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Mary Beth's Blog

I want to eat real food. I want my family to eat real food. Armed with this plan, I know I can do it. I am a real person, with real kids in a regular ol' kitchen cranking out dinner. Find out my inspiration for the menus, what's happening in my kitchen, and the achievements on the kid-friendly front.

Jacques & Julia

2015-02-06 | 0 comments
Jacques Pepin, Julia Child and I go way back. I have watched them on PBS for 30+ years. They both insist on high quality, fresh, real, local ingredients and while classically trained accomplished chefs, they use simple techniques when preparing a weeknight dinner. There are two things that I remember them saying and I am putting them into practice this week.  
 
Sometimes I like to let the supermarket be my prep cook. –Jacques Pepin
 
Preach! Sometimes time is tight or ingredients are scarce. Or, how about that I just plain don’t feel like it? This week we are sourcing fresh pesto for pasta, tomatillo salsa for soup and pie dough for quiche – all from the refrigerated cases at the market - done.
 
Oh Dearie, dainty just won’t do in the kitchen. –Julia Child
 
Word. Can’t you just hear her? We’ll put this into play on Tuesday when we roast a whole chicken. It’s so simple, so elegant and Man, your house will smell SO good. It’s great for a weeknight as well as when you are delivering a meal.
 
So see? Those fancy pants chefs are real cooks too. It can’t be Duck a l’Orange and Beef Wellington every night.
 
BONUS TIP: As I am a Yankee and both Jacques and Julia transplanted to New England (one to my hometown!), here’s a nod to our shared frugality. You just can’t throw away the prep scraps and roasted bones.
 
  • Before you start, place a stockpot filled with 2-3 quarts of water on the stovetop.
  • As you prep the veggies, dump the scraps in the pot – ends, skins and all.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt, another chopped carrot and celery if you have it, a quartered onion, a bay leaf, a tablespoon of peppercorns and the leftover tarragon. Do not add the lemon.
  • After dinner, remove the remaining meat from the bones for Thursday’s soup, remove the lemon and chuck all of the bones in the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to medium low heat and let her rip for 1 ½-2 hours.
  • Strain into a large bowl, cool the broth and freeze flat, in 2-4 cup measurements  - I like quart sized ziptop bags.
 
One chicken, 2 dinners, 2 quarts of delicious, homemade stock. 

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