good cheddar. I served it with a French stick from Richtree and my family loved it!

****Do not forget the salt.

Julia Child

A very good friend of mine sent me this from Vanity Fair:


I loved this article and the picture of Julia with her famous peg board behind her that Paul so lovingly traced the outline of all of her kitchen gear on. I love their story too, and check out the bathtub photo.

When you get a chance read Julie Powell’s book, I finished it yesterday and it was wonderful! Funny, honest and a great tribute to J.C.