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Old 10-19-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
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? about Julia Child's Hollandaise

This is more of a general question about Julia child recipes, but here is an example: Julia Child's Hollandaise Sauce Recipe - Food.com - 251332

I find the amount of fat called for, typically butter, is bizarre. I am not concerned about it from a nutrition standpoint, but more from a consistency issue. I find that some of the Julia Child recipes I love, require cutting the butter content or discarding some of the rendered fat, simply due to the fact that there is so much fat, it can't be incorporated into the sauce. The final result leaves a considerable layer of fat/oil on the top of the dish and is very unpalatable.

As Ms Child was the guru of French cooking, I want to presume her indicated quantities of fats are appropriate and my technique is wrong. Do you folks have similar issues? Any tips?

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Old 10-19-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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First, welcome to DC.

I have seen every show she ever made more than just once or twice. And when she makes a sauce that calls for a large amount of butter, she always adds it very slowly. She doesn't add the next piece of it until the previously one is has been totally incorporated and blended in. One of the things I remember about her show, "The French Chef" was that there was no cutting away of the camera. You got to watch her stir and stir, all the while she was explaining why she was doing it.

Yes, she does use a lot of butter in her recipes. But she was always fond of saying, "Everything in moderation." When you watched her, you could imagine your arteries hardening. If you look at #5, you will notice it says "until it is the consistency you want." It allows you to make the final decision of just how much butter you want to add and how thick you want your sauce.

But I think the real queen of butter was Paula Deen. She added so much butter to her recipes simply for the shock value.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:23 PM   #3
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I can only say that if my goal would be to duplicate a recipe from the Julie Child's collections, I would follow her instructions to the letter. If my goal is to prepare a low fat diet meal, I would look in a different cook book. I have her cook books and watched and enjoyed her shows, but always knew that very little of my cooking would be in her style. I'm OK with some butter in certain special non-every day dishes. Buttered noodles....yummy, yum, yum.... a few times a year treat.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldvine View Post
I can only say that if my goal would be to duplicate a recipe from the Julie Child's collections, I would follow her instructions to the letter. If my goal is to prepare a low fat diet meal, I would look in a different cook book. I have her cook books and watched and enjoyed her shows, but always knew that very little of my cooking would be in her style. I'm OK with some butter in certain special non-every day dishes. Buttered noodles....yummy, yum, yum.... a few times a year treat.
Yes, absolutely.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:49 AM   #5
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There is a wide variation in how much butter is used in Hollandaise recipes. For 3-4 yolks, the butter ranges from 4 oz. to 8-10 ounces.

Julia didn't flinch with ingredients she used to make it in the grand French tradition. First, did you get this recipe from a JC cookbook? You linked a Food.com recipe that may or may not be accurate. It's almost 1:00AM and I don't feel like going downstairs for my JC cookbooks.

Second, try it. If you don't like it, cut back. You're the boss in your kitchen.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
There is a wide variation in how much butter is used in Hollandaise recipes. For 3-4 yolks, the butter ranges from 4 oz. to 8-10 ounces.

Julia didn't flinch with ingredients she used to make it in the grand French tradition. First, did you get this recipe from a JC cookbook? You linked a Food.com recipe that may or may not be accurate. It's almost 1:00AM and I don't feel like going downstairs for my JC cookbooks.

Second, try it. If you don't like it, cut back. You're the boss in your kitchen.
I do have her book as well, which I should have referenced. The website had it wrong with too little lemon juice and water. Probably would have made a difference.

That said, i agree I am the master of my kitchen and again, I am not concerned about a low versus high fat meal as moderation is a better way to manage fat intake. My concern is how to actually incorporate the fat into the sauce.
Another example I have a challenge with is Julia's Coq au vin recipe, where the final result typically has a layer of fat/oil after it settles. Maybe this just happens regardless, but I was wondering if I am making mistakes or this is what I should expect.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:17 AM   #7
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Many dishes which look and taste great freshly prepared will show floating fat after settling. Fats that have been distributed throughout the dish rise to the surface and show themselves.

In the case of the chicken, cooking renders the fat from the chicken and is has nowhere else to go.

When this happens, I just remove the fat from the surface and continue.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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A defatting cup is a great way to remove the fat from a given liquid.

Fat Separator - 4 Cup

.40
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
A defatting cup is a great way to remove the fat from a given liquid.

Fat Separator - 4 Cup

.40
I have one, but not from Oxo. Very handy.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bovine0001 View Post
I do have her book as well, which I should have referenced. The website had it wrong with too little lemon juice and water. Probably would have made a difference.

That said, i agree I am the master of my kitchen and again, I am not concerned about a low versus high fat meal as moderation is a better way to manage fat intake. My concern is how to actually incorporate the fat into the sauce.
Another example I have a challenge with is Julia's Coq au vin recipe, where the final result typically has a layer of fat/oil after it settles. Maybe this just happens regardless, but I was wondering if I am making mistakes or this is what I should expect.
The best way to deal with fat on a casserole is to make it the day before you need it and cool, then put in the 'fridge. The following day lift the solidified fat off the top and discard or save for rendering. (Of course this doesn't work with oil as oil doesn't solidify. Cooking the day before has the advantage of improving the flavour of most casseroles and stews.
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