Monday, August 29, 2011

We The Foodie People...Week 6: French

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we're back!

Oui, oui, I know. This post was supposed to be up last week, but for various and sundry reasons (which Monsieur B. Francois will relate in a post later this week) the posting of the following pictures and foodiness were postponed. However, I am now at liberty to give you a glimpse into our very fun French week.

Actually, we're bending the rules a bit (Or are we? I mean, this was our idea, so I suppose we can do what we like without really bending the rules, right?) since we will be spending one more week in France. It's a long trip to Greece, and we haven't quite mastered the "Art of French Cooking." Wait, that's the name of a cookbook, isn't it?!?!?
Why, so it is! As a matter of fact, my BIL, Matthew, bought these books for me. What a perfect gift! All of the meals I made last week were from Julia Child's French cookbooks. While her recipes may be "simplified" for the American housewife, they are still a bit involved!

All of the quotes you will find in this post are from the very inspirational Julia Child...

Day 1: Poulet Saute aux Herbs de Provence with Potato Crepes and Broiled Tomatoes.

This dish was made with slices of chicken and a very rich cream/cheese sauce. The potato crepes were a cross between the Tattie Cakes we ate when we were in the British Isles and hash-browns. Add the broiled homegrown tomatoes...can't get better than that!

"If you're afraid of butter, use cream."

And she was serious! Almost all of the food we ate was swimming in cream and butter.
I. Love. Dairy.

Ben loves dairy, too. Actually, I think that his first love would be bread...then dairy.

"You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love."

Ahhh, my little princess at the piano. She was very much intrigued by the fact that she could push the ivory keys and hear a sound. Soon she will be playing Clementi... *grin*

"Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you'll have a marvelous time!"

Day 2: Filets de Poisson Bercy aux Champignons with Risotto Pilaf and Steamed Artichokes with a Hollandaise sauce.

Or my translation: Filets of Sole in a buttery, creamy sauce with mushrooms served next to a risotto pilaf. Preparing the artichoke was great fun, and eating it was even better! I cleaned out the middle so that I could serve the sauce inside the artichoke.

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it."

Ben and I ate everything except the heart...we were waaaaaaaaaaay too stuffed to finish that part, so I had it for lunch the next day!

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate."

Day Three: Pork Roast with Stuffed Eggplant and Cucumbers in a cheese sauce.

The eggplants had a really good cheesy just sort of melted in your mouth! The cucumbers were a bit interested at first, but by the end of the meal, we both decided we rather liked them! Warm cucumbers sound nasty, but once they've been sitting in vinegar, then baked, then tossed in a cheese sauce, they are pretty tasty!

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"

My first attempt at homemade French bread. I love how Julia Child gives the background of her techniques and recipes... Next time around, I'm going to try putting wet bricks in the oven! *grin*

"How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?"

French Toast for breakfast, made with our homemade French Bread! The French have this delicious dish for dessert, but here in America, it graces many of our breakfast tables. Cook the bread in butter instead of oil, and it really adds some pizzazz!

"In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."

Day Four: Beef Rolls...

"The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit. " (Or in this case, the cut of beef!)

...with broccoli...

" one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."

...and stuffed tomatoes.

This was a very interesting dish...everything had bread in it! The tomatoes had breadcrumbs, the beef had chopped bread, as did the broccoli. Oh, and if you peel broccoli before blanching it, it's waaaaaaaaaaay better than how we've always eaten it! It only takes about 4-5 minutes to cook, and it will keep it's bright green colour. Ben and I can't go back to the way we used to eat broccoli!

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."

Oh, and some homemade Cherry Lemonade to keep things perky. Lilyana is hoping that it's for her!

"Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
Ben poured the flames over our Apple Tart Flambé and then enjoyed the sight. Lilyana thought that it was pretty cool, too.

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients."

Day Six we were on the road and so we stopped in for some "French" food at the Thai restaurant on our way home late that night. Oh, didn't you know that there were many French-Thailand relations back in the 17th Century? Fascinating history....

