Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Julia Childs would roll over in her grave.

     Certain people have been needling me to get back to this blog, and truth be told I'm rather ashamed of dropping it the way I did.  The bad news is, I don't think I'll be able to post a food blog every day of my life.  The good news is ....

.... I got into GRAD SCHOOL!

     So basically, life has suddenly become very strange here.  I have still been cooking and pondering foodie things, but (and there's always a 'but' with me) my mental faculties have been hijacked by all of the projects I need to finish and all of the loose ends I need to tie up before I leave Arkansas.
     A second note of good news is, the lovely city of Tucson has both a Sprouts and a Trader Joe's, so you can count on some serious foodie nerd-out moments in the future.  I'll keep ya'all posted as things develop in that direction.

     In other news, I'm a bit of an idiot.  While copious amounts of wood glue set to dry in the garage overnight, I popped in Julie & Julia.  Yes, it's a bit of a chick flick.  Sort of.  It's a serious food-lover's flick, anyway, and it never fails to bring on a cooking frenzy.  Thus it was that I found myself whipping up Julia Child's classic Sauce Beurre Blanc (white butter sauce).  Meryl Streep's Julia actually mentions this specific dish in the movie, and she explains it in enough detail to her sister that I was not only able to recognize it, but replicate it too.  The basic recipe goes as follows:


1/4 cup white wine vinegar*
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
salt & pepper, to taste


     In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil.  (I didn't have white wine vinegar, so I used a half-and-half white vinegar and apple cider vinegar mixture, and it turned out beautifully.)  Throw in the scallions and boil until the vinegar has evaporated down to a syrupy consistency.  (Be careful not to let it boil dry.)
     Chop your stick of butter into many small pieces (I cut mine into around sixteen).  Once the vinegar has boiled down, remove the saucepan from the heat, turning the burner to its lowest setting, add two pieces of butter and whisk until thoroughly melted, then add two more and whisk until those two are thoroughly melted.  Return the pan to the (low) heat, add two more pieces of butter, and whisk until melted.  Repeat this process until all of the butter has been whisked in.  Don't even think about stepping away from the stove--if your heat is too high, or if you stop whisking for even a moment too long, your butter will emulsify and your sauce will separate, becoming useless.  Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat, add your salt & pepper to taste, and drizzle over pan-fried or poached fish.  (I used tilapia.)
     And ... enjoy.  This sauce is a little tart, and abundantly creamy.  You will not regret making it, I assure you.

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