By Gini Rainey
Yes, it’s working on the middle of July, and yes, the temperature outside is rising, as are the tempers of the citizens of the United States. Perhaps I should direct my attention to the many tragedies that have occurred this past week, but I can’t bear to think that something I might believe in and might vermight be taken the wrong way by someone and increase the heated anger that is rising – just like the temperature. Yes, there are many things wrong with our nation right now, but anger and violence is not the solution. Nor are the snappy retorts that are making their way round all of social media. Maybe it’s time to take a giant step back to cool off, put our brains into neutral and listen, just listen, for a change.
While you’re chilling, and not to take matters lightly, why not think of happier times. Like when Julia Child could step into your living room across the air waves from a PBS station and show you the therapeutic benefits of having a great time in the kitchen while cooking a lovely meal. Did you know that before Julia started cooking in the French style, she actually cooked up a concoction that is still being used today by the military as a shark repellent? She accomplished this while serving as a research assistant in the Secret Intelligence during WWII, and its purpose was to prevent sharks from detonating the ordinance being used to target German U-Boats.
When Julia Child turned 80 in 1992, a stellar group of chefs joined forces to put together a lovely 318 page cookbook to help to show her honor and celebrate the milestone. Published by WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, this book is filled with recipes for just about any kind of recipe you can think of. From Sergio J. Abramof’s (executive chef at Giovanni’s Ristorante in Beechwood, Ohio) recipe for “Veal Tenderloin with Shrimp and Oyster Mushrooms in a Fresh Ginger Sauce” to Walter Zuromski’s (executive chef at Mill Falls Restaurant in Newton, Maine) recipe for “Grenadine-Poached Pear with Almond Meringue Cream and Fruit Coulis,” this book is a veritable compendium of some of the better known chefs from across the country.
Perhaps those particular chefs don’t ring a contemporary bell with some of you, but also included are contributions from Bobby Flay, Chef Paul Prudhomme, Justin Wilson, Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet), Graham Kerr, Emeril Lagasse, and Jaques Pépin, to name just a few of the 193 chefs who joined forces to celebrate the French Chef’s 80th Birthday! Why did they choose to celebrate this lady’s birthday? Perhaps it was in recognition of Julia’s giving birth to the “how-to” genre of cooking and for her carving a path for a cadre of successful TV chefs and igniting America’s fascination with cooking.
With that being said, how about a lovely, cool and refreshing dessert to end a great summer-time meal? Steve Cole, Executive Chef at Café Allegro in Kansas City, Missouri, shared his recipe for “White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce” and I’m sharing it with you. For the mousse: melt 2 pounds of white chocolate and set aside to cool. Separate 10 eggs, and using the yolks, slowly whip in 1 cup of simple syrup (1 cup of water to ½ cup sugar). Place in the top of a double boiler over gently boiling water, and whip until warm to the touch. Remove and whip for 2 minutes. Add the white chocolate while continuing to whip. Whip 3 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks and whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the cream into the chocolate, and then fold in the egg whites. Don’t over blend. Refrigerate for 24 hours. For the raspberry sauce, combine a 10 ounce package of frozen raspberries, thawed and drained, with 2 teaspoons of water in a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Then, purée the raspberry mixture in a blender with 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 teaspoons light rum. Press the mixture through a fine sieve and chill in a small bowl overnight. To serve, spoon the mousse into serving dishes and top with the raspberry sauce. Bon Appétt!