August 10, 2009

Julie & Julia

Last fall, I read My Life in France and loved it. I was going through one of those ugly phases in life where you feel like all your circumstances are beyond your control, present life is unhappy, and there is no hope of respite in your murky future course. I had succumbed to melancholia and needed something cheery and inspiring. And it may be ridiculous to admit, but I did find the fluffy autobiography of Julia Child to be inspiring.

The joy and persistence with which Julia undertook everything - learning French, enrolling in the Cordon Bleu culinary school, practicing cooking techniques, creating recipes, traveling, doting on her husband, making new friends, writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking - certainly motivated me in the kitchen but in life as well.

I have been excited to see Julie & Julia since the online saturation of ad banners, trailers, critical reviews, and blog write-ups began. Perhaps you have not been so inundated, but foodie sites, blogs, and the New York Times can talk about nothing else:Saturday morning, I hosted a French breakfast before going to see the movie. We had pain perdu, omelettes, and white chocolate mousse with blackberries.

Pain Perdu White Chocolate Mousse

I enjoyed the movie. The Julie part of the movie was very reminiscent of You've Got Mail, complete with voiceovers, heavy old laptops, and New York scenery, so Nora Ephron definitely has her signature on this. The Julia part was better, with many hilarious scenes and a very sweet romance between Julia and husband Paul.

One of the pivotal points in the book and the movie is when Julia has her first meal in Paris, sole meuniere in a bubbling browned butter sauce. I tried to recreate the sensation for Sunday dinner at my house. I dredged orange roughy filets in flour and fried them in butter. Then I made a sauce by heating butter until it turned light brown and had a nutty fragrance, adding lemon juice and parsley, and spooning it over the fish.

Fish Meuniere

I served the fish with asparagus and croissants. French bread would have been better as croissants are already too buttery, but I had to make do with what I had on hand. For dessert, a Summer Berry Pie with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. I don't know how French it is, but nonetheless, bon app├ętit!

Summer Berry Pie

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I am so looking forward to seeing the movie, as well as maybe trying out your recipes for the French menu...
Keep up the foodie stuff, I love it!