Friday, August 17, 2012

Bon Appetit: Success!

So last night was crazy but great! I got home around 4:15 and started cooking immediately. I prepped the soup and got that on the stove, then worked on the mousse so they could both chill until dinner. When I was done with both, I got the duck ready and in the oven, then prepped the puree, made the gougeres, and, finally, the salad.

When Connor got home around 7, I was done doing everything except waiting for the duck to finish cooking and putting in the gougeres. It was a whirlwind of an afternoon! We really enjoyed each dish, and I loved taking her recipes and following them step-by-step, & seeing how fabulously they turned out. She was so thorough in her descriptions and recipes that it made everything a cinch.

I took pictures of most of the recipes, and am going to share the Vichyssoise today. I will post the other recipes next week. Enjoy!

Vichyssoise
  • 3 cups sliced leeks, white part only
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt or to taste {The chilling process makes the soup less salty, so Julia recommends adding a little more while it's warm to ensure proper seasoning}
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional {I used half & half}
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, minced 
 Please ignore the butter. Before I re-read the ingredient list, I assumed I would be sauteeing the leeks in butter. I didn't!
Clean leeks thoroughly. They are grown in sand so it penetrates into all of the layers!
Cut the dark green ends off Leeks, and slice.
Peel potatoes, and cut in half length-wise, then into quarters, like so.
 Then cut across into cubes/rectangles. The purpose is to get the veggies into roughly the same size/shape so they cook evenly.
 Put the 6 cups of veggies into the 6 cups of chicken stock and simmer for about 45 minutes.
 45 minutes later, it looks like that. Julia recommends using a food mill with a sieve, or in a food precessor/blender. I'll do you one better: Use an immersion blender {aka a stick blender/boat motor}, directly in the pot! Stir in the optional cream. I only used about 2 Tablespoons which was plenty.
Chill soup and place into chilled cups when ready to serve. Garnish with chives and enjoy!

This recipe is excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

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