Today would have been, famed American chef and author, Julia Child’s 100th birthday. Child was most famous, perhaps, for introducing French cuisine to the American culinary scene, but she was also an endearing television personality and former spy. In honor of her birthday, we have featured a couple of Child’s more “garnished” recipes, remembering a life full of its own fascinating twists and turns.
One recipe for Julia Child’s cassoulet, a native dish from the Toulouse region of France, says: [It’s] not really something that you should try to make entirely from scratch at home unless you have a day to spare to make the confit…and another day to make the cassoulet.” This is one of those recipes much tougher to pull together in America than France, where certain ingredients are pre-prepared. The cassoulet calls for an—approximately—astonishing 22 ingredients. Many think of cooking as more of an art than a science (we strongly agree), but this recipe calls for a whole lot of “exactly”s, leaving little room for error. Apparently it’s worth it though, and is one tried-and-true, delicious and hearty dish.
Onion soup? Complicated? We know what you’re thinking. This recipe, which sounds way more complicated by its french title, incorporates about 16 different ingredients and takes a total of three hours and 15 minutes to prepare, from start to completion. The result, however, looks and sounds absolutely delectable. It’s probably even more fun if you sip the cognac as you go, just don’t go overboard and forget to replenish the recipe’s six tablespoons. (Child is all in favor of the heavily-boozed recipes.)
What in the world is that, you ask? We thought you might. We picked this one partially for the incredible-sounding name, which translates in English to “chicken breasts with paprika, onions and cream.” Okay, a little more boring, but here’s how Child describes the wonder herself: “The flesh of a perfectly cooked supreme is white with the faintest pinky blush, its juices run clear yellow and it is definitely juicy.” Okay, that doesn’t sound as tempting as we’d hoped, but apparently this chicken breast is out-of-this-world tender, and the sauce, improbably mouth-watering. And the pictures, oh god those pictures.
Don’t even get us started on Child’s seductive desserts, you’ll have to check back next year for those. And with that, a tip of the hat to a master, and bon appetit!
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