Julie and Julia inspires cooks to try dinner and a movie

12 Aug Julie and Julia inspires cooks to try dinner and a movie

Check out my “Julie and Julia: Dinner and a Movie”
in the Great Falls Tribune Wednesday, August 12, 2009.

‘Julie & Julia’ inspires cooks to try dinner and a movie

Foodies everywhere are flocking to theaters to catch “Julie and Julia,” Nora Ephron’s adaptation of two national bestsellers: Julie Powell’s “Julie & Julia” and “My Life in France” written by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.

The movie stars Meryl Streep as Julia Child, co-author of the revolu­tionary cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and star of the tel­evision show “The French Chef,” and Amy Adams as Julie Powell, an under­appreciated secretary looking for meaning and purpose in life.

She launches her “Julie-Julia Pro­ject,”

tackling all 524 recipes in Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in the course of 365 days.
“Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun,” Child

advises in “My Life in France.”
And it seems that is exactly what author Julie Powell sets out to do in her book, “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously,” though not with­out moaning and groaning and at times even cursing JC (as she likes to call Julia) in the book.

What better way to celebrate Julia Child’s contributions to the culinary world than by throwing a dinner party, serving a Julia Child-inspired menu and heading off to see the show?

But, what’s for dinner? Images of Julie’s husband and brother scouring New York City for marrowbone and

the horror of Julie’s lobster killing sent me running back to Child’s charming memoir for inspiration.
Leafing through “My Life in France,” I ran across mention of a memorable dinner Julia and her hus­band Paul threw in honor of the sum­mer solstice one year at their home in Provence.

I threw on my apron and went to work, modifying recipes for ease of preparation and availability of ingredi­ents. (I can almost hear Julia gasping now). I’m certain her co-author Simca (Simone Beck) would have scoffed at

my recipes, saying, “C’est pas francais!” just as she had scolded Julia during the writing of Vol­ume II of “Mastering.”
But, then I am reminded of Julia’s voice saying, “Never apolo­gize” and so I won’t, especially in light of Julia’s words of wisdom: “above all have fun!” Bon Appetit and enjoy the show.


Les Feuilletons de Boeuf en Croute­
(Beef tenderloins in pastry)

Tomates a la Provencale
(Tomatoes stuffed with bread crumbs, herbs and cheese)

Mousseline au Chocolat

The French chef calls this Les Feuilletons de Boeuf en Croute. To the American cook it’s beef tenderloin in puff pastry.

 ½ cup butter, divided

 8 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped

 2 tbsp. shallots, finely minced

 2 tsp. dried thyme

 6 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks

 1 egg, beaten

Melt ¼ cup butter in a medium saute pan over medium high heat and saute mushrooms and shal­lots until softened. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Wipe out pan. Heat remaining ¼ cup butter over medium high heat and sear steaks, browning both sides of each steak.

Place steaks on baking sheet, leaving ample room in between. Top each steak with 1-2 table­spoons mushrooms, covering the

top of each steak.
Cut thawed puff pastry sheets to make covers for the steaks and drape over steaks.

Tuck edges of pastry around each steak, pressing to seal.

Use additional pastry to cut out decorations for the tops.

Brush pastry with beaten egg.

Bake at 425° for 18 minutes for rare, 22 minutes for medium and 26 minutes for well done.

Serves six.


 6 medium tomatoes with stems intact

 ½ cup olive oil, divided

 2 cups fresh white bread crumbs

 ¼ cup freshly snipped basil, thyme and parsley

 ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

 ½ tsp. sea salt

 1 clove garlic, minced

 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Using a serrated knife, cut around the tops of the tomatoes,

leaving the stem intact and removing the lids.
Scoop out insides of tomatoes with melon baller or spoon. Dis­card seeds and cores.

Wipe insides of tomatoes dry with paper towels.

Brush insides of tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Combine remaining ingredi­ents in medium bowl and stir

until mixed together.
Stuff tomatoes with bread mix­ture and replace tomato lids.

Place stuffed tomatoes in oiled baking dish, in a single layer, not touching.

Bake in 425° oven with beef tenderloins for last 10-15 minutes of baking, being careful not to overbrown tomatoes.

Serves six.


Chocolate Mousse


 1 pint heavy whipping cream

 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

 2 tsp. almond extract

 1 6-ounce bittersweet chocolate bar, for chocolate curls

Begin the day before you plan to serve the mousse.

In a medium heavy saucepan, heat cream over medium high heat until simmering.

Add chocolate chips and whisk with wire whisk until completely smooth.

Add almond and whisk to com­bine.

Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, pour mousse mixture into a chilled mixing bowl and beat with chilled beat­ers until stiff peaks form.

Spoon or pipe into individual serving bowls.

Using vegetable peeler, make chocolate curls with bittersweet chocolate bar.

Garnish chocolate mousse with chocolate curls.


 1 17.3-ounce package puff pas­try, thawed
  • Oren Klemash
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