Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I read and I cook: Julia Child

The Julia Child cookbook with the most stains in my house is  From Julia Child’s kitchen. I cooked one of my favorite recipes yesterday: chicken bar-b-q a la chinoiserie. This is a great summertime treat cooked over charcoal but equally good in other seasons in the oven.  She favors the leg-thigh portion for this dish, marinated in ginger, soy, olive oil and lemon juice with minced garlic and Italian seasoning to spice it up.  Be warned: she must have had a much hotter oven than mine-I have to cook the chicken far longer than the recipe says, even using just chicken thighs.

On Wednesday, August 15  an old friend and I will enjoy Spaghetti  Marco Polo, featuring  walnuts, black olives, basil, parsley and pimiento with lots of freshly grated Parmesan over linguine.  Julia recommends eating it with chopsticks but I find forks do the job quicker. 

She included many versions of potato leek soup in her cookbooks but the recipe from this cookbook is illustrated with a George Price cartoon-it just always seemed more fun.  The combination of butter, flour, potatoes, leeks and salt is relatively cheap and very good.   Do not forget the salt-it is inedible without it.  The soup comes together easily and tastes satisfying on a rainy day-you don’t even have to peel the potatoes if you’re short on time.  

When I reread the introduction this past weekend, I discovered she referred to many recipes for beginners which are still beyond my scope.  I do look forward to trying her plain beef stew when the weather is colder.  
In her memoir My life in France, she states that From Julia Child’s Kitchen is her most personal book, the hardest to write and her favorite.  It is my favorite too.  The Library has reordered this book so that you may feast on these dishes and others as well. 

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