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Impress Your Friends with these 3 Julia Child Recipes

“This is the kind of food I had fallen in love with: not trendy, souped-up fantasies, just something very good to eat…the ingredients have been carefully selected and beautifully and knowingly prepared. Or in the words of the famous gastronome, Cunonsky, ‘Food that tastes of what it is.’” —Julia Child



Who hasn’t dreamed of hosting the ultimate dinner party…you know, the kind in which you take your apron off, bring the food out of the kitchen, and watch your guests’ jaws drop. In a world filled with responsibilities, this is the part of adulting that actually sounds like fun.


So when the rubber hits the road, what are you going to serve? If you want to impress, you might forgo the pot of chili and invoke the spirit of the great Julia Child. If you are too young to know who that is, she was an iconic chef, author, and television personality. She is celebrated for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her seminal cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent tv show, The French Chef, which premiered in 1963. She was also portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 2009 film, Julie & Julia, also starring Amy Adams, and Stanley Tucci.  


Julia Child was the consummate home entertainer whose mission was make high-end cooking attainable to the general public. Here are three classic recipes which are sure to wow your friends. You might even set up a series of dinner parties and try all three.



Beef Bourguignon


Prep: 45 minutes

Total: 6 hours

Servings: 4




6 slices bacon, cut into lardons

3 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 lbs. stewing been, cut into 2-inch cubes

1 large carrot, sliced

1 large white onion, sliced

1 pinch coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups red wine, like burgundy or chianti

2 ½ to 3 ½ cups beef stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

cloves smashed garlic

½ teaspoon thyme

1 crumbled bay leaf

18 to 24 pearl onions, peeled

3 ½ tablespoons butter

1 herb bouquet (4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf)

1 lb. fresh white mushrooms, quartered



Cooking Instructions:


Simmer bacon lardons in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.


Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large dutch oven, sauté the bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.


Dry the beef in paper towels for better browning. In batches, sear the beef on all sides in the Dutch oven. Set aside with the bacon.


Back in the pot, add the sliced carrots and onions; sauté in fat until browned, about 3 minutes. If there's any excess fat, drain.


Back in the pot, add the sliced carrots and onions; sauté in fat until browned, about 3 minutes. If there's any excess fat, drain.


Add the bacon and beef back to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Toss. Sprinkle with flour and toss once more. Place in the center of the oven for 4 minutes.


Remove pot from oven; toss beef and place back in the oven for 4 more minutes.


Remove the pot from the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F.


To the pot add the wine and stock. The liquid should barely cover the meat and vegetables. Add the tomato paste, garlic and thyme. Bring to a light simmer on the stove, then cover and simmer in the lower part of the oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is easily pierced.


In the last hour of cooking, bring 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil to a medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions and toss around in the fat until they've browned, 10 minutes. Then stir in 1/2 cup beef stock, a small pinch of salt and pepper and the herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the onions for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender.


Remove the onions and set aside. Discard the herb bouquet and wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining butter and oil and bring to a medium heat.


Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to coat with the butter.


Place a colander over a large pot. Drain the beef stew through the colander and into the pot. Place the pot with the sauce over a medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming any fat on top. Pour the beef and vegetables back into the dutch oven. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the pot. Pour the sauce over the beef mix and simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes.


Garnish with parsley and serve with potatoes, rice, or noodles.




Coq au Vin

Prep: 30 minutes

Total: 1 hours

Servings: 4-6




6 slices bacon, cut into lardons

2 or more tablespoons olive oil

3 ½ to 4 ½ pounds chicken parts, thoroughly dried

¼ cup Cognac or Armagnac

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

20 pearl onions, peeled

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or Pinot Noir

2 cups chicken or beef stock

2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

¾ lbs. fresh white mushrooms, quartered


Cooking Instructions:


  1. Pour enough oil in a large pot to reach a depth of 1/8 inch if you’re not using lardons or bacon. If you are using lardons or bacon, toss them in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot along with 2 tablespoons oil over medium or medium-high until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the lardons or bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.


  1. Heat the drippings or oil remaining in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. (You may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. (If working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot.) Carefully pour the Cognac or Armagnac into the pot and wait until it becomes bubbling hot. If desired—and if you’re brave—ignite the sauce with a match. Let it flame for a minute, gently tilting the pot by its handle and swirling the sauce to burn off the alcohol. To extinguish the flames, simply cover the pan with its lid.


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pan and then nestle the onions around the chicken. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently, turning the pieces once, for about 10 minutes.


  1. Uncover the pot, sprinkle the flour over everything, and turn the chicken and onions so the flour is absorbed by the sauce. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, for 3 to 4 minutes more.


  1. Remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the lardons or bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pot, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness (there should be no trace of pink and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife). Grab some tongs and transfer the chicken pieces to the plate when they’re done. Continue to cook the rest of the chicken a few minutes longer. If the onions are not quite tender, continue cooking them in the sauce, then return the chicken to the pot, add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be just thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables. (If the sauce seems too thin, bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.) Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning accordingly. Serve the coq au vin immediately or let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, skim any fat that has congealed on the surface of the stew and place the pot of coq au vin over medium-low heat.





Prep: 20 minutes

Total: 1 hour

Servings: 6-8




½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped leek

4 cloves smashed garlic

2 or 3 large tomatoes, chopped or 2 cups canned

2 ½ quarts water

Fresh herb sprigs: thyme, parsley, fennel fronds and basil

½  teaspoon crumbled saffron

1 tablespoon sea salt

3- 4 lbs. fish heads, bones, trimmings, shrimp shells

1 lb. each:

peeled shrimp (use the shells for the stock)

wild cod, halibut or other flaky white fish, cut into large chunks

debearded, scrubbed mussels or clams

Crusty bread, sliced


For the Rouille:

1 roasted and peeled red bell pepper
1 roasted hot red chile pepper or ground cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small peeled garlic clove
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs or finely chopped almonds
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
Fine sea salt, about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cooking Instructions:


For the Soup:

  1. Heat the oil in a tall pot (I use an 8 quart stockpot) over medium heat; add the onion and leek and cook gently until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, water, herbs, saffron, salt and fish bones and shrimp shells. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat so that the broth bubbles slowly without boiling.


  1. Cook 30 minutes, then strain the broth into a large bowl or another pot and discard the solids.


  1. Pour the broth back into the stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, a minute or two. Add the rest of the fish and shellfish, cover and simmer until the mussels or clams open (this will just take a few minutes).


  1. Taste the soup and add more salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.


For the Rouille:

  1. Puree everything except for the olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while processing to form a paste.
  2. Toast the bread and brush with olive o
  3. Serve the soup with bread and rouille.




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