If legendary television chef and author Julia Child were still standing, she'd be turning 101 years old today. Should you find yourself craving one of the culinary matron's masterpieces, flip on some reruns of The French Chef or In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs, then make yourself an authentic French recipe from scratch, courtesy of JC. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Who doesn't dream of owning a cute little pied-à-terre in Paris, combing the markets for fresh French food and cooking it in a tiny European kitchen? Until that becomes a reality, we'll have to resort to watching Rachel Khoo's Little Paris Kitchen on the Cooking Channel. The show is everything the name implies; it follows a charming British cook as she creates glorious French cuisine in the tiniest of kitchens.
Recently, I watched an episode where Rachel makes a lavender roasted chicken, and the video stuck with me for weeks before I finally did some serious digging to retrieve the recipe. That is, until the publishers sent us her latest cookbook, which is as quaint and enticing as the cooking show.
When the sizzling, caramelized pieces of chicken come out of the oven, Rachel recommends taking a bit of crusty bread and dipping it into the pan juices to sample the flavors. My oh my, this chicken will make you fall in love with lavender, if you haven't already. It hits all the right sweet and savory notes, providing just enough floral flavor and herbaceousness to perk you up on a cold Winter night. The recipe is halved on purpose, because the lavender chicken has all the right potential for a dreamy date night like Valentine's Day.
If you've ever tasted a gougère — essentially savory cheese-flecked cousins of cream puffs and eclairs — then little needs to be said in order to convince you to head to the kitchen to whip up a batch of these luxurious appetizers. If not, I'll keep it simple: airy and light, with just enough nutty cheese to keep things lively, these pâte-à-choux party favorites will go fast if included in a party spread.
Put off by the slightly strange method of cookery that's outlined in the recipe below? Don't be. It may be a slight step outside of your baking repertoire if you've yet to try your hand at any treats in the choux-pastry family, but their assembly is actually quite simple and intuitive and can be made in large party-friendly quantities in precious few minutes. Keep reading for the easy yet impressive recipe.