101 in 1001: Hoast a simple dinner/ Make a tart desssert


Introduction:

Mastering the Art of French cooking what can I say they make it look so easy in the movie Julie and Julia. My first attempt at a recipe by Julia Child, while tasty, did not go as planned. In fact I almost charred the dinner which would have been a first for me. This meal went a lot better and there was a lot more involved!

Overall Problem:

The only major problem that was very stressful was figuring out the time line. It was stressful to know what to do and when to do it. I felt overwhelmed and was afraid that I was either going to mess something up and or forget something major.

A minor problem was the flipping back and forth between recipes. It was difficult to be working on one recipe and then have to reference another recipe to find how many min or steps or what to do next.

Solution:

Next time I am going to make a table with each recipe and a short list of things to do with page numbers on it :).

Here is a rough draft example: these times are based on me knowing how long it takes me to peel, cut , measure etc. Your times may vary!

This chart looked a lot better on Word. The formatting is just a tad funny when transferring to Word press I apologize.

Recipe Cheese balls – pg 196Make in advance!Day of : Serve Roast Chicken pg 240Prep in advance
Cook dish day ofDay of : Start first
Ratatouille pg 503Make in advance
Day of : reheat day of
Apple tart- pg 632ref. Pg 140Make in advance!Day of : bake last 40-50 minutes chicken is in oven
Prep Day before: Cut up butter Mince chives Mince celery and parsley measure out: Cayenne, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce
Measure out bread crumbs on to a plate: cover
2 days before cooking put chicken in to fridge in a bowl. Prep and truss chicken the day before cooking. Chop onions and carrots and strew around chicken.Cover chicken with foil and refrigerate.
Day of make your basting sauce and Preheat over 425 degrees
The week of make the sauce for the ratatouille and put in a air tight container. Day before peel, and slice eggplant and zucchini very thinly. Dry and put on a platter.Heat oil with some butter and saute a few pieces at a time til brown on both sides. Put fried pieces on another platter with paper towels.
Layer sauce, veggies , sauce etc. Refrigerate. Re heat on stove top till bubbling. Serve.
Two days before make dough. Day before make tart shell Partially bake.

Make filling for tart and topping

Fill tart and refrigerate  Day of bake tart completely

Amount of time 20 min for prep10 min for mixing20 min making balls and rolling in to bread crumbs: TOTAL: 50 min 20 min for prep at 425Cook 15 min Flip and cook 10 min basting as you go.At 350Half way through cooking time flip chicken basting as you go15 min before end time turn chicken breast up and basteps you have to baste every 10 minChicken 160-180 tempLet sit for 10 min before carvingWhile chicken is sitting make your sauce

Chicken takes around 1 hr 45 m – 2 hours

TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 20 min

Day before sauce20 min prep30 min to make sauce Day ofPrep veggies 20 minFry veggies 20 minHeat sauce 10 minAssemble dish 10 minRe heat dish 5-10Either on stove top or in a casserole dishTOTAL TIME 2 hours 30 min -1 hour make tart dough roll tart dough out and make shell 30 min Prep apples cut, core, and slice 30 min Cook apples 20 min and then cook until holds mass in spoon.
complete assembly of tart and then refrigerate.day of preheat oven 375 and bake apple tart in upper third for 30 min.TOTAL TIME 2 hours 50 min
Items needed Mixer, spatula, tiny ice cream scoop size 100, 2 plates, Cling wrap Roasting pan, baster and brush, thermometer, bowl, platter, trussing string, trussing needle, Two platters, paper towels, Platter, two bowls,

Problems for each dish

Blue cheese cheese balls: They were very salty and very strong.

Roasted Chicken Trussing – My husband trussed the chicken with a crochet needle and it was difficult but it got the job done.

Ratatouille: While making the sauce I did not have enough tomatoes / juice, even though I had the exact amount of tomatoes it called for.

Apple tart- When I rolled out the dough it wasn’t a perfect circle, and we should have left the extra dough on the edge 1. to make a decorative edge, and 2. to make the tart sturdier on the edges.

Also I forgot to add the 2/3 cup of sugar to the apricot preserve mix wops.. I really wish this, cookbook, came in a bigger font size!

Solutions for each dish:

Cheese balls- We added mozzarella to balance the very salty blue cheese taste. I also added a tablespoon of bread crumbs.

Roasted Chicken- We are going to buy a trussing needle off of Amazon to make it easier to truss next time 🙂

Ratatouille- I will make the sauce in advance so that I know that I have enough.

Apple tart- Next time I will try harder to roll it out in to a circle. also I think I will leave extra dough on the inside edge to so that when it does shrink it still has a crust/edge!

I will double check that I have every ingredient measured out before hand so I do not forget something!

Things I will do differently next time:

I will prep the tart entirely in advance so that all I have to do the day of is bake it for 30 min.

I plan on prepping the sauce for the ratatouille in advance to make it easier on my self the day of the meal.

Having each dish prepped as much as I possibly can will take a lot of stress and frustration out of the process and make things go even more smoothly!

Things that went well:

1. Trussing the chicken went smoothly and we only had to start over once

2. The dough for the tart came together beautifully

3. I was able to roll the cheese balls quickly with my handy dandy 100 sized ice cream scoop.

Thanks:

With out my wonderful husband, mother in law, and Grandma W this meal could not have been pulled off. I probably would have been in a corner crying due to stress. They helped me figure out what to make first, pealed/cored/cut apples, helped baste the chicken, and many other things that I can not think of. My mother in law gave me great advice: making a short list with the total times, page numbers, etc.

I am so thankful my husband who puts up with all of my crap. He does so much for me and sometimes I take him for granted. I love you sweetie!

The best part:

I have been prepping for Christmas treats sometimes staying up till 10pm at night on my feet. On Saturdays, I volunteer at habitat for humanity. I moved lots of tile today and wow my back, hip, knee were acting up afterwards. Why I am telling you all of this is so you know when I tell you my feet are killing me I truly mean my feet hurt so much it is difficult to walk. The best part of this whole day was 1. making the meal for my family, and 2. I was so happy to sit down and eat!

Time to get to those recipes!

Amuse-Gueule Au roquefort

{Roquefort cheese balls-cold}

For about 24

1/2 IB Roquefort or blue cheese

4-6 TB softened butter

1 1/2 TB chives or minced green onion tops

pinch of cayenne pepper

salt if needed

1/8 t. pepper

1 t. cognac or a few drops of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 c fine, stale white breadcrumbs

2 TB finely minced parsley

Crush the cheese in a bowl with 4 Tb of the butter and work it into a smooth paste. Beat in the chives or onion tops, celery, seasonings, and cognac or Worcestershire. If mixture is very stiff, beat in more butter by fractions. Check seasonings carefully. Roll into balls about 1/2 inch diameter. Toss bread crumbs and parley in a plate. Roll the cheese balls in the mixture so they are well covered. Chill. Serve as they are or pierced with a toothpick.

Poulet Roti

{Roast Chicken}

I choose a 6.7 IBS whole roasting chicken

1/4 tsp salt

2 TB softened butter

A shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold the chicken easily.

To flavor the sauce a small sliced carrot and onion. (I strewed a few handfuls of baby carrots and an 1 small onion sliced.)

For basting: a small saucepan containing 2 TB melted butter, 1 TB good cooking oil; a basting brush

Estimated roasting time for a 3 IB chicken; 1 hour and 10 to 20 min.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with the salt, and smear in half the butter. Truss the chicken. Dry it thoroughly, and rug the skin with teh rest of the butter.

Place the chicken breast up in the roasting pan. Strew the vegetables around it, and set it on a rack in the middle of the preheated oven. Allow the chicken to brown lightly for 15 minutes, turning it on the left side after 5 minutes, on the right side for the last five minutes, and basting it with the butter and oil after each turn. Baste rapidly, so oven does not cool off. Reduce oven to 350. Leave the chicken on its side , and baste every 8-10 min, using the fat in the roasting pan when the butter and oil are exhausted. Regulate oven heat so chicken is makign cooking noises, but fat is not burning.

