Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oeufs Pochés in Honor of Julie & Julia - Poached Eggs

How to Poach an Egg

Fill a large skillet with 2 inches of water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Have a bowl of cool water at the ready. Bring the water in the skillet to a boil, reduce heat to a very low simmer and keep it at a simmer.  Break one egg at a time in the water and using a spatula, immediately push the outsides of the white over toward the yolk. Add additional eggs and repeat. Once the first egg has been in the water for 4 minutes, lift it out of the water with a slotted spoon and check it - the white should be cooked and the yolk still soft.

Still holding the egg on the slotted spoon, dip it quickly into the cool water to stop the cooking and to rinse any vinegar residue, then keeping it on the spoon, dab it on a paper towel to dry. Serve immediately or if preparing ahead, store in refrigerator.  To reheat, use a slotted spoon to dip into hot salty water for 30 seconds, drain and serve.


Thanks to all of you for coming on over with me from the My New 30 blog to launch this sister blog Deep South Dish, the new home for all the recipes & food-related posts. The most recent giveaway for a copy of the 40th Anniversary Edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1,by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck, closed yesterday and the lucky winner is girlichef!! Contact me with your info - full name, addy and a phone number is needed! Congrats!!

I am so excited to be giving this cookbook away! Had it not been for all the pre-release publicity for this movie I would have never bought this cookbook. I would have continued thinking that this manner of cooking was intended only for very serious chefs - the kind who attended classes at very prestigious and very expensive overseas cooking academies - and not for well, a housewife like me.

And that would have been sad because this cookbook is a wonderful piece of work, written exactly as Julia intended: to teach "servantless Americans" the art of French cooking. Written for those of us who love to cook, it is as relevant today, perhaps even more so, as it was in 1961 and I absolutely adore this cookbook. I am sorry that I did not already own it all these years, but... I am thrilled that one of you will soon own one yourself!

On Friday, The Hubs and I went to see the movie, Julie & Julia. And yes, I told him that once we got there, if he preferred to go and see one of the action movies that was also playing about the same time - GI Joe or G-Force for instance - I would not be at all upset. He chose to go to see Julie & Julia with me {what a good husband}. As we purchased our tickets, the gal at the ticket booth assured us that there were lots of men coming to see the movie already and sure enough the theater was loaded with couples. I have to say that I think the men laughed the loudest and the hardest, because when it comes down to it, this was simply a funny and delightful movie that I cannot wait to see again.

The idea for the movie was draw in part from Julia Child's corroboration with Alex Prud'Homme on the book My Life in France,and the book by the blogger we have pretty much all heard about by now, Julie Powell, who cooked and blogged her way through Mastering The Art of French Cookingand then wrote her own book later, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen more reasonably available right now in paperback as Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.

Now, from what I understand the Julie we see on the big screen is a bit different than the Julie in real life and you know what? That was okay with me.

I don't know the Julie in real life, but I liked the Julie that was portrayed on the screen. That Julie could be me. Or you.

I understood her. I got what she meant. And I liked her. I'm sure that was the intent in softening up the character anyway. To me, this movie was my introduction to the real Julia Child, and the fact that one of my favorite actresses of all time, Meryl Streep played her and played her well, sealed the deal. I loved Julia in this movie. I loved Julia with Paul. In fact, I loved this movie so much, that I rushed home and uploaded My Life in Francestraight to my Kindleso I could start reading it right away!

As a foodie/food blogger, even if one of the common country and very UN-gourmet kind of folk, I felt connected to both of the central characters. To Julie for feeling lost and somewhat broken, but for loving writing and for seeking a purpose in her life one day at a time - by blogging about food. I so get that. To Julia, who won my heart when she responded "To eat!" when her husband asked her, "What do you like to do?" during a conversation over dinner where she was contemplating what to do with herself while there in Paris. That is so me. I love the entire process of food - developing & creating recipes, shopping for ingredients, putting it all together, the smells, the textures, the visual aspects, and of course, to then taste and eat the creations. This is me.

I smiled & laughed so much my face hurt. And, there were times that I cried. You are told very often in your life, to be happy in your career you must seek your passion. I knew immediately, when my eyes welled up in the near opening of the movie, that food was my passion. And despite the fact that I spent more than 20 years building a career and working my way through promotions in the legal field - it only took several hours for a hurricane named Katrina to whisk all of that away from me, at a turning point in my life when I was just about to hit 50. But you know what? I learned that Julia was also in her 50s before she really pursued her passion.

There is hope for me yet.

If you are a food blogger, or just a foodie, go see this movie. It's funny. It's entertaining. It'll be a great escape from real life. Even The Hubs said it was a Good Movie, and except for one "F" bomb and a risque reference by "Julia" to a certain part of the male anatomy, it's thankfully, pretty clean fun too.
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