Saturday, December 19, 2009

Braised leeks and whipped cream

As much as I love to cook, and as much as I love all things French, I have never owned a copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

That is, until yesterday.

Yesterday, my closest friend gave me a gift, the boxed set of Julia Child's masterpiece cookbooks. The set includes Volume I, first published in 1961, and Volume II, published in 1970.

For those of you who have the Volume I (which I'm sure all of you do), you know this is the cookbook featured in the book and movie "Julie and Julia." I watched the movie for the first time last weekend and I was over the moon!

So, housebound by today's snowstorm that hit the Washington DC area, I decided to try out a few of the recipes. This afternoon I whipped my first cream with a balloon whisk (page 580) and for dinner I made my first braised leeks (page 495). Both were delicious and I can't wait to try out the other 522 recipes!

I'd love to hear from anyone who has cooked from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. What are your favorite recipes, what would you suggest I try?

12 comments:

  1. I have a copy of volume I which I open occasionally and read, but remain intimidated and have not cooked one thing from the book. I know I need to get over this, it's just food and instructions after all. I look forward to seeing what you cook!

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  2. S, have you ever whipped cream using a whisk? Today was my first time! It's magic, and as a cook, it was so satisfying. (And, it was the easiest recipe in the book!) I used it to top homemade gingerbread and it was perfect.

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  3. What a great gift! I also took advantage of the opportunity that the 13 inches of snow provided us. I made special desserts and breakfast and just enjoyed the day. Didn't pull out the cookbooks, just relied on those recipes already familiar to my memory. Don't have your 2 Julia Child books, but I do have "The French Chef Cookbook" and I love the recipes for cooking veggies.

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  4. A - Well, actually yes I have. I guess I have done something from the book! I think it's kind of fun to use a whisk.

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  5. Oh Congratulations! My friend gave me her grandmothers copy a few years ago?! It is such a good read, you learn something everytime you open it!
    Just found your blog via Bonjour Madame.
    Joyeux Noel.

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  6. Really adored the film... but no, don't have the cook book - perhaps Pere Noel may bring it to me? Are the recipes difficult - have thumbed through a copy in the bookshop and they look a little daunting! (a bit like that English cook from the 50's - Fanny Craddock - my mother was her PA for a couple of years in 1954 - she (FC) had a reputation as being rather fierce but apparently was always very kind to my mother)

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  7. Thanks for reading and commenting Parisienne Farmgirl! I look forward to years of enjoyment from my new cookbook. And I agree with you, that a good cookbook should also be a good read.

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  8. Semi Expat, thanks for commenting. Yes, you should ask for the cookbook for Christmas. And yes, I'm sure many of the recipes are daunting, but I'm certain there are many that we could try!

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  9. Akhirah, we're still digging out from all the snow, and with no school tomorrow I might have to cook a bit more . . .

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  10. "hellloooooo" (said in my best Julia Child voice). I love your blog, totally adding it to my bookmarks. I adore all things French and this blog is so "je ne sais quoi" :) Can't wait to see you try out some of those recipes (and hopefully post some pics for us to see!). I just got the 2 volume set for Christmas and I can't wait to try some of the recipes. I actually made boeuf bourguignon last week, before I received the book (we had watched the movie Julie & Julia too and I was inspired, since I've been meaning to cook it for about 3 years now LOL).

    Anywho, here is my humble attempt at the dish: http://jenesaispas.ca/?p=23

    Okay, now I'm gonna nose around your blog some more :)

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  11. P.S. I actually ended up making Boeuf a la Mode last night for dinner (pg. 309-311 in Mastering Vol. 1); it was the first roast I ever made and it was FANTASTIC (if I do say so myself). The meat just melted in my mouth and the gravy was to die for! I highly recommend giving it a shot. I was so intimidated by the recipes in this book but they are not really that scary (except for the tripe and sweetbreads lol).

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  12. I am a year behind in commenting but just found your blog two days ago. I recently acquired Volume 1 of "Mastering" and made Julia's Roast Chicken with Port Wine, Cream and Mushrooms. Yum. More please. Thank you Julia.

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