Julia Child + Sole Meuniere and crepes (update!)

"Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it's done right. Even a pancake."
-Julia Child

Celebrity chefs nowadays are so dull! When I watch them cook on T.V, everything goes perfectly, they don't make a single mistake, and when they're finished, everything tastes "gorgeous". I mean, come on,
we all know that every body makes a few mistakes here and there when they cook! Nobody's perfect? Shouldn't we embrace our flaws instead of hiding them by editing and photoshopping?
That's why I love watching Julia Child cook. On her TV show :"The french chef" , as she makes mistakes all the time! When she flips her omelette it lands on the counter, when she brings out her apple tarte tartin onto a plate the apples fall right out of the tart and land in a shaggy pile beside the plate! Julia Child has a great attitude, every time she slips up she shows us a way to fix up the mistakes. Omelette flipped out of the pan? Just scoop it back in again, nobody will notice. Apples in a shaggy heap with no caramelisation?, heap it back onto the tart, sprinkle with some icing sugar, and place under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Wouldn't it be some much fun if chefs these days made mistakes while they cooked? , this way, we can also learn how to fix our mistakes when we slip up.

Speaking of Julia Child, I must emphasise on how amazing she is. Her recipes are all fool-proof and absolutely delicious. Not only do they use simple ingredients, they also teach the aspiring home cook new techniques and skills. Julia Child's debut cookbook :"Mastering the art of french cooking" bought french cuisine to the american public.  Did you know? Julia was  a spy and lived in China during WW2. Her love and passion for french cuisine was ignited when she was 36 years old , her husband Paul took her to the oldest restaurant in France, "La Couronne". Julia enjoyed a meal of Sole Meunire, oysters and fine wine. "I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." - Julia child.  She described the meal to the New York times as: "an opening up of the soul and spirit for me".

Julia Child was onto something there. Sole Meunire is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted. As Julia Child said: "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces- just good food from fresh ingredients". 

Sole Meunire
Serves 2
adapted from Le Cordon Bleu cookbook

2 fillets of lemon sole
1/4 cup plain flour (to dust fish)
1 lemon, quartered
butter 4-5 Tbs , if you live in New Zealand, use Lewis Road Creamery. It is the best
salt, black pepper

You may need to clarify your butter beforehand. However, if you have really good butter, this step may not be nessacery. To clarify butter, melt butter in saucepan over medium low heat. Skim of any milk solids, (the white foamy stuff ontop of the butter). Cool. Your butter has been clarified.

This is really easy. Do not add anything else!
Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 3 tbs of butter.
Meanwhile, season your fish with salt and black pepper and dust lightly with flour. You may need more/less flour than indicated, adjust accordingly.
Add fish to pan and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and slightly caramelised.
Remove the fish, keep warm on a warm plate.
Add remaining butter to pan, and brown the butter. Add a good squeeze of lemon and  1 tbs of chopped herbs to the brown butter. Remove from heat immediately.
Pour over fish. Garnish with extra herbs and a wedge of lemon. A good grind of pepper.
Enjoy with some bread and butter, and a simple green salad.

Update 14/7/2015
I have also tried Julia Child's crepe recipe, and I am happy to say it is fantastic!
I filled some crepes with combinations such as ; scrambled eggs, parmesan and mushrooms, jam+creme frache and peanut butter, honey and bananas. They made a fantastic brunch.
Julia says to use a hot pan, and to flip the crepes by using your hands or using two spatulas.

Recipe: Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking By Julia Child

Pate a crepes
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups flour , I used 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup buckwheat
4 TB melted butter

Use a blender! it is so much easier and lump free.
Place liquids, eggs and salt in blender jar. Add the flour, than the butter. Cover and blend until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Lightly oil a medium sized skillet and set it over high heat. The first crepe will be used to test consistency of the batter, the amount you need for the pan, and the heat.
Once skillet has heated, remove it immediatly and swirl a ladle-full of batter (1/4 cup) into the pan. Quickly tilt batter in all directions to create a thin film. Return pan to heat for 1-1 1/2 minutes than flip crepe using a spatula or both hands.
One side of the pan will be nicely browned whereas the other side will be a little uglier, this is the non public side.
Fill will desired sweet and savoury fillings.



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Hi I'm Cindy.