WICKWOOD INN
Saugatuck, Michigan

HAPPY 100th JULIA!!


"Life itself is the proper binge!" ---- Julia Child

A Reprise of Julee's Ode to Julia!

She crept into my life in 1968 slowly at first, until she became a dominant part of every week. For Julia taught me to cook --- one recipe at a time --- just as she has so many of us. I began at the beginning of “The French Chef”, and page by page discovered Beef Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, Puff Pastry, Daube, Duxelles, Naverin, Blanquette, Bourride, Bouillabaisse, Coquilles, Omelettes, Aioli,Vacherin, Mousse, Souffles, Pot-au-Feu, Lobster Thermidor, Croquembouche and Crepes Suzette. It was easy, she was there. Can’t you just hear her as she boomed those melodic recipes' names? I can.

Paul and Julia Child
Paul and Julia Child

"Admiring a chef and getting to know him is like loving goose liver and then meeting the goose."
--- Julia Child

I finally met her twenty years later when she, Paul and I were sharing a “ Loo” at Pat and Walter Wells’ “Chanteduc” in Vaison en Romaine, Provence. About forty of us were there to celebrate Pat’s birthday, but the joy for all of us was “hanging out” with Julia. Picking arugula, making gnache for the birthday cake, baking bread in the outdoor oven and, of course, eating and drinking gloriously, all the while laughing!

  
In Wickwood's Kitchen ...

BLANQUETTE DE VEAU

This is the recipe that started me cooking. I marveled at every bite of Julia’s classic Blanquette at a friend’s dinner table one evening and the next day, she presented me with my own copy of “The French Chef”. It was my first cookbook, I was twenty-four and it was 1968. I cooked my way through the book, beginning with Chicken Breasts Supreme in a wine and butter sauce and went straight through to The Turban of Sole. Along the way I woke my Dad at 4am to taste real French Croissants straight from the oven (he wasn’t amused), poached salmon for my Frenchman from Menton, whom I dazzled in Bridgehampton on weekends, and perfected French Apple Tarts for countless New York fashion world dinner parties. Julia held my hand every step of the way! Serves 6.
 

• 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
• 3 pounds boneless veal shoulder or shank, cut into 1-inch cubes (or chicken breast)
• ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 scant teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
• 1½ teaspoon salt, to taste
• 1½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 3 cups peeled small carrots
• 3 cups coarsely chopped yellow onions
• ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
• 3½ cups Chicken Stock
• ¾ cup heavy cream
• Cooked Rice or Boiled New Potatoes

BLANQUETTE DE VEAU

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt 8 tablespoons butter in a heavy oven proof casserole over medium-low heat. Add the veal (or chicken) and cook turning frequently without browning.
2. Stir 3 tablespoons flour, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the veal. Continue to cook over low heat stirring for 15 minutes. The flour and veal should not brown.
3. Add the carrots, onions, 3 tablespoons of the dill, and enough stock just to cover the meat and vegetables. Raise the heat to medium, bring to a boil, cover, and bake in the oven for 1½ hours.
4. Remove the stew from the oven and pour it through a strainer placed over a bowl. Reserve the solids and liquid separately. Return the casserole to medium heat and melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in it. Sprinkle the remaining 5 tablespoons flour and cook over low heat, whisking constantly for 5 minutes.
5. Whisk the reserved cooking liquid slowly into the butter and flour mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream and the remaining dill and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Return the veal and vegetables to the casserole and simmer together to heat through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a deep serving dish and serve immediately with rice or boiled potatoes.



CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE A LA SIMCA

 
A very special recipe from the private file of Julia’s collaborator, Simone Beck, known as Simca. Long after the publication of their book, the Childs and the Becks shared a piece of vacation property near Grasse, France, ”Bramafam”. One year this was Julia’s birthday cake at La Pitchoune or “La Peetch” their tiny home. It’s very rich, so a small piece is advised.. Serves 8-10 normal appetites.
 

• 1 pound good-quality semisweet chocolate
• 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
• ½ cup crème de cassis
• 4 eggs, separated
• 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
• 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1½ pints fresh raspberries
• 2/3 cup sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 tablespoon water

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE A LA SIMCA

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper. Butter and flour the waxed paper; shake to remove the excess.
2. Combine 8 ounces of the chocolate, 2 tablespoons of the espresso powder, and ¼ cup cassis in a heavy saucepan, and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Stir to blend the mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat once more and add the butter, beating it in 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the flour.
4. Combine the raspberries, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the cassis in a bowl. Toss to combine, and set aside.
5. Combine the egg whites and the salt, and beat until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle the remaining cup sugar over the whites, and beat until glossy, 30 seconds.
6. Fold the whites, in thirds, into the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until the cake is slightly puffed but not completely cooked in the center, 20 minutes.
7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 45 minutes. Then unmold it onto a serving platter. Turn the cake right side up. Leaving a 1-inch border around the edges, scoop out the top ½ inch of cake. Fill the cake with the reserved raspberries, patting them down gently. (Nibble on the scooped-out cake scraps while you finish the cake.)
8. Combine the remaining 8 ounces chocolate with the water, the remaining 1 tablespoon espresso powder, and the remaining 3 tablespoons cassis in a heavy saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until melted and blended. Remove the pan from the heat, and glaze the cake while the icing is still warm, covering the top and the sides. Serve with gently whipped cream on the side.