And so that wraps up our first week in France! It was loads of fun, and we're excited to be spending one more week here! Hopefully I'll feel like I'm beginning to master the art by the end of this week! Since we haven't posted a dessert recipe before, how about one this time!

Apple Tart Flambé
Serves 8

An 8 inch partially cooked pasty shell

4 large cooking apples (we used Granny Smith)
2/3 C Sugar
2 Tb butter, cut into pea-sized dots

1/4 C Rum

Preheat oven to 375.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Sprinkle 3 T of sugar in the bottom of the pastry shell. Arrange the apples over that in a closely overlapping layer of concentric circles. Spread on the remaining sugar and dot with butter.

Bake in the middle level for 25-35 minutes, or until the fruit has colored lightly and the juices have become syrupy. Remove from oven.

Heat the rum on the stove over low heat. As soon as it is hot, light it with match and pour over the tart. But make sure everybody is there to watch...oh, and be sure to turn out the lights!


"Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences."


Heather said...


Everything looked so yummy!! I think I will have to try some of these recipes! I LOVE the first quote on day 4!! It made laugh!! ;o)

Love, Mrs. P

James McDonald said...

Great photo of Lilyanna at the end! Love it!

Lauren said...

I'd love to try some of Julia Child's recipes--they look so yummy!

Kathryn Grace said...

Yummminess!!! I love watching Julia Child's French cooking show. She cracks me up! She flops her recipes sometimes and it doesn't faze her a bit. I love the one where she tries to flip something (an omelette or something) and it doesn't work and she says, "Just put it back together, put some cheese on it and nobody will know the difference!" My two favorite quotes you posted:
"If you're afraid of butter, use cream." (Amen)
"How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?"

Anthony said...

Okay all of the dishes look really good! I loved those potato patties!! They were so delicious.:) So how different is it to make French bread, compared to regular bread? I know that french bread is usually sweeter than normal bread, but I do not know how to make "real" French Bread. Thanks for sharing your wonderful dishes, and I cannot wait for what is coming next, whatever that will be.:)

Anton, Esq to be

Simply Tiffany said...

Mrs. P.

*laughing* Julia Child was absolutely hilarious! I love reading quotes by her. :) One day, I'd like to go re-watch all of her cooking shows! French food is oh-so-good...I think I could happily eat my way through France! *grin*


She's such a happy baby...and she LOVES hats! She really enjoys her Bumbo seat, too. Love you!


If you haven't yet, you definitely should! The are good! Even the baked cucumbers! :)


Ahh! Where do you watch them?!? I loved all of the Julia scenes in "Julie & Julia"...they should make a movie just about her! Phew...if Julia child can flop a recipe, then I feel MUCH better! *laughing* If it looks good enough to eat, nobody really cares...just the cook! :)

Hehe...I love the bread one, too. :)


As I said above, I could seriously just eat my way through France....Mmmmmm, SO good!

French bread takes longer to make, it has to rise twice, and oddly enough, it doesn't have any sugar in the recipe. I guess our Americanized French bread is sweeter. Also, it needs a moist oven to achieve the crusty crust, while keeping the inside soft... Wet bricks are supposed to help.

See you later!

Troopless Boyscout said...

Great quotes!

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it."

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."

By the way, the French food you made last Tuesday was terrific!

Kristen said...

Hello! I just read your story over at "Your Sacred Calling" and found your blog here. Congratulations on your new baby! I was married in April of 2010 and we had out little boy this past April as well. :)

I was wondering...

When I became engaged, I began this blog and have since kept it up to encourage others to pursue a life of purity. Please go look around and let me know if I may add your story. I would love to include it to encourage others in purity. Blessings!

Kathryn Grace said...

We can get the shows at our library on DVD. I know they sell it on Amazon too. They are pretty funny! She gets so out of breath all the time. :-)

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