Saturday, August 15, 2009

Julia Child Birthday Recipe - Crepes Suzette Video

Food lovers are celebrating Julia Child's birthday today. And in her honor, the 99 Cent Chef's new palate-pleasing video, "Julian & Julia," introduces Julia Child's nephew, Julian Child. He's a real chip off the cutting board and a chef worthy of sauteing with Aunt Julia's copper-bottomed pot!

I had the good fortune to run into Julian Child at the Hollywood Farmers Market this last Sunday. We chatted about his "Aunt Julia" and the movie "Julie & Julia."

As we walked through fresh and fragrant stalls of produce Julian stopped at a stack of organic oranges and reminisced about his childhood summers in Paris, France, and how he would tug at Julia Child's apron and beg for his favorite dish: Crepe Suzette in an Orange Butter Sauce.

Aunt Julia eventually grew tired of always preparing it and soon taught it to her nephew, a budding chef. I seized the opportunity to invite Julian to The 99 Cent Chef's kitchen to cook his Aunt Julia's Crepe Suzette for everyone!

A delicious and decadent dessert made with loads of butter, this French classic is easy and of course, cheap to make. Flour, eggs, milk, orange juice, butter, and a 99-cent airline bottle of cognac make up the main ingredients. (You can leave out half the butter, but then it would not be a true Julia Child culinary experience. Try it this way at least once!
Julian & Julia - VIDEO

Play it here. The video runs 6 minutes, 20 seconds.

Click here to view or embed video from YouTube.

Ingredients (about 6 crepes)
  • 1 cup of Flour
  • 3/4 cup of Milk
  • 3/4 cup of Water
  • 2 to 3 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4 tsp. of Vanilla - optional.
  • Pinch of Salt
              Orange Butter Sauce
              • 1/2 cup of Orange Juice - freshly squeezed or store-bought pasteurized.
              • Zest of 1/2 Orange - optional.
              • 1/2 cup of Sugar
              • 1 stick of Butter - OK to use less.
              • Airline bottle of Cognac (or Brandy) - about 1/4 cup.

                          Directions for Crepes
                        In a large bowl mix together flour, milk, water, salt, eggs, and 1 tablespoon of melted or soft butter. Whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes.

                         Heat your medium (about 8 inches) non-stick omelet pan and coat with 1 pat of butter or oil. 

                        When butter is melted, add 1/4 cup of Crêpe batter - enough to just cover the bottom of the pan.
                        Hold up the pan and swirl to coat the pan evenly. It is better to have too much batter than too little - a thin Crêpe will tear when turning. 

                        Cook the Crêpe for a minute, then loosen around the edges and continue cooking for another minute. Peek before turning to see if the Crêpe is starting to brown. Carefully turn the Crêpe over and cook for another half minute. 

                        As my video shows, the first Crêpe may stick and be unusable. Instead of throwing it away, you might as well taste it to see how tender the crêpe turned out.

                        Don't worry, it takes a couple of Crêpe to get it right. Your crêpes may not be perfect, but with a sweet Orange Butter Sauce, no one will be complaining about its appearance. Set aside your cooked Crêpes to add to the Orange Butter Sauce.

                        Directions for Orange Butter Sauce
                        Use a large enough pan to dip a whole crepe into. Melt butter, then add orange juice, zest, and sugar in the pan, over medium/high heat. Cook until sauce is reduced by half and thickened, about 5 minutes.

                        Cooking Crepes Suzette
                        Reduce heat and add a Crêpe. Notice my use of a spoon and fork, in the video, to fold Crêpe into the sauce. Fold in half once, then fold one more time and push the Crêpe to the edge of the pan to make room for more. 

                        I managed to fit about 3 Crêpes at a time into my pan. Allow crêpes to heat through for a minute.

                        When the sauce and Crêpes are warm, pour in half the cognac and bring to the table. 

                        Now the fun part - Cognac Flambé! Have a long-handled match ready. This is when you want an audience. 

                        Your table should be set and the lights dimmed so you can serve the flaming Crêpes Suzettes with a flourish! Place before your dazzled guest and strike a match, lighting the sauce...oh my!

                        Be careful, the cognac will flame up, so you don't want flammable items nearby (overhead curtains, paper, etc.), and your kids should not attempt this! 

                        Serve this first batch of Crêpes with a spoonful of sauce.

                        Finish saucing the other Crêpes, then Flambé, and repeat. Bon Appetit!

                        If you are not familiar with the culinary icon, Julia Child, here is a scene from "Julie & Julia." Meryl Streep "chews" the scenery as larger-than-life Julia Child.

                        The other half of the movie is about Julie Powell blogging and cooking her way through, in one year, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" co-written by Julia Child. Both stories resonated with this Chef.

                        And the movie's Paris locale is intoxicating. You will find yourself leaving the theater with the booming voice of Julia Child in your head and your utterances will have her cadence. She is so fun to mimic you cannot help but bellow "Bon Appetit" every chance you get!

                        And 99 Thanks to Bob McGinness for his creative camerawork!


                        Shell said...

                        I'm looking forward to the movie and I really enjoyed the book.

                        Anonymous said...

                        I like how no one even did a double take at the old 99.

                        99 Cent Chef said...

                        I was probably not even the most eccentrically attired one at the Hollywood Farmers Market that Sunday morning!

                        Anonymous said...

                        You didn't fool me at all. I figured out by half way through that it was a wig. You're really the 99-cent chef!

                        Dinahsoar said...

                        Isn't Blue Bonnet margarine?...I love the flavor of BB..tastes better than butter to me..but it has partially hydrogenated oil..which is supposed to be bad for us. Your thoughts on that, please? If the 99c chef thinks it's o.k., can it really be that bad???

                        99 Cent Chef said...

                        Good catch Dinah -- that 99c only Store did not have butter on filming day, so I used what was on hand. I prefer to use real butter. I can't recommend hydrogenated oil. For the cooking segment I used real butter.

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