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Cooking the Julia Way: Recipes #2 and #3

6 Sep

The movie Julie & Julia has really blessed my life — I know it sounds weird. But my son saw it with some of his friends and it has inspired him to want to learn to cook. And the time we spend pouring over Julia’s cookbook, preparing what we are going to make and then actually cooking it has become such a special time for the two of us.

This week we made suprêmes de volaille a la Milanaise (Chicken Breasts Rolled in Parmesan and Fresh Bread Crumbs) and Soufflé au chocolat (Chocolate Soufflé).

This chicken dish is easy and it was the best chicken I have ever tasted — no lie! There was one tricky bit that made me nervous — clarifying the butter. I wasn’t sure what this was or how to do it. But it basically is that you increase the amount of butter you need by 1/4. Then you put the butter in your pan and let it boil down. The froth at the top gets skimmed off and there will be white bits that collect at the bottom that you don’t use either. You use the middle amount of butter. Califying the butter means that when you fry something in the butter, that black bits won’t form on your food from the milk parts of the butter burning when you cook.

This is a chicken recipe is a one to start out with because it is easy and there is virtually no chance of failure.

Then we set our sights on the main prize: the Chocolate Soufflé!


I had a number of people ask me for the recipes. So here they are:

Chicken Breasts Rolled in Parmesan and Fresh Bread Crumbs!

Ingredients:

  • 4 suprêmes (boned chicken breasts from 2 fryers — I used chicken breasts)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Big pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup flour spread on an 8-inch plate
  • 1 egg, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp olive oil beaten together in an 8-inch soup plate
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup fine, white, fresh bread crumbs mixed together in an 8 inch dish
  • 6 to 8 Tb clarified butter (note that you will need ¼ cup more for your sauce)

Brown Butter Sauce (Beurre Noisette)

  • 4 Tb clarified butter
  • 3 Tb minced parsley
  • 1 Tb lemon juice

  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. Once at a time, roll them in the flour and shake off excess.
  3. Dip in beaten egg. Then roll in the cheese and bread crumbs, patting them in place with the flat of a knife.
  4. Lay the chicken breasts on waxed paper and allow cheese and bread cumbs to set for 10 to 15 minutes or several hours.
  5. Saute on both sides in clarified butter until resilient to the pressure of your finger. Serve
Chocolate Soufflé

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces or squares of semi-sweet or sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/3 cup strong coffee
  • A small saucepan with cover set in a larger pan of almost simmering water
  • 1/2 Tbs softened butter
  • A 2- to 2 1/2-quart souffle dish or straight-sided baking dish 7 1/2 to 8 inches in diameter. (I used 8 individual ramekins)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • A 2-quart saucepan
  • A wire whisk
  • 3 Tbs butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the chocolate and coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove from heat and let the chocolate melt while you proceed with the recipe.
  3. Smear the inside of the dish with the butter. Surround with a collar of buttered aluminum foil (double thickness) to reach 3 inches above the rim of the dish. Set out all the rest of the ingredients called for.
  4. Measure the flour into the saucepan. Start whisking in the milk by dribbles at first to make a perfectly smooth cream; rapidly whisk in the rest. Add the butter, and stir over moderate heat until boiling; boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat 1 minute or so to cool slightly.
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  1. One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, then the smoothly melted chocolate, and finally the vanilla. (if you are taking a break before continuing, put plastic wrap over the top).
  • 6 egg white (3/4 cup)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Beat the egg whites and salt in a seperate bowl until soft peaks are formed. Then, by sprinkles, beat in the sugar and continue until stiff and shining peaks are formed.
  2. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl; delicately fold them together. Turn the souffle mixture intot the prepared mold(s) anmd set on a rack in the lower level of the preheated oven (I also put them on a cookie sheet). Turn the thermostat down to 375 degrees.
  3. In 35-40 minutes (mine were 30 because they were in the ramekins), when the souffle is well risen and the top has cracked, rapidly sprinbkle the surface with powdered sugar; continue baking another 5 to 10 minutes. Souffle is still creamy in the center when a skewer plunged down through a surface crack comes out slightly coated. It is fully done and will stand up well (if that is how you like it) when the skewer comes out clean. Serve at once with either whipped cream or ice cream.
Thanks for stopping by!
XOXO
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Tasty Tidbits Thursday: Julia’s Crepes

27 Aug

My first recipe out of the book was Julia’s crepes. I made them for our Back to School dinner. They were so delicious — and easy! I had a few people who asked for the recipes for the savory chicken crepes and the berry crepes. So here you go!First make the crepes. I doubled the recipe and it literally made over 50 crepes. Just so you know. Also, you need to let the crepe batter sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, so it’s a good idea to make up the batter in the morning.
Julia’s Crepe Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
non-stick Pam
Directions:
  1. Place the water, milk, eggs and salt in a blender. Add the flour, then the butter. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to the sides of the blender jar, dislodge them with a rubber scraper and blend for 2 to 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least 2 hours.
  2. Spray skillet with Pam. Heat it over medium-high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
  3. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and, holding the handle of the pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere to the pan back into your bowl; judge the amount for your next crepe accordingly.) This whole operation takes 2 or 3 seconds. The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If, after making your first crepe, it seems too heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time. Your cooked crepe should be about 1/16-inch thick.
  4. Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe. Lift its edges with a spatula, and if the underside is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning.
  5. Turn the crepe by using two spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.
  6. Brown lightly for about 30 seconds on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crepe.
  7. Slide the crepe onto the plate. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking and proceed with the rest of the crepes. As soon as you’re used to the procedure, you can keep two pans going at once and make 24 crepes in less than half an hour.


Filling for Savory Chicken Crepes

ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. chives, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • can of cream of chicken soup (I was out, so I used cream of mushroom instead)
Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Place 2 to 3 tablespoon of mixture on each crepe and roll them up.
  3. Place the rolled crepes in a 7 x 12 x 2 baking dish.
  4. Pour 1 serving of re-constituted cream of chicken cup of soup over the crepes.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Berry Crepes

I used strawberries and raspberries, but any kind of berries would be delicious. I sliced up strawberries and put them in a bowl and then put the raspberries in another bowl. I made a scrumptious cream cheese filling to go under the berries.

Ingredients:

4 ounces fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for garnish
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mix well.
  2. Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture on each crepe, leaving 1/2 inch around the edge. Top with 2 tablespoons strawberries. Roll up and place seam-side down.
  3. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar. And garnish with whipped cream and/or ice cream.
  4. Note: (you can also make a baked version of this recipe by placing the crepes in a casserole dish and baking 10 minutes at 325-degrees).

I think I am going to make Supremes De Voiaille A Brun (Chicken Sauteed in Butter) and Tomatoes A La Provencale (Tomatoes Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Herbs, and Garlic) for dinner. I am a little afraid that making too much Julia food is going to cancel all of my hard work on the trail this summer…

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Have a wonderful day!
XOXO