Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Julie and Julia . . . . and Martha

You have to live "under a rock" not to know that. . .

the Julie in the title is Julie Powell, a blogger who cooked all 524 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking and wrote not only the blog but a book about it.

the Julia is Julia Child, the grand dame of French cooking in America and television cooking shows.

the Martha is not "the other Martha" whose last name is Stewart -- but rather me -- the Mistress of Linderhof.

The most anticipated movie of the year for we "foodies" -- Julie and Julia finally arrived last Friday and although I was not first in line to see it, we did manage to see it on Sunday.
It was a great movie -- one of the best I've seen in a long time. I was not hampered by the fact that I had read both books -- Julie Powell's Julie and Julia, Julia Child's My Life in France -- because I had read neither.

As a teen when Julia Child's show, The French Chef aired, I remember watching with awe as this remarkable lady fixed really great food. There wasn't anything that she wasn't afraid to tackle!

And, of course, I have a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, bought early in my marriage at a second hand book store. I revered this book.

Julia Child's food adventure started with a dish of butter-sauteed sole, Sole Meuniere, at the Rouen restaurant, La Couronne on her first day in France.

To celebrate the movie, we dined on Flounder Meuniere (flounder being the only flat fish that we could find on the prairie).

It's an easy recipe and is a great way to eat fish -- the lemon . . . the butter . . . I can see why Julia fell in love with French cuisine.
And we ate "French" as well -- an appetizer (not oysters on the half shell but cold shrimp), the fish, followed by a salad of mixed baby greens with a lemon vinaigrette and a bottle of buttery chardonnay. We finished the evening not with a dessert but with fruit and finally coffee.

It's interesting that the recipe that started her love of French food was not in Mastering The Art of French Cooking. But she has published the recipe -- in The Way To Cook.

It was great to dine on the dish that started it all.

Julia Child's Sole Meuniere
(From Julia Child's The Way to Cook)

6 4-6 oz. fillets of sole or other thin fish fillet, inch thick
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 or so flour in a plate
4 T. clarified butter
3 T. fresh parsley, minced
4 to 6 T. unsalted butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Dry off the fish and lay on a sheet of wax paper. Dust fillets lightly on each side with salt and pepper. The moment before sauteing, rapiding drop each fillet in the flour to coat both sides, then shake off excess.

Set the frying pan over high heat and film with 1/16th inch of the clarified butter. When butter is very hto but not browning, rapidly lay in as many fillets as will easily fit, leaving a little space between each. Saute a minute or two on one side, turn carefully so as to not break the fillet, and saute a minute or two on the other side. The fish is done when just springy rather than squash to the touch. Immediately remove from the pan to warm plates or platter. Sprinkle each fillet with parsley.

Wipe frying pan clean, set over high heat and add the unsalted butter. Heat until bubbling and pour over the fillets. Decorate with lemon wedges and serve immediately.


imjacobsmom said...

I can't wait to see this movie, I too watched Julia Child's cooking show growing up and I was enamored. What a fun idea to prepare your meal in her honor. I may borrow you idea this weekend. ~ Robyn

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Loved the movie also! Enjoyed all of the performances particularly Meryl Streep as Julia! She was fabulous!

Sherry said...

I'm waiting on the movie too. The photo of Julia (Meryl) with the chickens. I recently saw a clip of Julia (Julia) on PBS with the chickens. Of all the things I remember...I remember the broadcast way back when of Julia Child and the chickens. I 'bout fell out of my chair when it came on and I remembered it!

niartist said...

Oh Martha, Scott and I just got back from seeing Julie and Julia tonight. What a fantastic movie! I completely agree, one of the best I've seen in a long time, but Meryl Streep has never disappointed me! :) I'm back up and running over at Color Outside the Lines ... pop by when you have a chance tomorrow to see the new project!!!

Unknown said...

I am so looking forward to seeing this movie. I get to wait until it is out on DVD.

Pondside said...

On Friday night my daughter wanted to treat me to the movie, but the two theatres in town were sold out. They'd sold out much earlier than our (seemingly) early arrival at the box office. I look forward to seeing it when I'm home on the weekend.
Is there anything that wouldn't be delicious a la mode "Meuniere"?

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

I knew all this and am looking forward to the movie, but I did not know that Julie Powell had a blog. Where can I find it?

Bumble Bee Cottage said...

Hi Martha, well I must live under a rock as I haven’t heard of either this movie or the books but your post has certainly got me interested – me thinks I shall visit shortly. Guernsey only has a movie cinema with three small screens so we don’t get that many films here so I may need to wait for the DVD to see this one.

Martha said...

I am just now reading Julia's "My Life in France" -- very interesting -- especially after seeing the movie.

Bill said...

Hi Martha,
I thought the film was fantastic! I enjoyed every minute of it (and I can't say that about many movies)!

Your interpretation of the fish dish looks so beautiful!

Mary Bergfeld said...

I loved the movie as well. I thought the first third was dynamite and help a slow middle along. I would agree that anyone who loves to cook should see the movie. Your "sole" looks beautiful.

Unknown said...

Oh I'm like you - after I saw the movie I was inspired to cook more French dishes. I saw the movie with a friend of Julia's and that was really a treat.
Happy Twirls

La Table De Nana said...

I printed the Flounder:)You know I loved this movie!