I grew up watching Julia Child with my grandmother. I enjoyed the movie “Julie & Julia” (I do not like the blog that inspired the book and movie). So when I first saw Whole Foods offered a class called “Salute To Julia!” I immediately went to sign up. And found out the class was full. And each quarter I tried there was the same message; ‘full’. So when I received the Whole Foods schedule by email this summer I tried again… and got in!
I mean, how can you not be excited by this class description:
A Salute to Julia
Join us for a cooking celebration of some of our favorite recipes from beloved Julia Child. More than anything, Julia Child set classic French techniques accessibly in the realm of the American kitchen, pioneering cooking television and education for the home cook. Students learn step-by-step how to make classical French dishes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, then we’ll sit down to eat together, discuss all our favorite Julia recipes, and give a special Champagne toast. Bon appétit! Wine from France will be served.
MENU: Petits Chaussons au Roquefort (Pastry Turnovers with Roquefort Cheese); Soufflé aux Épinards (Spinach Soufflé); Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms, & Bacon); Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes with Milk & Cheese); and La Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin (Upside-down Apple Tart).
We started the class with Merijoy going over the recipes. She shared that early in her career she had taken some training under Julia. How cool is that?
I prepared the Coq au Vin. It’s actually very easy, there are just a lot of steps to it and it certainly is NOT a “lite” dish. But it is soooo good!
Another team did the scalloped potatoes. Look at all the cheese layered in.
French comfort food, that’s what it is!
There were 3 teams making soufflés. Everyone who wanted took a shot at whipping the egg whites in the copper bowl. (Yes, it really does make a difference!)
Didn’t it come out perfectly? Merijoy told us a soufflé will raise about a third above the amount of mix.
One of the students showing the proper way to open a soufflé. You make sure to portion out both the browned edge and the soft center.
The upside down apple tart – before flipping…
… and after flipping. I really like the pattern the apple slices make.
The finished Roquefort turnovers. I was actually surprised I liked these as I am not a fan of the strong crumbly cheeses like Roquefort or blue. But they were quite good.
What a lunch! Spinach soufflé, coq au vin and scalloped potatoes. Yum!
With the apple tart for dessert.
Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes with Milk & Cheese)
2 pounds ‘boiling’ potatoes (6 to 7 cups when sliced)
½ clove unpeeled garlic
4 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
1 cup boiling milk
Preheat oven to 425*F.
Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick. Place in a basin of cold water. Drain when ready to use.
Rub a 10 inch shallow baking dish with the cut garlic. Smear the inside of the dish with 1 Tablespoon of the butter. Drain the potatoes and dry them in a towel. Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Divide over them half of the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter. Arrange the remaining potatoes over the first layer and season hem. Spread on the rest of the cheese, seasoning and butter. Pour on the boiling milk. Set in upper third of preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, milk has been absorbed and the top is nicely browned.