Everyday Food Blog

happy birthday, Julia!

Posted by
Julia Child

The French Chef herself

Today marks Julia Child's birthday. To commemorate the occasion, we'd like to run down a few classic French cooking techniques (one of which is also an iconic dish) that have become commonplace, all thanks to Julia, who worked painstakingly to bring French cuisine to American homes.

Saute: The literal translation means "to jump," which refers to the constant movement of food in the pan while cooking over high heat with little fat. We saute many things at Everyday Food, especially quick-cooking vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, broccolini, and more. Bonus fact: Stir-fry is just another term for saute.

Omelet: It is said that there are 101 pleats in the French toque, each representing a method for cooking eggs. It can be argued that the omelet is the king of all egg dishes. You can't walk into a diner anywhere in America and not see it on the menu. Not only is it a dish, it is it's own technique, and it is such an important one that Julia dedicated a whole episode of The French Chef to it. (If you can, find that episode. It is such a treat to watch).

Knife Skills: Second only to a fine-tuned palate, knife skills are the paramount skill of a chef. It's more than just making ingredients smaller so that they are easier to eat. The French have a very strict guidelines governing the various cuts they use. Pieces need to be the uniformly sized so that they cook in the same amount of time. Some cuts even make a dish what it is: No one wants to eat coleslaw made with whole leaves of cabbage instead of the fine shred that melts into rich mayo heaven that we all know and love. What about shoestring potatoes? They're always more fun than chunky potato wedges.

There are way more techniques that we could cover, and if you guys are interested in such a weekly column, speak up! We'd be happy to oblige. And bon appetit!

Comments (5)

  • avatar

    I think a weekly column is a great idea! I would like to read it.

  • avatar

    I think a weekly or bi-weekly column would be great. I have learned a lot from Everyday Food & Martha's old cooking shows. But there always seems to be something new to learn.

  • avatar

    A weekly column would be great! I am interested in one!

  • avatar

    Thank you so much for mentioning Julia Child's birthday. She was such an American icon, almost a legend in herself, and what she managed through many turmoils and tribulations to bring us in the way of cooking will not soon be forgotten. As a dedicated foodie, current student of Culinary, and overall the greatest fan of Julia, I was very happy to read today's blog! Forever will she be remembered for her fabulous shows, from The French Chef series to the incredible (and one of my personal favorites) In Julia's kitchen with Master Chefs. Imagine my exhilaration to hear from my 8 year old daughter just how awe-inspiring her cooking shows were. "Mommy," she says, "I wish I could have met her."

    Keep cookin', Julia! I'll watch you when I'm there, too!

  • avatar

    What a great idea!! I have Julia's original art of french cooking cookbooks vol.1 and 2 and am always referencing to them!

    How abut some techniques for her infamous cookies and cakes!!

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