Sunday, August 12, 2007

Julia Child Birthday Event - a day of Julia's food.

Lisa at Champaign Taste is holding her second annual Julia Child Birthday Event to celebrate the birth of one of the most beloved cooks in history on August 15.

I'm happy to be taking part in this as, like pretty much everyone else in the world, I adore Julia Child. I used to love watching her on PBS and her Mastering The Art Of French Cooking had a prominent place in my Mom's kitchen. I am proud to own that book too, and recently my friend Mary introduced me to Volume Two which I am now desperate to get my hands on.

I read the Julia Child memoir My Life in France last year and came away worshiping Julia Child even more. What an incredibly amazing woman. So much life lived, so much accomplished in her 91 years on Earth. And so as a tribute to Julia Child I am taking part in Lisa's event with not just one dish, not one meal, but a full day of food by Julia Child.


Piperade with bacon

adapted from Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

serves 2

4 pieces bacon

1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
1 small or medium red or yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
2 tomatos, chopped
salt and pepper

5 eggs

Cook the bacon until crisp in a large pan. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Remove all but 2 tb of the bacon fat. Add the onion and peppers and cook over medium heat until soft. Add the tomatos and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes until the tomatos are starting to break down. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.

In another pan, heat 1 tb of bacon fat. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then pour into the heated pan. Cook, stirring gently with a spoon, until the eggs are set.

To serve, divide the eggs between 2 plates. Top with a generous scoop of peppers and tomatos, and place 2 pieces of bacon on the top of each mound.

Serve right away.


A classic Caesar Salad. At one time when you ordered a Caesar Salad in a restaurant, it was made fresh at your table. You could definitely do that with this recipe. The whole procedure, from leaving the leaves whole, to making your own garlic croutons, to mixing the ingredients in the bowl with the leaves is pretty impressive. The dressing does not include garlic or anchovies, staples of pretty much all Caesar dressings today. It does, however, contain a coddled (barely cooked) egg. Some people think that children, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with immune system issues should not eat raw or undercooked eggs. Just an FYI.

Here is the recipe plus instructions on crouton making.


Tranches De Jambon Morvandelle (Sauteed Ham Slices in Cream and Madeira Sauce)

Quite the artery clogger. Never one to shy away from butter, cream or booze, Julia throws them all in this dish. Ham slices are sauteed in butter and oil, and removed from the pan. A roux is made with flour, green onions, beef broth and Madeira (we used wine). Some tomato paste, cream and cognac are added and the ham slices are returned to the pan for a final simmer. We served this delicious, rich dish with mashed potatos and fresh corn sauteed with butter.

Dessert? Sorry, no. After all the eggs, meat and cream we had neither the room in our stomachs nor in our pants waistline for any more food!

So here's to Julia who some 40 years after releasing MTAOFC Vol 1 and 3 years after her passing continues to inspire and instruct any and all that are willing.

Bon appetit!


Peabody said...

Oh, ham in madeira that sounds good.

Peabody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Feed me the entire day! Yes, you name the day!
Just an amazing woman.

Lisa said...

Oh, Sara—you've outdone yourself (and me)!!! An entire day of Mrs. Child's recipes; that's fantastic. Each dish looks and sounds delicious. I'm especially drawn to the ham-slices thing. Gorgeous.

I made one dish for the event already (saving the post for Wednesday), but now you've got me thinking about making another!

Many thanks for participating. Look for the round-up midweek.

Deborah said...

3 wonderful looking and sounding recipes!

Anonymous said...

Oh this is so lovely. You are sure to do Julia proud. I don't have volume II yet.

Sara said...

Peabody - I used red wine because I had some open, but it was delicious. I only made about 1/3 of the recipe, which still made a lot, but Scott has managed to eat it all.

Tanna - any time!

Lisa - thank YOU for hosting such a great event for a great person.

Deborah - yes, we chose well.

Veron - thank you! I am keeping my eye out for a cheap copy of Vol 2.

Anonymous said...

Arrrgh three fun foodie events I missed.


Lis said...

Holy crap that ham dish looks and sounds AMAZING!

Can you believe (not so shocking I don't think) I've never made a Julia recipe!

Going to try this ham recipe as my first Julia/Sara experiment! :D


Lis said...

PS - Ohh and what kind of wine did you use?


Lis said...

Ohhh!!! And can you email me the recipe? :P


Magpie said...

Yum - that sounds like a great day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara - What fun that must have been! It took me until now to read your Julia post, as it is taking me time to devour all the delicious contributions on Lisa's blog. I guess I'll celebrate Julia's birthday all month.

The sauce for the ham looked delicious!