Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My new obscession, continued...

So, I'm not sure if anyone but myself and the dust bunnies read/pay attention to this blog. C'est la vie! as Julia Child would say. If you couldn't tell from my gushing review a few posts previous, I really, really liked the movie Julie & Julia. I had never really heard of Julia Child - she is a bit before my time. But after seeing the movie, I wanted to learn more about this wacky, talented woman.

I just finished reading "My life in France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme. It is Julia's life, told from her perspective. (Alex helped her write it but is not mentioned in the book except in the introduction, which is written in his perspective). I think it's a wonderful, "tasty" book that leaves you wishfully wanting more. It also leaves you jonesing for a really great meal! It has recently been released in mass market paperback, so it's an affordable indulgence. Check it out on amazon!

While researching other aspects of The French Chef's life, I came across this article on America's Kitchens and how little time we like to spend in them. Apparently we love to watch others cook and bake up a storm on tv, but when it comes to attempting those feats in our own kitchens.... not so much. Interesting.

I think partially it is because food can be as much a feast for the eyes and ears as well as the mouth. We are at least partially satisfied by hearing the sizzle of the pans, watching the process unfold on TV, and seeing the food plated in a gorgeous manner we think we could never achieve.

The problem there is cooking CAN be therapeutic and very satisfying. So perhaps in future we can learn from Mrs. Child and the time and love she put into her cooking, and treat ourselves to a little love in our own kitchens.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Uncle Frank's Famous Hollandaise Sauce!

When I first started low-carbing, I really needed to friendly myself up to eggs. I am not a fancy cook, so basically the best I could do with eggs was scramble them. But in the real world, no one really wants to eat scrambled eggs all the time. Sometimes you want something a bit more...festive.

So, I turned to my uncle Frank for advice. When you go to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner, it's basically like going to a restaurant. They love cooking, and I love eating!!!

Much to my taste buds delight, he passed me over his yummy hollandaise sauce recipe.

You know, I was always a bit afraid of hollandaise. I mean, it's this weird yellow sauce on eggs that people always seem to love..and yet they describe it as "sweet" which to me, just sounds wrong when you're talking about a topper for eggs. I was very leery to even try hollandaise sauce at first, until one day I went to my aunt and uncle's and lo and behold, they were making eggs benedict. I decided to go hog-wild and give it a try...figuring it wouldn't get better than whatever sauce THEY would make, and I'm glad i did!

It's not "sweet" in a sickly sweet honey-mustard way. (Sorry fans, I just hate honey mustard.)
It's rich and buttery with a hint of lemon which I guess gives it that "sweet" descriptor. It's more like a little tang...like someone ringing a bell in your mouth. "Ding! Mmmm...so good!"

And here's how you're going to make it:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened.
  • 2-3 tsp. lemon juice (I used the juice from one of those little plastic lemon bottles rather than juicing a fresh lemon)
  • 4 egg YOLKS
  • 1 tsp water
  • if you have some: cream in case you find the sauce not thin enough!
  • a pot, and a metal mixing bowl that can sit ontop of the pot without falling in!
  • Make sure everything else is done, before you start the sauce!! (i.e. eggs are cooked, etc.)
  • Bring 2-3 inches of water to a boil in the pot
  • Place the metal mixing bowl over the pot of water and then add your ingredients in the order shown above. You want to work quicklyish, so perhaps you should get the egg yolks ready so you can quickly add everything at once.
  • Stir for a minute or two until everything is wonderful and all mixed together!
  • If you find the sauce is a bit thick (sometimes I've had it turn out more like...cool whip consistency) feel free to add a bit of cream and stir that in to thin it a bit. Thick or thin, it tastes the same....delicious!
I did not find any crazy drama happened while making this recipe, and hopefully you won't either. It comes in quite useful for saturday morning breakfasts, or a quick, easy way to impress guests!

I generally serve this sauce overtop of a poached egg (or two), sitting on a ham steak or a slice of cottage roll. It's really nice if the ham and plate are warmed up and waiting in the oven for you to just add the sauce. If you poach your eggs and plop them ontop of the ham and then throw it in the oven, it will be all warm and ready for saucing and eating and rejoicing!

Who knew a sauce could make me get so carried away? ;)


Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie & Julia

Let's take a little departure from the recipes for a second to talk about a movie I just got to sneak preview: Julie & Julia.

Chances are most of you have heard of this movie, it stars Amy Adams (Giselle from Enchanted, and also Amelia Earheart from Night at the museum 2) and Meryl Streep (who stars in too many movies to name...recently Mamma Mia!). There are a few other familiar faces as well in supporting roles.

The basic ingredients: Julie Powell(Amy Adams) hates her job as an insurance claim reviewer, working in NYC after 9/11 and is quite bummed out, but really enjoys cooking as it's a great escape from the troubles of the outside world(present day). Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is a well-to-do's wife in the 50's (mabye a bit earlier? I'm not sure) in France, who really would like to learn the art of french cooking, but can't speak french. She embarks on a mission to master cooking at the cordon bleu, and along the way meets some lovely friends who are writing a french cookbook, but need an "american's" perspective, as that is the audience they want to appeal to.

The result: A REALLY REALLY Funny, heartwarming movie. GREAT to go see with your girlfriends for a night out!! You should probably eat first though because there's some pretty yummy things in this movie. :)

For those of you who would like to see the blog which is what this movie is based upon, check out The Julie / Julia Project.

Enjoy :)