Saturday, August 1, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon & Clafouti: my salute to "Julie & Julia"

About a month ago, my cooking group was invited to the screening of the movie "Julie & Julia." I had seen previews of the movie earlier (it was in my "to watch list") so it was a treat to see it a month in advance, and for free! Sweet!!

The movie was heart warming. I was able to relate with the joys and frustrations both women went through in and outside of the their kitchen. Like them, cooking to me is therapeutic, my safe place when things are just not the way it should be. I also got the affirmation that I am "normal", in the sense that there are people like me who are way too passionate about cooking and food, and can get overly excited over a microplane. LOL!

To salute both women, I decided to make the infamous Boeuf Bourguignon, the recipe that gave Julia Child her break, and to have a taste of Julie Powell's most "challenging" day.

For side dish, I made boiled potatoes, Julia's recommendation from the book, using the fingerling potatoes from my last visit to the farmers market. I have cherries from when I made Valrhona Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes earlier this week so I decided to make the Clafouti for dessert.

It took me (7) hours from start to finish, including food shopping & cleanup, to cook 4 recipes (technically, if I count the brown braised onions and sauteed mushrooms) from the book. For Julie Powell to cook through the book in one year, she really is something else!

Verdict: SO WORTH IT! I thought that with that much wine in the recipe, it will overpower everything. Instead, the beef complemented and brought out the sweetness of the onions and the earthy, buttery taste of the mushrooms.
It truly is one of the best known way to prepare beef!

To Julia Child and Julie Powell, I salute you both!
And to all of you, Bon Appetit!

Browning the beef

Caramelizing the onions
Sautéing the mushrooms

Boeuf Bourguignon
(Beef Stew in Red Wine with Bacon, Onions and Mushrooms)

Pouring batter over cherries

Clafouti (Cherry Flan)

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