Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Cookbook Thing II

Way back in seems like a century ago...Mike of Mel's Diner invited a few friends to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Julia Child's seminal cookbook - Mastering the Art of French Cooking by recreating some of her great dishes. He calls these get togethers "That Cookbook Thing II" - after all "Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking" is quite a mouthful. Last time out we all made her Soupe a l'Oignon Gratinee des Trois Gourmandes and it was an awesome choice.

This time, in addition to Mike and myself, Sara of I Like to Cook, Breadchick Marye, Deborah of What's in My Kitchen?, Mary of Cooking for Five, and a few newcomers (to this event, anyway) Elle of New England Kitchen, Shaun of Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow and Kittie of Kittens in the Kitchen (I hope I didn't leave anyone out) had to make her Sauce au Cari - or for those of us who need a translation...light curry sauce.

And although Our Fearless Leader recommended using Julia's Roast Chicken recipe, I dared to tempt his awesome wrath (just kidding, Mike) and use my own Roasted Chicken recipe instead. There's only so much butter this body can stand).

Poulet au Sauce Cari
(Chicken in Light Curry Sauce)

Truth be told, this was not my favorite dish. Perhaps my curry powder was too mild. But it tasted spicy when there was just butter, onion and curry powder. Somehow by the time the dish was done, it was quite bland but I wasn't sure if I could just add more curry powder to the finished dish which was very rich with tons's of butter, milk and whipping cream (let's face it, Julia did nothing without tons of butter). I also found the sauce continued to thicken once on the table and was not very attractive. It just looked like I tossed the dish with a ton of mayo. I'm just glad we had some hot Indian pickles to spice things up.

I wonder what my friends thought of their versions....

Up next, on the other Rapee Morvandelle - a gratin of shredded potatoes with ham, eggs & onions...and I'm drooling in anticipation.

My personal it matters!...Julia's really French recipes work best.

Thanks Mike for dreaming up this ongoing experiment. It certainly gets me to make things I normally wouldn't try.


Deborah said...

It was definitely a thick sauce, but I made my own curry powder and I think that made a big diference in taste. I think next time I'll cut back on the flour. And maybe the butter. But I used coconut milk and I absolutely loved this sauce.

Sara said...

Your picture is very nice Ruth. My curry powder was very spicy, so I was glad to add the cream and butter to tone it down. Oh well, onwards and upwards!

Ruth Daniels said...

Debora, thanks for the tip about the coconut milk.

Sara, always hit and miss with curry powder ...too hot...too mild..

I really am looking forward to the next Julia recipe!

Shaun said...

Ruth ~ I think that the sauce is meant to be subtle, but I still found myself using 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice at the end to make the sauce zing a bit (without it overpowering the curry, of course). It seems quite a few of us paired the Sauce au Cari with chicken - a good way to test almost any sauce.

Elle said...

Ruth, yours looks fantastic! I used chicken stock in mine, but I did tell my husband that it needed some coconut milk. So that, and armed with a fresh homemade curry powder, I'd try this one again.

Laura Paterson said...

I used stock and lemon juice (as well as less flour) and I really enjoyed this sauce. The curry powder must make a huge difference too - I used a pretty spicy one. The end result was flavourful, but not as spicy as I would have expected with that much powder!