Friday, April 8, 2011

4-8-2011 ju LEE and JULIA- A French Shabbat Dinner


Tonight's entire Shabbat dinner is based on recipes by Julia Childs. It's 5:38, and I've made it to the cooking finish line, yay! It's hard to believe it because I started cooking at 1:30 p.m., and I made a trip to the grocery store in between. This is proof that everything I make is simple, but as a whole makes a beautiful meal.

Most of Julia Child's recipes contain simple ingredients with many steps. What I did was, use her ingredients and steps as a base, and then made up my own quicker versions. The only exception was the apple tart. After seeing a few different Julia Child's apple tart recipes that were labor intensive, I went with a recipe I have made several times.

I made 2 trips to the grocery store today. The first was to get the freshest ingredients possible, which I believe is extremely important. The second time was when I realized I didn't have the potatoes for the potato leek soup. Don't you hate that?!

Here is my menu for tonight, lines indicate courses:

1. Challah
2. Mimosa Salad
3. Cucumber Salad
4. Salmon Croquettes
5. Vichyssoise-Potato Leek Soup
6. Coq Au Vin- Chicken in Red Wine
7. Potato Galette
8. Les Asperges en Branches (Whole Boiled Asparagus) with Mock Hollandaise Sauce
9. Mini Apple Tarts

Here are pictures and recipes:

Mimosa Salad
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook: The French Chef Cookbook. It makes a wonderful salad.
1 peeled hard boiled egg, pressed through a sieve (strainer), or very finely chopped (if you don't have one)
2 T. fresh parsley, or any green herb
salt and pepper
Mixed Greens
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
6 hearts of palm, sliced
1/3 C. vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Push egg through a sieve with your fingers, toss with herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving toss salad greens, tomato, avocado, and hearts of palm in a salad bowl with the dressing. Sprinkle on the herb egg mixture.

Sauce Vinaigrette (French Dressing- the real deal)
This also comes from The French Chef Cookbook, this could be used for any salad.

2 T. red wine vinegar
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. dried mustard
6-8 T. olive oil
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/2 T. minced scallions
1/4 t. dried tarragon

Place all of the above ingredients into a jar with a lid. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously until emulsified.

Julia's Cucumber Salad

1 - 2 cucumbers (see NOTES)
1/8 c. White vinegar
1/8 c. Sugar
1/8 c. Water

Olive oil
Fresh herbs to taste - I used basil & parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

CUCUMBERS Trim and peel the cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise and then scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut into half rings. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, and water, add the cucumbers. Let the cucumbers soak for a few hours.

SALAD Drain the cucumbers. Stir in the remaining ingredients.


Salmon Croquettes
I like to serve these with creamy horseradish sauce, such as Woeber's Sandwich Pal. My almost 2 year old son loves these, he can eat an entire recipe himself.
These would make a nice weeknight dinner protein, just make the patties bigger.

2 small cans salmon, boneless and skinless, I used Chicken of the sea brand
1 egg
2 T. chopped green onions
1/2 C. bread crumbs
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

3 T. oil for frying

Mix together the salmon, egg, green onions, and 1/4 c. bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Scoop out heaping tablespoon size balls of mixture and form into patties. Dip both sides into the remaining 1/4 C. bread crumbs spread onto a plate.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add patties and fry 2 minutes per side, until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel, either serve immediately or place in the refrigerator and serve chilled.


Vichyssoise- Potato Leek Soup

This recipe is incredible because it only has 4 ingredients, you will be suprised how tasty this soup is.

3 C. peeled potatoes, diced
3 C. thinly sliced leeks, washed and soaked to get rid of grit
2 quarts water
1 T. salt

Place the above ingredients into a 4 quart pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer. Cook partially covered for 50 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Mash vegetables with a fork for a more textured soup, or use an immersion blender to puree smooth.
Taste test and adjust salt, add pepper if desired.
Serve hot or chilled.

Just before serving you can optionally stir in 1/3 C. cream for a dairy meal. Garnish with chopped chives.


Coq Au Vin

I improvised to make this recipe a bit easier.

4 thighs
4 drumsticks
salt and pepper
1 C. All purpose flour
3 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced in rings
2 C. dry red wine
1 C. chicken stock
3 T. tomato paste
1/2 t. fresh thyme, dried would work but fresh is preferable
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, whole
2 sprigs fresh parsley, or 1/2 t. dried parsley

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shake off excess. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat, brown chicken on all sides, until nicely browned. Remove chicken to a plate.
Add the onions to the pan, cook onions until browned. Add the wine, chicken stock, tomato paste, and spices. Stir to combine completely. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cover with a lid. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately, or place chicken with sauce into a baking dish and reheat in the oven at 350 until very hot.


Shortcut Potato Galette

This is the French version of potato latkes/potato kugel.

1 package Simply Potatoes Hash browns (the green package found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store)
2 eggs
2 chopped green onions
3 T. margarine, melted (I used smart balance light)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a non stick cake pan with non stick spray such as Pam, or Crisco spray. In a large bowl mix together the shredded potatoes, eggs, green onion, salt, and pepper. Pour into the sprayed cake pan.
Melt the margarine in the microwave. Drizzle over the potato mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour until top is nicely browned.
Use a spatula and knife to loosen the galette from the pan, use the spatula and go all the way underneath making sure it is not sticking anywhere. Invert onto a plate, then place another plate (the plate you are going to use to serve it) ontop of the upside down galette, and turn it over right side up.
Serve by slicing in wedges.


Les Asperges en Branches (whole boiled asparagus) with Mock Hollandaise Sauce

Julia Childs suggest putting one loose asparagus into the boiling water with the bundle, you then use the loose one to test for doneness. I left that step out, mine took exactly 2 minutes to cook. You can decide if you want to do that.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using kitchen twine tie the asparagus into a bunch. Lower asparagus bunch into the boiling water, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove bunch with tongs and immediately place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from the ice water once they have cooled. Untie kitchen twine.
Place asparagus on a platter, and drizzle with mock hollandaise sauce.

Mock Hollandaise Sauce
I posted earlier this week about making ratatouille for my first exam in culinary school. Making hollandaise sauce was my second exam. Making actual hollandaise sauce is almost a tricky artform, that is why I made mock hollandaise sauce.

1/2 C. mayonaise
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. melted and cooled margarine

Whisk all the above ingredients together. If you would like to warm it up, use a double boiler or a place a bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir until warmed.


Mini Apple Tarts

This recipe is adapted from Susie Fishbein's Kosher by Design Short on Time.

3 apples, such as granny smith or braeburn, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 lemon juiced
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farms
4 T. margarine, melted
1/4 C. dark brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
2 egg yolks beaten
1/4 C. apricot preserves

Place apple slices into a medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice and vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Allow the puff pastry to come to room temperature. Open the folds and cut into 9 equal squares. Roll each square with a rolling pin to make them bigger, keeping the square shape.

In a small pan over medium heat, melt the margarine, add the brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir until dissolved.

Brush each piece of puff pastry with the beaten egg yolk. Arrange the apple slices in a row. Brush with the margarine sugar mixture.

Fold 2 opposite sides down over the apples, creating a rectangle.

Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Melt the apricot preserves in a small pan over low heat. Brush this glaze over each tart while warm.

Serve warm.

Au revoir! Pin It

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