18 Modern Spins on Classic Julia Child Recipes
Blanquette de Veau
Marjorie Taylor adapted this creamy veal stew from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She emphasizes to students that it's important not to brown anything in the dish. "The end result should be completely white," she says.
Best-Ever Cheese Soufflé
To keep them from overflowing, wrap the ramekins with tin foil, just like Julia did on The French Chef.
Julia Child loved this simple side dish, especially with roast chicken or Cornish hen.
Chocolate Soufflés with Crème Anglaise
"I love the simple elegance of chocolate soufflés," Grace Parisi says. She uses top-quality chocolate from brands like Valrhona or Callebaut, which lends a deep, almost smoky flavor to the airy dessert. Tahitian vanilla beans'some of the world's best—add a floral sweetness to the crème anglaise.
Duck à l'Orange
Because a single duck rarely has enough meat to feed more than two or three people, Jacques Pépin prepares two ducks side by side when serving this classic dish to guests. And because he's roasting whole ducks, he cooks them until they're well done, which results in the crispiest skin and best flavor.
Truffle-Infused French Onion Soup
This version of French onion soup calls for truffle-infused pecorino cheese (sold in any good cheese shop), which is melted to form a marvelously gooey topping for the oniony broth.
Chicken-Liver Mousse with Pickled Red Onion
A good recipe for chicken-liver mousse is critical, says Shawn McClain, "because when a recipe's bad, it's really bad." His version is supremely silky and light, with a lovely hint of apple from Calvados. He serves the mousse with pickled red onion and toasted baguette slices alongside, so guests can assemble their own crostini.
Although there are innumerable versions of cassoulet, most are based on a stew of white beans and various forms of pork. The dish gets its name from the pot it's traditionally baked in, the cassole, which is often shaped like a wide inverted cone to insure the greatest amount of luscious crust. This version includes duck confit and the French garlic sausages that are a specialty of Toulouse.
Lemony Chicken Fricassee with Shallots and Morels
Typically, a fricassee is made with chicken or another kind of white meat stewed in a white sauce with vegetables. For her version, Katy Sparks sizzles chicken in butter until it's crisp, then cooks it with shallots and morels, finishing with lemon for a hit of tartness.
Herbed Potato Gratin with Roasted Garlic and Manchego
Jose Garces learned how to make a classic potato gratin while studying at Kendall College's cooking school in Chicago. It's still one of his favorite side dishes. This version combines lots of sharp, nutty Manchego cheese and smoky San Simón cheese (Gouda is a fine substitute) for rich, complex flavor.
Strawberry Tart with Flaky Pastry
Elisabeth Prueitt invented this exceptional, flaky dessert, made with a rough puff pastry, for San Francisco's Tartine Bakery. She cuts the pastry into a precise circle and weighs it down during baking to create an elegant base for sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The adaptable crust can be topped with almost any seasonal fruit.
In Julia Child's seminal cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she calls quiche "practically foolproof."
"I've adapted the recipe to make it quicker and easier—calling for store-bought sauerkraut instead of the homemade kind, for instance, and suggesting peanut oil as a substitute for duck or goose fat, which may be less accessible. I always serve two or three types of mustard with the choucroute—a hot Dijon, a grainy Pommery and often a tarragon-flavored mustard as well," says Jacques Pépin.
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
This beef stew by Child's sometime-collaborator Jacques Pépin uses a special piece of the shoulder called the flatiron steak. This long, narrow piece is extremely lean, tender and moist, and it makes an ideal stew. He does not use stock, demiglace or even water. He makes his stew strictly with a robust red wine. This rich, winey beef stew is always a hit with his chef friends.
Double-Baked Cheese Soufflé with Parmesan Cream
This light and airy soufflé is baked twice and served with a parmesan cream sauce.
For this dish, David Duband braises two cuts of beef—shank and rump roast—with marrow bones and then separately cooks leeks and carrots with more marrow bones until everything is deeply flavorful and tender. When serving, you can mix the horseradish with the sour cream to make a tasty garnish.
This roast chicken is foolproof and fantastic. Plus, it's versatile enough for a weeknight dinner or weekend dinner party.
Apple Tart with Almond Cream
The thin, crisp pastry shell is filled with a layer of almond cream made from both finely ground and coarsely chopped nuts that give the tart layers of texture. The thinly sliced apples on top caramelize as the tart bakes.