Friday, October 16, 2009

350 days left ~ Cooking with Julia Child and Chai Butter Cookies

Julia Child (Volume I ~ Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
Days Left: 350
Recipes To Go: 585

Casserole-Roasted Pork ~ p. 380 (Julia Child)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes ~ p. 520 (Julia Child)
Glazed Turnips ~ p. 488 (Julia Child)
Chai Butter Cookies (
Ezra poundcake is such a fun blog and I love her recent post on Chai Butter Cookies so much that I had to make them for myself with only one change: I substituted 1/2 t. McCormick Chai Spice for Ezra's 1 to 2 teaspoons chai tea bag contents. The cookies were light, airy, and crunchy with a delicious spicy chai flavor. The perfect butter cookie! Thank you Ezra for sharing =)
Chai Butter Cookies found @ EzraPoundcake .com
Adapted from Virginia Willis’ “Bon Appetit, Y’all”
Makes 48
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon McCormick's Chai Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, preferably Crisco, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, chai, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat on low speed until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and beat on low until well combined.

3. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients. Beat until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Using an ice cream scoop or melon baller, take some of the dough, and shape it into 1-inch balls. (Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator.) Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, and press with the tines of a fork to flatten. (If your dough starts getting sticky, dip the fork tines in a small dish of sugar before pressing.) Bake until pale golden, but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheet on a rack. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.

For dinner, the casserole roasted pork was suppose to be the centerpiece but you know, the garlic mashed potatoes caused so much alarm with all 30 cloves of garlic being called for; this dish was actually anticipated more.
I was caught off guard by Julia calling for the pork to be roasted to the internal temperature of 185 degrees F. My gut instinct said 165 F. because we like the meat to be just a tad pink in the middle. The tenderloin was absolutely delicious but a little dry. I should have listened to myself but Julia sounds so convincing.
We loved the yellow onion, sliced carrots and herb bouquet being added and 'I' really enjoyed when the pork was done being cooked, removing the meat, adding wine to complete the recipe~ all to create a delicious gravy.
The mashed potatoes, oh, I just have to tell you! I was pacing all over the kitchen on this one. First, taking 2 full garlic heads apart to get 30 individual cloves, then cooking the garlic in a saucepan with boiling milk and seasoning. Imagine Julia telling you the mashed potatoes will have a pleasant garlic flavor with no harsh garlic strength. 30 cloves of garlic and the taster will not be overwhelmed by the garlic? Peeling the garlic, the whole house automatically smells of garlic. My hands smell of garlic. Julia does say the long cooking (20 minutes) will soften the flavor . . . so we stirred, looked at, and shook our heads while we simmered.
After the garlic has been simmered into tenderness, butter is dotted over the top to keep the garlic sauce from forming a skin while the potatoes are started.
When the potatoes are cooked through, Julia asks for the potatoes to be put through a potato ricer. The potato ricer presses the cooked potatoes through a sieve like bowl, squirting the potatoes through a myriad of minature wholes, allowing NO lumps.
Just before serving, the potatoes, garlic sauce and a tad bit of butter are all added to the kitchen aide mixer, mixing the whole lot into a fluffy submission. Larry was ushered into the kitchen to gingerly dip his finger into this fluffy mass so I can watch to see if he falls over from garlic inhalation. He winces, I jump, he tells me this is absolutely delicious, I smack him on the arm for scaring me to death!
Then the glazed turnips. These turnips simmered happily in homemade beef broth, with a sprinkling of sugar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Of course there was a touch of butter or we wouldn't be able to say we were cooking from Julia's French cooking bible now would we?
This attempt at turnips is my first. I have spent most of my life staying clear of strange objects and Julia has strange objects listed throughout her French cookbook. I keep thinking I might as well get these over with, later find out I LOVE them and where have they been all my life? My own fault, I know, but in my defense - maybe I just needed the right helping hand to get me through this new experience? Well I am now a turnip fan too.

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