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
• 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
• 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1½ cups milk
• 1 pound best-quality bittersweet chocolate, broken into small
• 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
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
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
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.
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.
• 8 red new potatoes,
baked and cooled
• 12 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved lengthwise, blanched al
• 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
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
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.