Julia Child and Hubby were great friends that shared the same birthday on August 15th.
Two headstrong Leos that found kinship. She loved his interest in business and the world and they would talk for hours on current topics of the day. She asked his opinions on wine and politicians and people. She was curious about everything.
Julia and I were friends too, but I have no illusions that she loved me like she loved Hubby. I enjoyed being with her and her friends, and talking about food and cooking and life, but she got a special sparkle in her eye when she conversed with Hubby.
And being with Julia was always fun. We had dinner with Julia when the New York Times article was published about the now-famous blogger Julie Powell, and it sparked a great conversation about blogging which was new to all three of us in 2003. Oh how I wish I could hear Julia’s thoughts on food blogs today!
Julia loved films and I remember when she joined our family to see Holes, a PG movie that was mostly for our kids but Julia thought it was funny and entertaining and she just loved to be out and about, not exactly blending in but not minding either. She also liked Costco hot dogs and In-N-Out burgers and we would indulge her with those on occasion. She loved oysters and restaurants and trying new things. Julia wanted to experience life and was interested in everything, which made it a joy to be with her. She inspired me greatly.
Hubby truly loved her. He sat at her bedside holding her hand the day she died. Following her death, Hubby became one of three trustees of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. He was honored and pleased and it gave him a way to stay connected to her memory.
Shortly after she passed, I was feeling reflective about Julia and thought I would take a look through the box of Julia’s DVDs and books that were given to Hubby to review. I was watching “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home,” when I came across a recipe I thought my family would like… “Steak Diane.” I starting glancing through my Julia cookbooks to find the recipe and, much to my surprise, I could not find it. I tried an internet search and still no luck. So I sat down and watched the show again, taking notes of the recipe as they prepared it on the show and I made it that night for the family. One and Only Son LOVED it and it is probably his most requested meal behind Reme’s Enchiladas when he returns home for visits. Firstborn Daughter also loves it, second only to Green Chicken. And Baby Girl and Hubby just plain love it. It is one of the only meals I make that is a favorite to all members of my family.
Julia was a darn good cook.
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” -Julia Child
Julia’s Steak Diane
Summarized and interpreted from “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home”
No measurements were given so I have included my measurements and added my notes about how to prepare. Serves 4.
2 Rib-eye steaks, well-trimmed and pounded to 1/4” thickness*
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp olive oil
3 T. clarified butter**
1-2 T shallots, finely chopped
1 T dijon mustard
1/4 to 1/3 cup beef stock
fresh parsley, finely chopped
Drizzle soy sauce and olive oil onto the steaks. Use your hands and massage into the steaks well. The steaks can sit for up to 30 minutes while you chop the shallots and parsley.
Saute steaks in 1 to 2 T. of clarified butter over medium high heat, just a couple of minutes per side. They may not fully brown but you don’t want to overcook them. Remove the steaks to a plate when still rare.
Turn heat to medium low, add more butter to the pan and stir in the shallots. Stir for a minute or so and be careful not to burn the shallots!
Mix mustard with 1/4 cup of stock and pour into pan with shallots. Reduce the liquid down a few minutes. Add more stock if the sauce is too thick.
Add steaks back to pan just long enough to heat through.
Remove steaks to plate, spoon sauce over and garnish with parsley.
*When the steaks are pounded, they become quite large in size. I usually cut each in half before cooking. Julia and Jacques cooked them whole but suggested two people could share one.
**Clarified butter can be purchased at some grocery stores. Ghee can be substituted but it has a nutty taste that clarified butter does not. I like to make my own. Put 1/2 pound of unsalted butter into a heavy-bottomed pan. Over low heat, melt the butter and continue to cook over low. It will start to bubble and foam as the water boils off. The milk solids will sink to the bottom and the middle will be a clear liquid which is the clarified butter. There will eventually be very little foam on top and you will see the golden clear liquid. This can take up to 30 minutes depending on your pan. When the foam is nearly gone and bubbling stops, remove from heat immediately so it doesn’t burn. You can then pour off the liquid into a container, skimming off the foam and leaving the milk solids in the bottom. Or strain through a cheese cloth or coffee filter to separate the clear liquid from the milk solids. If it is well strained, the clarified butter can stay at room temperature but it is best to refrigerate and it will last for months.