08.09.09: dinner (o: le dîner et un film, avec moules frites)

Moules portugais avec pommes frites

Moules portugais avec pommes frites

Because miles and miles of online and print type have already generated about this topic, all I will say about Julie & Julia is that you should probably see it if you have any interest in food, and/or love Meryl Streep.  You won’t be disappointed.  Our friend E was really excited about seeing it, and a few weeks ago over dinner we all made plans to see it opening weekend during the afternoon and then head to our apartment to make some delicious French food.

I must be honest, though:  we don’t own Mastering the Art of French Cooking, at least not yet.  It’s only been very recently that we’ve even tried making French food period, and that has been with the guidance of the Les Halles cookbook.  Will we eventually get a copy of the book?  It’s very likely, though I’d almost rather get a gently used copy to go with the vintage Better Homes and Gardens cookbook on my bookshelf, but we’ll see what we can find.  Besides, this is what’s great about cooking–there is always a new type of cuisine to learn, new techniques to learn and new challenges to take on as you become more comfortable and confident in your kitchen.

To wit:  while we had the fire extinguisher at the ready for this round of frites, no one had to be placed on duty to watch the oil as Michael had the situation well in hand, plus our floor didn’t become an oil slick from drops of the stuff dripping off strainers.  The moules were, as always, easy as can be, but this time we did the Pourtugese take on them, adding some chorizo to the mix that made everything just a touch fattier (and therefore more satisfying) and saltier without making it too heavy.  While bread would have been nice, all three of us were quite full from this simple spread, and the two bottles of wine that E brought made for delightful quaffing as we all toiled away in the kitchen.  (We were going to put him to work helping me debeard the mussels, but he lucked out as they were pretty clean by the time I got them, as we suspect that our fishmonger did the work for us, thus allowing E to sit back and watch as we worked on dinner.)

Though the recipe was not Julia’s, I hope that she would be proud of our enthusiasm, no?


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