Friday, May 27, 2011

Le Weekend

I went all Julie/Julia this weekend. Just for the weekend. It started several months ago when I picked up a couple of The French Chef  DVD's from the library. The pickin's are slim in the cooking dvd's, so I tend to cycle and watch them over and over and over...and that's ok. I enjoy noodling around my kitchen while listening in on the dry banter over at Americas Test Kitchen, or Mings easy charm, but best of all is Julia.
She's the antithesis of todays slick and polished Food Network shows. She dithers and stumbles and repeats herself and forgets her train of thought or where she put her flour or her skillet. She reminds me 
I'm inspired enough to get Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the library last week. I start off with the first recipe: Potage Parmentier~Leek and Potato Soup, it's good. I've always loved Leek and Potato Soup and it was a great use of the veg stock I'd made the day before. Very simple. Very nice. I then move on to strain and chill the puree with some heavy cream. Potage Parmentier becomes Vichyssoise. This really could not be simpler and talk about filling comfort food, it's like mashed potato soup...nuthin' wrong with that!
Next up I revisit and finesse a dish that had become one of my specialties in my youth, Quiche  L'Ognion When I'd grown and moved away from home my contribution to the family holiday meal would be to bring quiches for brunch so my mom could fixate focus on dinner, which of course she'd start at the crack of dawn. Breakfast? Lunch? can't you see I'm busy? So I'd bring a couple of quiches and vodka for Bloody Mary's.
Back in the 80's you'd get lured into these recipe subscriptions starting with a free avocado colored plastic recipe box complete with dividers then every month you'd recieve a batch of recipe cards (at something like $3.95 a pop plus shipping and handling) to fill your box. Something like 12 new recipes a month.
Julia's Onion Quiche reminded me of one I used to make except now I know a little sumthin' about caramelized onions. I add a little of her Sauce L'Estragon, a white sauce enhanced with fresh tarragon. This is a veloute (stock based) vs. a bechamel which is milk based. This was awesome on the asparagus and I used it up on an Omelette des Fines Herbes with some Creme Fraiche. Sounds a little fancy for an every day work day breakfast but really simple actually.
Crossing the border and feeling some more  nostalgia for my childhood fave foods...I revisit Corn on the Cob, but with a Yucatan flair. This all came about when my friend Valerie asked me if I remember those little ceramic corn dishes that were so prevalent in the 60's and 70's, and had I seen them anywhere these days. Yes! I did remember them. No I haven't really noticed them in the current retail market, though I'd never really gone looking for them.  We used to have them when I was a kid, along with the little skewers that you poked into the ends. I ended up finding some at the Goodwill. A box of 6, unopened set of "Vintage" Crystal Corn Cradles. Never heard that term for them before. I bought them and split them with Valerie and I've eaten more corn on the cob in the last two weeks than I have my entire adult life.
I've though I've finessed my butter concoction with chipotles in adobo, cilantro and lime. A-mazing!
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