Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FFT: My Life in France

For this month's Food For Thought Book Club (head on over the The Clean Plate Club if you want to read with us) we read My Life in France by Julia Child. I was really looking forward to digging into the book. But alas the month is over and while I have started, the nuttiness that is work when you are about to start shooting a movie didn't allow for much recreational reading. That being said from the bit I did read, I was totally inspired. There is a passage where Julia talks about her professor, Chef Bugnard, at the Le Cordon Blue and his delicious sole a la normande. I decided to try my own take on it, cutting out the egg yolks and a bunch of the butter and actually not using any recipe just using the flavors she wrote about as inspiration.

While it was pretty tasty it didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped, so I'll hold back on the recipe for now. What had inspired me, was Julia how wrote of this dish being virtually transcendent and my sole just didn't have enough flavor. The sauce and mussels were excellent though and I think I'll make some mussels with just this sauce next time. Below is the sauce I made and how I'll serve it next time.

White Wine Steamed Mussels in a Cream sauce

1 cup white wine
approx 30 mussels - enough to fit in one layer in your large saute pan
10 thyme sprigs
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp Herbes de Provence

1. Place the mussels in one layer in a large saute pan. Pour the white wine over top. Tie the thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine and place in the pan. Cover pan, turn heat onto medium high and steam mussels until the open.
2. Uncover pan and carefully remove mussels to a serving bowl. Lower heat to medium low, whisk in butter until melted, then whisk in cream. Add in lemon zest and spices, whisk all together to combine. Add salt & pepper to taste. Pour cream sauce over mussels and serve with crusty bread.

I'm really enjoying this book and will sure finish it, maybe on one of the long plane rides I have coming up. I also really enjoyed these mussels, as the boy comment on how I inhaled mine when we were eating dinner.


Jacque said...

Ooh, you were brave with the fish! It looks yummy from here.

Hopefully your schedule will let up soon so you can finish the book. I really enjoyed it all the way up to the last page.

Jen H said...

Well I have 10 hrs on a plane next week, so I'm confident it'll get read then. Do we have next month's book yet?? I could probably get both done.