mastering french cooking #1: cream of mushroom

I just bought a copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, for the purpose of leveling skills.cooking++.

It's kind of hard to use this book as part of a normal dinner curriculum though. Most of the recipes are quite lengthy and technical, since you're meant to learn skills from it, not just how to follow recipes.

To get my feet wet, I started off with an "easy-ish" recipe: Cream of Mushroom. I actually consider myself somewhat fast and a good multitasker when it comes to cooking; but somehow, this still took me quite some time. It took a little bit of reading and re-reading the recipe to make sure I was getting all the details right. (Paraphrasing) "Saute the onions, but don't brown them!" "Chop the stems of 1lb of mushrooms...slice the caps of 1lb of mushrooms..." "Add soup to cream, not cream to soup" "Melt 2TB of butter...finish with 1TB of butter at a time..." Whoa.

The result turned out pretty delicious. It tasted very familiar. Maybe it's actually pretty close to Campbell's canned stuff. Except in lieu of MSG that I know Campbell's soups contain; instead, I got to substitute with mega spoonfuls of butter that the recipe called for. Mmm...

The cookbook doesn't contain any specific pasta recipes, except in a few where it says to dump in pasta into a dish, sort of in indifference. But I served the soup as a sauce to some fresh pasta instead (Does that make this French-Italian fusion? OooOoo...). I'm not sure when's the next time I'll ever eat store-bought pasta again...maybe except for orzo.

Lesson 1: Completed!

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