Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Julia Child's 100th Birthday

Today, August 15, 2012 would be Julia Child's 100th Birthday. Food lovers are sharing their memories of watching her on television, or reading her cookbooks - and reminiscing on how Julia cooked and charmed her way into our hearts.  I wanted to chime in too . . .

A few years ago, The Friends of the Fallbrook Library had a wonderful guest speaker, Alex Prud'homme. He was Julia's grand-nephew and he co-authored "My Life in France" with her. I had read the book for the "community read" selection and loved it. I was excited to hear Mr. Prud'homme talk about Julia's life in postwar Paris and Marseilles.

In the book she mentions the Paris cookware shop, Dehillerin, where she bought all sorts of kitchen essentials, including copper pots and knives. I knew when I was planning my buying trip to Paris (for my now-closed shop) that I needed to visit the store to see the copper cookware section. And, I wanted to bring something home without having to have it shipped. My purchase included two of the smallest pieces of copper the store stocked - I knew they would fit in my carry-on suitcase.
My little 3 inch copper pots from Paris (they need cleaning!) 

If you enjoy Julia Child (or love to cook) and you're headed to Paris, plan a visit to her favorite cookware shop. E. Dehillerin is located at:

18 et 20, rue Coquilliere - 51, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 75001 PARIS


From Rossipes, here is a French-Italian dish my mother made:


Chicken Fran├žaise 

It is much easier to have everything ready before beginning. Prepare the flour mix, the egg batter, and have the sauce ingredients measured, parsley chopped and lemons sliced.
FLOUR mixture:

1 cup all-purpose flour
big pinch of salt and black pepper
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of paprika 

In a shallow dish mix together the flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.

EGG batter:

2 eggs, slightly beaten with a tablespoon of water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grated parmesan 

Have another dish ready with the egg batter: Mix the beaten eggs and juice of 1/2 lemon with 1/4 cup of grated parmesan. Set aside.

PREPARE chicken:

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil

Pound chicken between wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Pat dry. Prepare skillet by heating and adding olive oil. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake-off excess. Dip the chicken into the egg batter and add right into the hot skillet with the olive oil. Cook over medium heat until golden on each side. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

SAUCE:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup good-quality chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 

3-6 slices lemon, for garnish 

Wipe skillet clean and heat butter over low heat. Add wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and top with lemon slices. 

Not a great photo, but it is the actual dish from the cookbook