If you frequent many food blogs, or if you are a regular food gabber on twitter, you most certainly know about the new movie, Julie and Julia that opens in Theaters on Friday, August 7th. Or perhaps you’ve seen the movie trailer on TV or the internet. If you haven’t, you really should watch it now!
I won’t tell you what the movie is about, the trailer does a fabulous job of that. But I can tell you that there has been much anticipation amongst food bloggers as we wait patiently for this movie to hit the screen.
I’ll admit, I never thought I would open any of Julia Child’s books, I just always assumed that the recipes were beyond my skills and beyond my tastes. I am a fairly simple girl and don’t venture too far off the culinary track, and you certainly won’t find me in an expensive restaurant consuming a plate of brains or other such nasties. However, when I heard that Helene of La Cuisine Helene offered up a challenge to bloggers like me, I couldn’t resist accepting. You see, she used twitter to invite anyone who wanted to play along to make whatever recipe(s) they choose out of Julia Child’s book Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One (MTAFC). This is the same book that real life Julie Powell, the inspiration for the movie Julie & Julia, cooked and baked from, all 524 recipes in 365 days!
I was a bit intimidated, but I was so pleased to find that many of the recipes in the book appealed to me (though some sections will never make it into my kitchen). I love how the book is laid out, it’s like Julia is talking you through everything, not just giving you a list of ingredients and some textbook instructions. She explains everything and really teaches you how to make the recipes.
The one thing that really stuck out to me from this book was this quote in the Foreward:
“Our primary purpose in this book is to teach you how to cook, so that you will understand the fundamental techniques and gradually be able to divorce yourself from a dependance on recipes.”
WOW. That’s so exactly what I need. I believe that if I can master the techniques, I will then be able to create my own recipes and not have to depend of print outs, books, and magazines for everything that I make. This was what really convinced me that I needed to take this challenge. And so, every Friday you will see another recipe that I have made and hopefully enjoyed from MTAFC. I hope you enjoy them and become inspired as well!
See my notes at the end of this recipe for my comments.
Eggs Baked in Ramekins with Herbs
[Oeufs en Cocotte aux Fines Herbes]
These are individual servings of 1 or 2 eggs baked in porcelain, pyrex, or earthenware ramekins. The ramekins must be set in a pan of boiling water, otherwise the intense heat of the oven toughens the outside layer of the egg before the inside has cooked.
1/2 tsp butter
1 ramekin 2.5 – 3″ in diameter, 1.5″ high
2 tbsp whipping cream
a pan containing 3/4″ simmering water
1 or 2 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp mixed fresh parsley, chives, chervil or tarragon
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Butter the ramekin, saving a dot for later. Add one tablespoon of the cream and half of the herbs and set the ramekin in the simmering water over moderate heat.
When the cream is hot, break into it one or two eggs. Pour he remaining spoonful of cream and remaining herbs over the egg and top with a dot of butter.
Place in middle level of the hot oven and bake for 7 – 10 minutes. The eggs are done when they are just set but still tremble slightly in the ramekins. They will set a little more when the ramekins are removed, so they should not be overcooked.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
* The ramekins may remain in the pan of hot water, out of the oven, for 10-15 minutes before serving. To prevent overcooking, remove eggs from oven when slightly underdone.
My notes: I left mine in the oven the full ten minutes and also left them in the pan of water for 5 additional minutes. I seasoned them with fresh ground pepper medley and salt. I used some chopped green onion as I didn’t have any other herbs on hand. This tasted wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it for breakfast!