August 15 will be Julia Child’s 100th birthday if she were still alive. I remember meeting her about 22 years ago in Chicago, I was one of 12 lucky people who got to have breakfast with her at the Ritz Carlton. She was talking about working on perfecting English Muffins. Her grace, charm and wit inspired us all at the table. In her honor, I am posting a recipe inspired from her book The way to Cook. One of my favorite cookbooks, I recall waiting in line for over 2 hours to get her to sign it. I pondered what I was going to say to her when it was my turn, but I so thrilled to see her, all that came out of my mouth was “Thanks Julia!”
There will be a month long celebration of events devoted to her. I Check them out on pinterest here posted by PBS. There are some fantastic photos of her on pinterest.
Click here to see the auto-tune treatment of Julia singing from her series at PBS. Well done.
My Breakfast with Julia winning bid letter from the Auction she was the Honorary Chair of that year.
Baked Endive Au Gratin
Belgian endive, pronounced on-deev, and also known as Witloof was discovered by accident. In the winter of 1830, a Belgian farmer forgot about some chicory roots he left in the root cellar. Chicory was grown and used to extend coffee. By the early spring of the next year he found they had sprouted stunning blanched six inch cigar shaped buds from the roots. This new winter vegetable popularity spread to France and now has a permanent home as a classic French dish served to accompany roasted meats and poultry.
6 heads Belgian endive, ends cut off, brown leaves removed and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces (3/4 cup) Roquefort or blue cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and place endive cut side down in the butter. Cook until golden brown about five minutes and turn, browning the other side about three minutes.
- Transfer cooked to a two quart casserole dish with a lid and pour lemon juice and stock over endive. Season with salt and pepper. (This dish can be prepared ahead of time up to this point and chilled until ready to cook.)
- Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove and add cheese spreading evenly on top of endive. Sprinkle on fresh thyme and return to oven, baking until cheese is hot and bubbly about 10 minutes.
- Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish