How Would Julia Do Mushrooms?
While searching for a side dish that contains sautéed mushrooms, I decided the place to start was to see what Julia had to offer. Known and recognized everywhere, Julia Child was a culinary legend and a household name. Her persona was larger than life, and she had an infectious enthusiasm for both cooking and for having a good time. Few people have had as much influence in elevating fine dining in this country as she, and cooks worldwide owe Julia a large debt of gratitude for the work she had done.
Julia. A Culinary Icon.
If you’re serious at all about cooking, at some point you’ll own a copy of her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, so if you don’t already own it, you might as well go out and buy a copy right now. I recommend you read it like you would a novel, from start to finish. It will give you a larger scope and a sense of totality in the art of cooking and fine dining.
In 2012, to celebrate her 100th birthday, the Smithsonian put her Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen on display exactly as it was when used as the set for her television shows. My favorite photo of her is one taken in her kitchen during the filming of one of the episodes of The French Chef. It shows Julia in full profile, standing behind the counter in front of the camera with four people sitting on the floor hidden from view prompting her, handing her needed equipment, and disposing of anything she handed down to them. The picture gives a classic behind-the-scenes look at Julia being Julia.
Taking Julia’s Advice
I’ve taken her mushrooms in brown sauce recipe from her book and have altered it a bit. For the wine in the sauce I don’t use Madeira; instead, I use the varietal of wine I will be serving with the meal. Regarding broth, if I’m serving beef, I use beef broth. I also add a bit of beef demi-glace. For pork I use a 1:1 ratio of beef broth and chicken broth, and for fowl I use chicken broth, white wine, and a poultry demi-glace. I not only ladle it over the meat, I also use it as a gravy if I’m serving a potato side.
Be sure to make plenty of the mushrooms in brown sauce so there’s lots left over. Reheated the next day, it’s a great dip for French fries.
For recipe click on Julia’s Mushrooms.