Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soupe á l’Oeuf, Provençale

So I picked this weeks Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipe, Soupe á l’Oeuf, Provençale or Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs. I guess I felt the potato leek soup was a little too easy in a book I have always pictured in my mind as tres difficile (very difficult). So yesterday, I strapped on my pearls and my very girliest of aprons and tackled this recipe.

Really it is two recipes in the same challenge. In order to complete the Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs, I figured I probably needed to learn how to poach some eggs first. Well really simultaneously as I was making the garlic soup/ broth and making these oh so delicious apple cardamom cupcakes with the carmel frosting.

The cupcakes turned out delicious.

The eggs that I simply poached in water following the directions on page 116 were the best poached eggs I've ever had. Really. I've been a lifelong, hard-core dieter, and I can tell you poached eggs tend to be fairly watery and gross. These poached eggs were different though. They were downright decadent.

As for the soup, it's made from garlic, water, and your standard pantry herbs, thyme sage, bay leaf, etc. In the introduction, Julia says, " Enjoying your first bowl of garlic soup, you might never suspect what it is made of. Because the garlic is boiled, its after-effects are at a minimum, and its flavor becomes exquisite, aromatic, and almost undefinable." She is 100% spot on. I don't know how to describe the flavor of this soup. It's delicious. It's savory.

Trying to describe what it tastes like though is like trying to describe the color orange. Maybe Tracy or Super G will have a better description.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Potage Parmentier

So like many many people I saw the movie Julie and Julia. And I liked it. And I was happily surprised (although it wasn't really a big surprise) to see a girl I went to elementary school with was in several scenes with Meryl Streep.

I also have a long standing love affair with the idea of Julia Child. She was a bigger and not terribly dainty woman (like me). She smoked (like I used to). She was madly in love with her husband (like I am). She was close, as an adult, with her sister (as I am with mine). Who happened to be taller than her (I'm the only family member nowhere close to 6 foot tall). And when asked by her husband what it is that she really like to do, she responded "eat" (ok the parallel here is obvious).

And she had such joy in her life. I want that.

So, when my much taller sister Super G, approached me and asked me if I would cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking (volume 1 although I have both), the first thing I said was "not in one year." She explained that she had heard that this was how good cooks got to be great was cooking their way through Julia's cookbook. I think it sounds like fun so I hopped aboard.

This week Super G picked the very first recipe in the book: Potage Parmentier or Potato Leek Soup. It was delicious! Boiling it for 50 minutes seemed like an eternity, but I was stunned that potatoes, leeks, water, salt and some butter could taste so absolutely delicious! I'm not going to be posting the recipes because we're going to cook all of them and it wouldn't be right. But Super G, her friend Tracy, and I are going to rotate picking a recipe every week and blogging about our results on Sundays.

If this first recipe was an indicator, this will be a very fun and delicious experience.