Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Homemade Beef Stock; Julia Child Chicken Dinner and 2 New Kitchen Skill Books

Cooking with Julia Child
Days Left: 360
Recipes To Go: 594

Dinner: (Butter will be the "key" word here)
Julia Child (Volume I ~ Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
Buttered Peas II p. 463
Potatoes Sauteed in Butter p. 527~528
Chicken Breasts Sauteed in Butter p. 270
Dinner wine that I actually followed through on: Bordeaux, 2007 (Mouton Cadet) Delicious with dinner but not with dessert...I'm still learning.

For the peas, I used frozen. I know, I know, Julia calls for 2 pounds of green peas but peas happen to be $7.00 a pound right now. I am not paying $14.00 for a pan of peas...no matter how good Julia's pea recipe is (and it was delicious). I bought a bag of frozen petite peas, hoping for the tender pea flavor.

Julia caught me off guard because she asks for tender, fresh, green peas and yet she adds 1 to 2 Tablespoons of sugar along with the butter. Kids everywhere are addicted...sugar high from peas...who would have thunk?!

The potatoes are buttery delicious! You never boil them ahead of time. I think the hardest part of the recipe (and I mean this as being a difficult thing because I actually lost finger skin over this) was peeling new potatoes. You do not wash the potatoes but you "do" towel dry them just before sauteing.

Pommes De Terre Sautees (Potatoes Sauteed in Butter)
Peel 2 pounds of new potatoes. Remember not to wash, merely towel dry really well.

Take a 10 to 11-inch skillet and add 3 to 4 Tablespoons of clarified butter or 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon oil (more if needed) so there is 1/16th of an inch skimming the skillet. Set over moderately high heat. When the clarified butter is very hot but not coloring, or when the butter foam in the butter and oil mixture begins to subside, put the potatoes into the skillet. Leave them for 2 minutes, regulating heat so butter is always very hot but not coloring. Then shake the skillet back and forth to roll the potatoes and to sear them on another side for 2 minutes. Continue thus for 4 to 5 minutes more until the potatoes are a pale golden color all over, indicating that a seared, protective film has formed over them, so that they will not stick to the pan.

Then sprinkle the potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and roll them again in the skillet.

Lower heat, cover the skillet, and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, shaking them every 3 to 4 minutes to prevent their sticking to the skillet, and to insure an even coloring.

They are done when they yield slightly to the pressure of your finger or when a knife easily pierces them.

Take off heat and add 2 to 3 Tablespoons of softened butter, 2 to 3 Tablespoons minced parsley, chives, or fresh tarragon, along with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. Roll the potatoes in the skillet so they glisten with herbs and butter. Arrange the potatoes around your meat platter.

I think the recipe is one that needs to be shared. The potatoes were a buttery, soft delicious.

For the Chicken Breasts Sauteed in Butter, I learned that clarified butter (butter that has been melted down and the milky residue left in the pan) can be heated to high temperatures without burning. I did not know this.

The chicken breasts were not only sauteed in butter "but" had a Brown Butter Sauce drizzled over them just before being served. Very Tasty!

Strange Day Again
Yesterday afternoon, we found out the furnace repairman and the satellite television repairman could come out on the same afternoon. The house has been without heat for a little while and the TV lost over half the channels several months back. Companies now a days schedule in large slots. You get sometime in the morning or sometime in the afternoon. How we were able to have both scheduled and fixed the next day, on the same afternoon is so beyond my brain.

The satellite repairman was here for 3 hours. So I paced, ready to spring into action when he made a request. To help side track myself, I decided to make homemade beef stock. This is a 7 hour ordeal. Now, while typing, I am still messing with it, trying to get the stock cool enough to refrigerate over night. The furnace repairman was only here for 45 minutes but the two never crossed paths...very strange, since I was worried about running to do whatever was needed for both at the same time. It could have been ugly.

Beef Stock
8 to 10 pounds beef bones and meat, rinsed and patted dry
1 pound onions, peeled and chopped
8 ounces carrots, peeled and chopped
8 ounces celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 bunch fresh parsley sprigs
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon peppercorns
10-12 cups cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roast bones in a single layer in a roasting pan until caramelized, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Transfer bones from roasting pan to an 8-quart stockpot; drain and discard excess grease from pan.

In a large bowl, toss vegetables with tomato paste to coat. Transfer vegetables to the same pan used to roast bones. Roast vegetables until caramelized, about 45 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven and transfer to the stockpot. Place roasting pan on the stove top over medium-high heat.

Deglaze roasting pan with wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. Pour wine and browned bits over bones and vegetables in stockpot. Add parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns to the stockpot. Add cold water to cover contents by 1-inch; bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Simmer stick, skimming fat from the surface every 30-45 minutes during the first 2 hours. Simmer stock a total of 5 - 8 hours, adding more cold water as needed to cover ingredients.

Using a fine mesh sieve, strain stick into a large bowl, discarding bones and vegetables. In an ice bath, cool bowl of stock to below 40 degrees F. Cover stock with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before using stock, skim off and discard layer of chilled fat.

My new Kitchen Utensil Books are these 2:

How many recipes start us out chopping, cutting, mincing, etc. but I know my knife skills are lacking. I do not see myself getting to go to a top notch cooking school any time soon so I researched books offering an educational experience to help me improve on my kitchen skills. These two books come highly rated.

The only drawback to Knife Skills Illustrated is the instructions give illustrations for both the right-handed and left-handed user. The same information is printed twice but offering point-by-point views. Both books came in the mail today so I have yet to sit down and start practicing.


petite nyonya said...

Wow, you have been cooking up a lot! :D. The brown butter sauce sounds delicious & the beef stock you've made must be really good too. :)

Anncoo said...

WOW! What a great blend of flavours!!

Sonia said...

I'm poor in preparing Western meal, look like I need to learn from you more, Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, will keep in my recipe list.Look like you have started to venture into higher level of cooking skill, learn kitchen knife skill sound interesting.

Eliana said...

Thanks for the tip on these books Shandy. I will definitely be checking them out at the bookstore soon.

Anonymous said...

The potatoes sound fab and those books sound neat. I'll have to check them out.

John Terry said...
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John Terry said...
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John Terry said...
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