As you know from my previous adventures in French cooking, Julia Child doesn't cook semi-anything. She is down and dirty, food flung all over the kitchen, 3 sinks full of dirty dishes, and hunker down 'cause it's gonna be a long ride. In the end the food is usually really good but I am learning where corners may be cut that would not make any difference to the food. I am going by the advice of first do it the right way, then adjust it to suit your needs.
What I need is for Sandra Lee to come out with a book based on Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I haven't cooked a full meal in a couple of weeks because of a readathon and a flu followed by a cold but I did try to squeeze in this little dish because asparagus was in sale:
Guess how long it takes to peel two dozen or more thin asparagus? Guess! Forty five minutes!! You can't just use a potato peeler either. I'm grateful that Julia tells us that up front. Once they are peeled and placed in the boiling water I was ready to start the Hollandaise sauce.
The process for the sauce looks something like this: whisk, dribble in melted butter, whisk whisk, dribble, whisk whisk whisk, dribble dribble, whisk some more. Fifteen minutes later I realized that I would be using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment next time. I also realized that my hand had a major cramp going on. French cooking is a contact sport.
So pour the sauce over the boiled spears and there you have it. It tasted just like when I boil my spears and add a big dollop of butter. An hour for this? Oh well. I like asparagus and I like butter. But I will never peel an asparagus again.
Next on the menu:
Real men may not eat quiche but they DO eat gratin. And they ask for more. You can't tell from the photo but this is a smaller sized casserole dish. It makes about six smallish portions. When we all realized how little gratin there was we almost cried. So I made it again the next week, doubling the recipe and cooking it in a regular sized casserole dish but it didn't turn out as yummy as the first one. I will just have to buy another smaller casserole dish. Yes, I would spend money on another dish just for this gratin. It's worth it.
Hey, I thought of something that Sandra and Julia have in common: they both suggest the appropriate type of alcohol to go with any meal. No wonder I love them both so much.
You can read more of my Adventures in French Cooking here.