Halfway through est. roasting time, salt (1/4 tsp) the chicken and turn it on its other side. Continue basting.

Fifteen minutes before end of estimated roasting time, salt (1/4tsp) again and turn the chicken breast up. Continue basting.

(section on indications that chicken is done is left out)

When done, discard trussing strings and set the chicken on a hot platter. it should sit at room temperature for 5-10 min before being carved, so its juices will retreat back into the tissues.

1/2 TB minced shallot

1 cup chicken stock

salt and pepper

1-2 Tb softened butter

Remove all but two Tb of fat from the pan. Stir in the minced shallot or onion and cook slowly for 1 min. Add the stock and boil rapidly over high heat, scraping up coagulated roasting juices with a wooden spoon and letting liquid reduce to about 1/2 cup. Season with salt and pepper. Off heat and just before serving, swirl in the enrichment butter by bits until it has been absorbed. Pour a spoonful of the sauce over the chicken, and send the rest to the table in a sauce boat.

Chicken all trussed up!

Chickens best side 🙂

mmmm Gravy!

Ratatouille

1 Ib eggplant

1 Ib zucchini

A 3-qt stainless steel mixing bowl

1 tsp salt

10 in enameled skillet

4 Tb olive oil

1/2 Ib thinly sliced yellow onions

2 sliced green bell peppers

2-3 Tb olive oil , if nessessary

2 cloves garlic mashed

1 Ib firm ripe red tomatoes peeled seeded, and juiced – makes 1 1/2 cup of pulp

A 2 1/2 quart fire proof casserole about 2 1/2 in deep

3 Tb minced parsley

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 in long, and 1 in wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, saute the eggplant, and then the zucchini in hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.

In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season to taste.

Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8 inch strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 min or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices raise heat and boil for several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place 1/3 of the tomato mixture int eh bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 Tb of parsley. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, the half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 min. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with rendered juices. Correct seasonings, if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 min more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole!

Pate brisee Sucree

{Sweet Short Paste}

For an 8-9 inch shell, proportions for 1 1/2 cups flour

A mixing bowl

1 TB granulated sugar

1/8 t salt

4TB chilled butter, 1 1/2 TB chilled vegetable shorting

2 1/2-3 Tb cold water

Place the flour in the bowl, mix in the sugar and salt, then proceed to make the dough and mold the shell either by hand or in the food processor.

Add shorting and butter to the bowl. Rub the flour and fat together rapidly between tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes. do not overdo this step as the fat will be blended more thoroughly later.

Add the water and blend quickly with one hand, fingers held together and slightly cupped, as you rapidly gather the dough into a mass. Sprinkle up to 1 TB more water by droplets over any un-massed remains and add them to the main body of the dough. Then press the dough firmly into a roughly shaped ball. It should just hold together and be pliable, but not sticky. Proceed to fraisage.

Place the dough on a lightly floured pastry board. With the heel of one hand rapidly press the pastry by two spoonful pits down to the board and away from you in a firm quick smear of about 6 in. this constitutes the final blending of fat and flour, or fraisage.

Either wrap tightly and refrigerate up to 2-3 days or roll out.

Tarte Aux Pommes

{Apple Tart}

Partially-cooked 10-inch tart shell
4 lbs. Granny smith apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

For filling:
1/3 cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
1/4 cup apple brandy, rum or cognac; or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,

Use the sweet short paste for your pastry shell.

Quarter, core, and peel the apples. Cut enough to make 3 cups into 1/8 in lengthwise slices and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and sugar

Cut the rest of the apples into rough slices. You should have about 8 cups. Place in the pan and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 min, stirring occasionally, until tender. Then beat in apricot preserves, alcohol (or vanilla), sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Turn up heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thick.

Preheat oven to 375F. Spread the applesauce in the partially-baked pastry shell. Arrange sliced apples in an overlapping layer or concentric circles.

When oven has preheated, bake the tart in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are tender. Slide tart onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or cold.

Before baking:

After Baking:

I hope that if you try these recipes that you have as much success as I have. My advice to you is to 1. Plan, 2. Prep as much as you can, and 3. have someone help you when it gets to be too much.

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