CELEBRATING JULIA CHILD’S BIRTHDAY
August 15th was Julia Child’s Birthday. On the eve of her birthday I enjoyed the movie Julie and Julia based on her life in Paris and the beginning of her cooking career. Meryl Streep was phenomenal as Julia Child. It didn’t take me long to allow Meryl to be Julia…she did such a convincing job. I went to the movie to be inspired to cook some of Julia’s recipes in honor of her birthday.
Like many of us die-hard foodies who are in our 50s or older, Julia was a major inspiration. I have most of her cookbooks and found two recipes to make yesterday for our Julia birthday celebration. The cake was from her “The French Chef Cookbook”, based on the 119 programs in her first television series. It is called Le Marquis au Chocolat. I used a different glaze and filled it with raspberry jam and it was quite delicious. I also substituted bittersweet for the semi-sweet chocolate. And I recommend checking after 25 minutes, because 30 minutes of baking time was a little too long in my oven.
The other recipe was from her “Julia Child and More Company” cookbook. Normally I don’t give recipes another look when they require more than ¼ cup or so of heavy cream. But in order to do justice to our Julia I knew that I needed to set aside my prejudices and my health for a day in order to make her Mousse of Scallops and Flounder layered with watercress and salmon which I must honestly confide requires two cups of heavy cream.
I didn’t skimp on the cream but I made a couple minor changes. I used 1 ½ pounds of scallops and ½ pound of flounder instead of the reverse. I also used regular salmon rather than smoked salmon because I didn’t want the fresh fish flavor to be overshadowed by the smoky flavor of the salmon. The very ingredient in this recipe is bread crumbs. They soak up the liquid coming from the fish and keep all the flavor in the terrine.
I served it cold because yesterday was really hot. And I made a sorrel cream sauce with a little dry white vermouth, lemon and some yellow beets to give it some sweetness. I garnished the plate with a few watercress leaves.