The other evening my husband and I enjoyed a rare dinner out on the lovely terrace of a petite and charming French restaurant near our home in the valley. The menu is classic traditional French, which I love. While all kinds of exotic cuisines are the current rage, French remains my favorite.
As things sometime work out, just earlier in the day I had been reviewing my notes for the cookbook on how I got started and on my history of cooking with Julia Child. One of my first memories and experience was when I prepared Roast Duck ‘a l’ Orange. The recipe was from Julia Child’s book – The French Chef Cookbook (1968). And there it was on tonight’s dinner menu! Of course I ordered it and savored every perfect bite. The restaurant—Voila’French Bistro in Scottsdale.
It brought back memories of a dinner party so long ago, 1981. This was before any formal training, and with the enthusiasm and confidence of youth, I set out to prepare this special dinner for our party of 6. I had recently picked up her small paperback book and though the recipe was long it seemed doable.
It was, even though it took me several days to complete all the steps. Following the recipe carefully, it came out nearly perfect. Just goes to show how true one of Julia’s famous quotes is!
I still feel that French cooking is the most important in the world, one of the few that has rules. If you follow the rules, you can do pretty well.
A few years later I was lucky to attend a one week class at a cooking school with Julia Child and that was really the beginning of my culinary start—a story for another day. Bon Appetit!
A Recipe for Everyday—Homemade Mayonnaise, made fast and easy in a blender!
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup oil (good quality olive or vegetable)
- Break the egg into the blendar jar. Cover and blend at top speed for 30 seconds.
- Add mustard, salt and lemmon juice. Blend for 15 seconds.
- Uncover and blending at high speed, pour in oil in a very thin stream of droplets.
- As the sauce begins to thicken, after about 1/2 cup of oil, add oil a little bit quicker.
- It will become very thick after the full cup is added.
A few notes about the egg:
- Should be at room temperature.
- Must be beaten first until thick and lemon-colored in order to absorb the oil.
- Must be fed the oil very slowly to start, until the emulsion process starts.
- Can only absorb so much oil. Too much and the sauce will become thin.
Liz, I often think of those amazing classes that I took in your mountain home.
You made everything so easy and I learned a lot.
Unfortunately, I no longer live in Arizona, but in New Orleans.
There is a lot of incredible food here, but I still use some of your recipes.
Please continue to send me your posts.
I can’t wait to try this mayonnaise.
Of course, I won’t be doing a lot of entertaining for some time.
Thank you for the memories and the recipes.