Binging on Julia’s Food and Film
I recently got an email from my friend, Freda Shen, in California. She suggested I watch Julia on Max. (This is not a re-run of the Julia Child film, that came out some years ago.) This is a series featuring the woes and wonders of the kitchen maven, who set out to banish the fear of French cooking.
So I decided to watch an episode. (Freda’s a film and tv actress, so I take her recommendations seriously.) As it turned out, I binged watched three segments. It put me in the mood for some of Julia Child’s most inspiring recipes.
This staple of Child’s entrees, Boeuf Bourguignon, features slow-cooked beef in red wine. It was one of the first meals featured in her tv series, The French Chef.
Find a recipe here, or try a pared-down take on this sophisticated beef stew. If you’re fortunate enough to have a copy of Julia’s cookbook, you can shuffle through its 959 pages, being careful not to drop the voluminous volume on your foot.
Coq a Vin
The translation of this amazing, French dish is “rooster with wine.” And, indeed, it is that. But the slow-simmered chicken is also enriched with crumbles of bacon. mushrooms, and onions.
A favorite dish of Julia’s was a simple, but elegant Vichyssoise—(Pronounced: Vishi-swazz). I know, I know . . .the term sounds like the name of a WWII French resistance group.
But it’s one of the easiest soups you’ll come upon. Just sauté potatoes with some chopped leeks, then simmer them all with stock until tender. Spin together in a food processor or blender. Let cool and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped chives.
For a bit of culinary déjà vu, take a look at Julia’s kitchen the next time you’re in DC. In the meantime, the series, Julia, is a great inspiration.
Whimsical Quotes of Julia Child
- “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
- When asked about her cooking philosophy, she once said, “Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
- On the topic of kitchen mishaps, she remarked, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
- Julia Child was known for her towering height. (She stood at 6 feet 2 inches and often joked about it.)
- In her typically playful style, she offered this advice: “The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit. It’s a real recipe.”
- On the topic of cooking and wine, she once quipped, “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food.”
- Julia had a strong love for butter, and once said, “With enough butter, anything is good.”
And My Favorite . . .
8. When life gives you leeks and potatoes, make Vichyssoise, because laughter and soup are the best medicine.”