Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th Birthday. As mentioned in my previous post, to celebrate I was going to cook a Julia-inspired dinner using her ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘ cookbook! So a couple of nights ago, I did it!
Bifteck sauté au beurre (Steak in butter)
Gratin Dauphinois (scalloped potatoes)
Asperges au naturel avec beurre au citron (asparagus in lemon butter sauce)
Soufflé a la vanille (Vanilla Soufflé)
I have cooked recipes from MTAOFC before, so I decided to make three new dishes, and attempt to make the soufflé again. Other than the soufflé, everything was surprisingly very easy to make and took little time. I had dinner on the table in less than one hour!
We usually cook our steaks on the BBQ. The French way of doing things involves sautéing the steak in butter on the cooktop. Pretty much all you do is heat up some butter and oil, cook each side of steak for 3-4 minutes and it is done. When you are finished you deglaze the pan with your choice of liquid (I chose red wine), reduce it, then take it off the heat and insert more butter. Although I could have cooked the steak for maybe a minute more to make it more medium-rare, it was yummy!
Ok…So lesson learned, do NOT substitute swiss cheese for cheddar. The sauce part of the dish did not turn out very well – although it tasted just fine. The other thing I noted when making the dish was it wanted me to cook the sauce on the stove-top first and then put it in the oven. I don’t really have a dish that can do that, so I just cooked it for a bit longer in the oven. The potatoes took the longest to do, so I prepared them first! As mentioned, they didn’t look so nice, but tasted great.
Asperges au naturel/Beurre au citron
So making asparagus is no big deal. The Lemon-Butter sauce was fantastic. I used freshly squeezed lemon juice, reduced it and then slowly added a whole ton of butter. It was creamy and lemony. The only thing I would do differently is just put a teeny bit less lemon in the pot. It was a bit too lemony for my liking. But, when I mixed the two butter sauces (steak and asparagus) together it was delicious!
Yeah – I need to watch a video or something. This was my third attempt at making a soufflé and it didn’t turn out so well, again! Even though I used my KitchenAid Mixer to make the egg whites (rather than whisking by hand), I think I folded them wrong. Regardless it tasted so good! This recipe requires more time, but Julia does provide a trick to let the mixture keep a bit so you can get it done before dinner, than eat, and then do the actual baking.
One of these days I will get it right!
I definitely liked cooking the steak in butter. You can’t go wrong with butter! However, in all of my dishes, I used almost an entire package of butter – a little too much! But, as Julia said ‘everything in moderation’, so I’m not too worried about it. I don’t have to make a steak sauce after, it just tastes so darn good!
So, Happy Birthday Julia Child!