JULIA'S FAVORITE ROAST CHICKEN
 

So simple, yet quintessentially French. Serves 4.

• 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/3 cup each finely diced carrots, onion and celery
• 4 lb. fresh chicken, best quality
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• Parsley stems and celery leaves
• 6 thin lemon slices
• ½ cup each sliced onion and carrot
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup chicken stock or broth

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet. Add the diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the herbs.
2. Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with cold water and pat thoroughly dry. Pull the neck skin up over the breast and secure with a toothpick. Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in the cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and the lemon slices. Massage the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter then tie the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under the body. Salt the entire bird and place in a roasting pan.
3. Roast the chicken for 1½ hours pausing periodically to refine the cooking. At 15 minutes, brush the bird with the remaining ½ butter. Scatter the sliced vegetables around the bird. Reduce oven temp to 350°F. At 30 minutes baste the chicken with the pan drippings. At 45 minutes, brush the lemon juice over the chicken and add ½ cup water to the pan to prevent the vegetables from burning. At 60 minutes baste with the pan drippings. At 75 minutes, begin testing the drumsticks to see if they move fairly easily, if not, continue cooking and test every 10 minutes. The juices should run clear. When done, lift the chicken onto a carving board and let it rest for 15 minutes
4. Spoon all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the juices in pan. Add the stock and boil rapidly until reduced and lightly syrupy. Strain the juices; you will have just enough to bathe each serving with a spoonful.


CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ

Of course, Julia’s was my first Chocolate Soufflé. Irresistible, but for special occasions only. I followed her recipe diligently for years and then wanted it richer still, made with the best bittersweet rather than semi-sweet chocolate. The result is here. It must be served immediately with the coolest of whipped cream smothering each portion. Serves 4-6, perhaps.

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1½ cups milk
• 1 pound best-quality bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
• ¾ cup very strong brewed coffee
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup sugar
• 5 egg yolks
• 7 egg whites, room temperature
• Pinch cream of tartar
• Real Homemade Whipped Cream

1. Melt the butter in a heavy small saucepan over low heat until foamy. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth.
2. Add the chocolate and heat, stirring constantly, over low heat until all the chocolate melts.
3. Stir in the coffee and remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and ¼ cup sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish and coat with sugar.
5. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. Gently fold the egg whites into the soufflé base. Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
6. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately with cold whipped cream


FRENCH ONION SOUP

The soup she brought to America straight from Les Halles so long ago.

• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 8 cups thinly sliced onions (2½ pounds)
• ½ teaspoon each salt and sugar
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2½ quarts homemade of best quality beef stock
• 3 bay leaves
• 3 sprigs fresh sage or thyme
• 5 tablespoons cognac, armagnac or good brandy
• 1 cup dry white French vermouth

1. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan place the butter and oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the onion, cover the pan and cook slowly until tender and translucent, about 20 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar and raise the heat to moderately high and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are dark walnut color, 30-35 minutes.
2. Sprinkle in the flour and cook slowly, stirring for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in 2 cups of stock. When well blended, bring to the simmer, adding the rest of the stock, and the herbs and liquors. Cover loosely and simmer very slowly 1 ½ hours, adding a little more broth if the liquid reduces too much. Correct seasoning. If you wish to serve Onion Soup Grantinee, place a portion of onions and broth in a ramekin, float a thick slice of hearty bread and top with 1/4 cup Swiss or Parmesan cheese Bake for 20 minutes or so until cheese has melted.

FRENCH APPLE TARTS

As we approach apple season, I’m reminded of Julia --- “Every serious cook should be able to produce a tender, crunchy, buttery pastry crust that is a delight to eat in tarts. It’s simply a matter of practice. Do a batch everyday”.

Thank goodness we now have Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry to make this ravishingly caramelized tart. Just top with the best Vanilla Ice Cream. Our version of Julia’s classic (four page recipe) is on page 333 of the Silver Palate Cookbook. It’s every bit as good today as it was twenty-five years ago --- and even 40 years ago and Fall wouldn’t be complete without it!!

During the course of the weekend she and I periodically discussed computers and that we’d never have to learn about them. Instead she quizzed me about “W” a fashion publication I’d been very involved with. She wanted to know who all those NY society ladies were --each and every one. She warbled off their names and I was supposed to fill in their stories. Who would have thought Julia would ever be interested in that stuff? I soon learned that she was interested in everything and simply loved to gossip!

"I just love to eat!" --- Julia Child

Back in New York, we had dinner quite often, when she was in town. She always wanted to try the latest and greatest restaurants, and she always ate with great gusto heaps and heaps! She loved good food! We worked together to enlarge The American Institute of Wine and Food, her energy knowing no bounds in her effort to legitimize the art of food and wine and the professionals who worked in the industry. She cajoled and charmed , relentlessly, for donations to build the AIWF. Julia loved to win!

