Profiteroles est Tres Délicieux et Facile (Profiteroles are f-ing good)

So, this is about the most dairy that I've used in a recipe in years. It's appropriate that that should happen with this specific dish. My first year-long foray into being vegan ended in a tiny restaurant in Paris with a dish of profiteroles. It was the first time that I had ever heard of them or had them, and after a year of dairy abstinence, my eyes rolled back into my head and I proceeded to blissfully gorge myself. It helps that I was raised in Wisconsin, the land of cream puffs, and profiteroles are basically cream puffs with ice cream and chocolate sauce. So loving profiteroles to me was like a fish loving water. These were made with a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cooking Class, a darn helpful tome of a book that I turn to from time to time to find out how long to roast a beet or how to prepare a certain veg. It does have a load of meat info too, which I could do without, but we all know chica's a carnivore. The recipe on her site here is similar to what I made, and has a video that shows essentially how to prepare these. I used a kitchenaid for the egg bit, and truth be told- I never use eggs for anything and was a bit grossed out by that. I think if I make them again, it'll be a vegan version (I'll be sure to report how that comes out). I did the ziplock "piping bag" trick and I worked great. They baked to perfection, poofed, and were a hit at the dinner that I brought them to (the toddler started eating them by diving her face onto the top of one and licking the chocolate... success!). I used a vanilla bean ice cream and made the chocolate sauce (Martha again) here- directions are "step 6". These look deceptively complex and really make it seem like you're a superstar gourmet pastry chef, when in actuality, they are easier than making a cake.

Ratatouille




This is my first foray into Ratatouille/ French anything since being vegan. Partially b/c French food is pretty inherently non-vegan. Butter, cream, foie gras...

Anyway, I re-watched Julie and Julia and fast forwarded through the "Julie" parts. I also picked up a biography of Julia Child as well as "My Life In France" by her from the library. And, I see how Julie got obsessed. Julia is an utter inspiration to anyone over 30 (she first found her calling in food at 37). Also, I really would have a hard time believing that any other cookbook author tests their recipes like she did. To take 10 years to pour over dozens of ways to make mayonnaise, french bread (for volume 2 of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"), etc... it's just remarkable. That is the way that cookbooks should be authored. I suspect that contemporary books are nothing like that (see the "brownie" below). I am buying "Mastering" one and two, despite being able to make little if anything from the books only because I know that they were made with such an intensive process. I can't help but think that I'll learn something from them!

So, I was inspired to make Ratatouille. Not from a Julia/ Simone recipe, but from "The Compassionate Cook". It was good. I have no frame of reference for what it should taste like though! But, what could be bad about eating eggplant, zucchini, red and green bell peppers, etc? I guess the only down side for me is that I'm not a huge fan of all-vegetable meals (crazy coming from a vegan, I know). But, it's good. If you can hunt down a copy of the Compassionate Cook, it's worth making for sure. Crusty bread is mandatory, though.