Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Start with a roux ...

Julie & Julia It's rare that a movie makes a big impression on me.  But Julie & Julia did.  At first, I was attracted to it because it was about two very different writers in two very different times, and the struggle to get published.  But later on, it became about the food.

The later on part started in January.  I got the DVD for Christmas (thank you, Bro!), and have watched it at least six or seven times since then.  The first thing I did that came from the movie:  I didn't crowd the mushrooms.  Yum!  Instead of limp, wet fungus, I had delicious, nutty-tasting mushrooms.  Double-Yum!

Mastering the art Like Julie Powell, my mother has a copy of Mastering The Art of French Cooking.  I haven't stolen her copy yet, but it's been on my mind.  Somewhere in the past I looked at it, but I like cookbooks with lots of photographs.  That is, until I started getting into older cookbooks because of my character Angelica and her cookbook store, The Cookery.  Then I started reading recipes from old cookbooks--for fun!  (I blogged about it last summer, but I'm too lazy to go back and find it.  Sorry.)

Chicken pot pie A little while ago, I decided to make chicken pot pie.  I LOVE chicken pot pie, but my attempts in the past have always been . . . not satisfactory.  I glanced at my pot pie cookbook (which I've had for YEARS) and noticed that some of the recipes started by making a roux.
Let me tell you, I do NOT have the patience to stir flour and oil (or butter) for any length of time.  One recipe for gumbo that I made earlier this year insisted that you stir it for at LEAST an hour.  Uh-uh!  But I wanted this chicken pot pie to be different, so I managed to stir it for almost ten minutes before I got totally fed up.

Guess what.  The pot pie was a great success, mostly due to the gravy.


I've never been a very good cook, and that's probably because of my lack of patience.  I think I may have to try a little harder and slow down when I'm cooking.

Do you prefer to linger over cooking, or do you mostly just cook to get food on the table?