Archive for August, 2009

And You Too Can Become Julia Child

If you circulate in the food world, from chef to culinary student to gourmand diner, you would know the name of Julia Child. Her speaking voice is unique and immediately able to be recognized no matter where you would hear it. Now with writer/director Nora Ephron’s movie of Julie and Julia, there is tons of buzz on not only Julia Child as a persona celebrite, but the advent of her celebrity with the story of how she wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking during the 1950s in France. A zillion more people, including those who would never brandish a whisk, will know about her too.

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Coquille St. Jacques au Naturel

Remember when in the food world all the recipe titles were in French? Well, here is one left over from the good old days, originally created by Simone Beck, known as Simca to the French culinary world. It is a recipe I used to make all the time for catering my business clients for it is fast and easy. The scallops are baked with shallots and the superbly simple dish is so nice you will never miss the calorie-laden cream sauce,usually napping scallops. Scallops combine the qualities of sweet meatiness and with a melt in your mouth texture.

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Julia Child’s Lamb Navarin for the Slow Cooker

Braised young lamb is the basis for this very classic French ragoût with spring vegetables, known as a la printaniere, made in the slow cooker.

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Deborah Olson’s Amazing Cherry Crisp

Wow! You can’t imagine how FAST, EASY, and DELICIOUS this is! Use a cherry pitter or small paring knife to remove the pits. Be sure to wear an apron or pit the cherries with your hands inside a gallon plastic bag to deter the inevitable splattering. Serve warm or cold and top it off with vanilla ice cream. It is great for a crowd ( you can double, triple, whatever, just use a larger pan). Deborah Olson’s family owned the last cherry orchard in the Santa Clara Valley and are famous for their cherries and cherry honey. Deborah still markets her cherries by mail.

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Small Batch Fresh Apricot Jam (Made in the Bread Machine)

I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley in Northern California, the home of the finest apricots grown in America because of it’s wonderful climate. Unfortunately, the trees were gradually pulled out and houses built to create Silicon Valley, but dotted around backyards and vacant lots are a few precious apricot trees. Apricot jam is just part of the legacy of living here and for good reason; it is luscious. Look for roadside stands and at farmer’s markets. The season is very short. Making jam was never so easy and no boiling of jars.

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First about Harvard Common Press…

When my publisher told me they made room on the Not Your Mother’s Cookbook website for a blog for me, I jumped at the chance to write directly to my readers. That means straight from the center of my creative mind to yours. Usually with the writing of a cookbook, my creativity goes through an editing process, then design and layout, then to printing. That’s a lot of layers.

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Black and White Bean Salad

The best effect of the vegan revolution is that beans have a new found respect. I adore bean salads and this one is from California Sol Food from the Junior League of San Diego (2004). The mango is sensational with the tomato, beans, and cucumber.

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Coleslaw with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Everyone eats coleslaw! There are all manner of cole slaws, since cabbage takes to so many flavor additions. Here is the most basic coleslaw you will ever find and the most addicting. The first time I was served it, a specialty of my friend the late Mary Ann McCready, I almost poo-pooed it for being too simple. But I dare you to stop eating after a few bites. The secret is good, organic apple cider vinegar, one of Mary Ann’s favorite ingredients, which tastes way better than just regular cider vinegar. While you can shred the cabbage in the food processor, Mary Ann always used her favorite chef knife and took the time to hand cut the cabbage very fine; she said it made the salad better.

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Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken

A “Pulled BBQ Chicken” recipe for your Slow Cooker, by Beth Hensperger.

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