Joyeux Anniversaire Julia Child! Today would have been Julia’s 105th birthday. It has been a tradition to celebrate her birthday here on Taste With The Eyes for the past 10 years.
Please join me as I re-create Julia Child’s very first meal in France, one that she experienced with her husband Paul Child. The story takes place in Rouen, France in November of 1948. I originally wrote this post back in 2007. I resurrect it every year in August, with some minor changes, to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday. This year I am including her recipe for Sole Meunière.
The text is as she describes her meal to us inMy Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006. The re-creation photographs are ones that I have taken on my travels; some are from France, others from California, a couple are shot in my own home. I use the sepia tone to give the images the feel of a single place almost 70 years ago.
Come, let’s travel back in time and enjoy French food and revel in its perfection via Julia…
Julia Child’s First Meal in France and Sole Meunière
Grilled Oysters with BBQ Sauce, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese
Are you ready for this? Grilled Oysters with BBQ Sauce and Bacon and Bleu Cheese? Crassostrea Gigas (Pacific Oysters) from Oregon’s Netarts Bay have plump tender meats with a clean-salty pronounced flavor, and a lingering finish.
Their deep cups makes them great for grilling. So fire up the grill and cook the oysters with the cup side down to retain the juices until they snap, crackle, and pop!
Carefully shuck these chubby bivalves then sprinkle with a generous mouthwatering portion of crumbled bacon and bleu cheese. A drizzle of smoky sweet tangy spicy BBQ Sauce will pull it all together for one big bold amazing mouthful. Let’s do it.
There is beauty and simplicity in this raw dish. It is a balancing act of sweet and savory, fiery chili and chilly fluke, white fish and colorful accompaniments, rich buttery oil and sour lemon juice, crunchy cucumber and chewy candied orange.
A member of the flounder family – fluke has a clean, delicate, fresh taste that is excellent served raw with olive oil and citrus juice. Candied orange slices bring a sweet-tart unexpected counterbalance to the dish.
Not that our favorite Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil) needed any improvement, but here, the classic savory summer salad is transformed by adding sweet strawberries & balsamic syrup. The combination is stellar.
Super-juicy and seductively aromatic, strawberries highlight the what is most memorable about this time of year’s produce. Tomatoes and strawberries have a curiously delightful affinity for each other. A light drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweet acid that brightens the entire dish. Creamy rich burrata takes the mozzarella to the next level.
By choosing only the best ingredients – fresh picked Italian basil, the juiciest most flavorful heirloom tomatoes, ripest organic strawberries, and high quality olive oil & aged balsamic vinegar – this salad can stand alone as a most satisfying evening meal. Serve with a good chilled rosé, and this dinner more than anything will evoke the pure taste of the season. No better way to enjoy a hot summer evening…
Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette
Farro Cucumber Date Salad
I like to make my salads from scratch, using the freshest ingredients dressed with a homemade vinaigrette. Today I took a short-cut.
Trader Joe’s sells a snappy seasoning blend with a clever name called Everything But the Bagel made with black and whitesesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds. I put a scoop of the seasoning blend into a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and agave syrup. It was a surprisingly good vinaigrette with sweet and savory flavors and a nice crunch. The dressing paired perfectly with my farro cucumber date salad. It was visually stunning too, with contrasting black and white seeds; ribbons of cucumber swirling around the platter; and just a few scattered edible flowers that made the neutral brown-green palette come alive.