"Too few people understand a great cheese."  --- Julia Child

So full was her plate that she never knew what time it was. She’d call our home whenever --- without hesitation --- before 6am and well after midnight. Over the phone would come JULEE!!!! Yes, in capital letters. Now that wakes you up in a hurry! Bill always knew when I had been speaking with Julia. There was a smile on my face that wouldn’t go away and I’d have to tell him her latest. She loved to laugh! She called once when I was in NY. In asking for me, she said “This is Julia Child” and Bill replied “Oh, I’d never have known”. “Oh quit!” she giggled. The girl loved to flirt!

"I was 32 when I started cooking. Up until then I just ate."  --- Julia Child

One Winter, my partner from The Silver Palate and I were being roasted by The New York Culinarians, and Julia, Irena Chalmers, Florence Fabricant and Barbara Kalfka were to do the deed. Wills and I were delayed by a snow storm in Aspen and arrived 1½ hours late for the dinner. We thought we’d sneak in and quietly take our seats for dinner. As we entered the room of 400, leaping up into the air, shouting “Wills, Oh, Wills, I must meet you at last.” was Julia. She came galloping amongst the tables, arms outstretched, heading straight for us, actually him! Everyone knew we had arrived! Wills instantly fell in love with her and her with him. My tall man loved that he had to look up at her. She loved men!

She always kept us in stitches, exaggerating about “hundreds of hours” of cooking time and” hundreds of cups” of stock. She kept asking me “How many zillions of cookbooks have you sold, Julee?” as we sat side by side at various tables signing books. She wanted everyone to be successful!

The years flew, and I always wanted to do a “Julia and Julee” cooking class, there were so many stories we could tell. But, I could never ask her. She was always so immersed in serious endeavors for our industry and taking care of her dear, dear Paul. But, as “Julie and Julia” made my eyes overflow with memories for that simpler time when the most important thing was whether the chocolate soufflé would really rise, I decided it's time. Here is a little cooking class ... in a fashion.


SALADE NICOISE

So close was La Peetch to Nice that Julia, ever the purist, was very definite about the way this classic salad be made. It must be served on a round or oval dish (not in a bowl) consist of mostly raw vegetables, and have no vinegar in the dressing. Each ingredient must be tossed separately with extra virgin olive oil before it is added to the plate. In warm weather, it is superb. Serves 4.

• 8 red new potatoes, baked and cooled
• 12 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved lengthwise, blanched al dente
• 8-12 ounces best quality white tuna (Italian?)
• ½ cup chopped red onion
• 2 tablespoons tiny capers, drained
• 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic Sea salt, to taste
• 4-8 ripe tomatoes, depending on size and taste
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
• ¼ cup black and green Nicoise olives (mixed)
• 6 hard-cooked eggs
• 1 head Boston lettuce
• 12 canned flat anchovy fillets, drained
• 8 lemon wedges

1. Place the tuna in a mixing bowl, and break into large chunks. Add the red onion, capers, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and pepper. Toss gently with a fork and set aside.
2. Slice the cooked potatoes and place in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1½ teaspoons lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and sea salt. Toss and set aside.
3. Cut the tomatoes into slices and place in a bowl with pepper, sea salt and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.
4. Just before you are ready to serve the salad, toss the beans with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
5. Divide the Boston lettuce on individual plates and upon their bed, place the beans, then divide the potatoes, tuna, tomatoes and anchovies. Sprinkle each with ¼ of the olives, the egg, remaining parsley and a bit more pepper. Serve with lemon wedges. Bon Appetit!!


JULIA’S LITTLE CHOCOLATE BITES

Petite Nuages de Chocolate

We’ve been a bit obsessed with these chocolate treasures for years and have kept them secret. They’re bite-sized versions of Julia’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, an idea she gave us long ago. Finally we've decided to share this embarrassingly simple recipe

Chocolate Bites have a crunchy top and beneath the consistency of a cloud. They simply dissolve in your mouth into lovely silky chocolate. Pace yourself. They’re deceptively rich. Yields 32-36 Little Bites.

• 9 ounces best quality bittersweet chocolate (60-64% cacao)
• 1 cup plus
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 5 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1½ cups sugar
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Roughly chop the chocolate into pieces. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add the butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until the two ingredients have melted. Mix well and transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Sift the sugar and flour together, then stir into the chocolate. Add the eggs and mix well. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken as it stands.
3. Line 1½ miniature muffin tins (24 to the pan) with cupcake papers. Of course, you can make these in regular muffin tins, but they are too rich to be large for our palate. Spoon the batter to ¾ full for each cupcake into the paper-lined cup. Bake 16-18 minutes (if large bake 30-35 minutes) The brownies will still be moist when done, but the tops will puff up and the look crisp and rounded. They will fall slightly as they cool. Let them cool in the pan, if you can leave them alone. They’re fragile and will fall apart if not cool. Best to disappear within 48 hours.

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Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
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