Since recreating the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child is about learning the art of French cooking and baking, I thought it would be a good idea to do a recap on the recipes I’ve done so far and what I’ve learned. Of course I still have a gazillion recipes to go but this isn’t a race for me. I want to take my time and enjoy what I’m doing and this is what I learned in the first 20 something recipes.
1) Not all the recipes in this book require expensive ingredients (even if buying organic) but most are very rich in flavor and not for everyday consumption, like Potage Parmentier.
2) You can make soups that are water based, not stock based.
3) You can substitute an immersion blender to purée soup. Perhaps it doesn’t do the job perfectly but it comes pretty close.
1) There are various ways to cook carrots in French cuisine but I prefer Carottes Vichy because it requires sparkling mineral water to glaze the carrots, . It’s cleaner and lighter than the other ones I tried.
2) When planning to make Purée de Pommes de Terre à L’Ail (Garlic Mashed Potatoes), forget using the range for other dishes.
3) Do yourself a favor and use the pre-peeled garlic for Purée de Pommes de Terre à L’Ail (Garlic Mashed Potatoes). It saves a lot of time and frustration.
1) I don’t like runny eggs.
2) Oeufs Mollets are great for noodles.
3) I can make better tasting omelettes than my husband by following Julia’s techniques.
1) When you find yourself overwhelmed by the intricacy of a recipe, break it down into smaller parts, like you would if you were trying to read a statute, like Reine de Saba.
2) Egg whites can be used as a rising agent but be careful not to overwork them into the batter, otherwise you will lose all the rise (air).
3) Make sure you butter the bottom and sides of the cake pan.
Entrees and Luncheon Dishes
1) When preparing a gratin, make sure any excess liquid is removed from the ingredients prior to baking.
2) I don’t like blue cheese but I like Camembert cheese.
!) Rainbow carrots are fun to photograph but the bright yellow ones don’t photograph well after they’ve been cooked.
2) Grilled Tomatoes don’t photograph well.
3) It’s fun to come up with artistic interpretations instead of regular food photographs but I shouldn’t force it unless I feel it.