Well, I'd have to say that Julia's Child's 100th Birthday party was a smashing success! I had a pretty good time too, and I feel pretty lucky to have gotten to share my birthday with such a fabulous lady. I do have to say that it was the most expensive party, ingredient-wise, I have ever thrown (and probably ever will!). Oh Julia, only you and your wildly lascivious French chef friends would come up with a recipe calling for a 4.5 lb beef filet ($18 per lb), stuffed with fois gras ($99 per lb), anointed with truffles ($1000 per pound, and no, I went with truffle butter, sorry), and braised in demi-glace ($50 per lb). That was one fine plat principal. And seeing it is such a rare thing that Filet De Boeuf Braisé Prince Albert ever gets made at all (I'm assuming. Maybe the French make it on Thursdays, for all I know), I didn't get any pictures. I know! Tragedy. But it was dark, and we were hungry, and is that enough excuses? I can go on and on you know.
What I do have pictures of are these delicious Champignons Farci, or Gruyère Stuffed Mushrooms, and oh, they were delicious. They are definitely "old school," and by that I mean on the creamy decadent side of things, but they were quite tasty! They made a great hors d'oeuvres, and would be a perfect appetizer for your next cocktail or dinner party.
Julia Child's Gruyère Stuffed Mushrooms, or Champignons Farci
from THE FRENCH CHEF by Julia Child
24 medium brown mushrooms, such as Crimini
14 tablespoons butter (1 stick plus 6tbs)
1/4 cup finely minced shallots
1 tablespoon flour (I used sweet rice, to make it gluten-free)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced pasley
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1. Rinse and dry the mushrooms to clean them of any remaining dirt. Rub the bottom of a baking dish with the stick of butter.
2. In a small saucepan, melt 2tbs of butter over medium heat, and set aside.
3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and set aside. Brush the mushroom caps with the melted butter, and arrange in a shallow baking dish, hollow side up. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Finely chop the mushroom stems, and twist in the corner of a dish towel to remove as much water as possible. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the rest of the butter (12 tbs) over medium high heat, and saute the shallots and mushroom stems 4-5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add 1tsp flour, 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper, and the flour, and whisk until bubbling, but not browned. Whisk in the cream. Continue whisking until mixture is thickened, then removed from heat. Let cool, then whisk in the parsley, and adjust salt and pepper until it tastes delicious!
5. Fill mushroom caps with mixture (you might have to really mound it up!), and top with 1 teaspoon of Gruyère.
at this point, the mushrooms can be covered and refrigerated until the party
6. 15 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake in the upper third of the oven, until lightly browned. The bottom of the dish will probably be juicy, so I would recommend transferring to a separate serving platter. Enjoy! Or as Julia would say, Bon Appetit!