Cooking with Julia

love the food you eat


 

Fettucine and Bolognese

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Learning to make pasta from scratch is a labor of love. We love the way the dough feels when it’s the right consistency, we love when we get a perfect rectangular piece to go through the rollers from start to finish. We love the realization that we have become good enough at pasta to teach our children, or our grandchildren, or maybe even our brothers and sisters. And with this, a new tradition begins.

Pasta Dough


4 cups, plus extra “OO” flour, or substitute all purpose flour
12 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 tbs olive oil 
2.5 tbs whole milk

Add your flour to a food processor*. With the food processor running, add the whole eggs and yolks slowly, Once incorporated add the olive oil and whole milk. The dough should be tender, but not too sticky like bread dough. 

When the dough begins to form a ball, cut the machine off and test the dough by pressing a handful into your hand. It should form a ball that does not stick to your hand. If it is too sticky, add more flour and if it’s too dry, add another egg yolk.. When it forms a ball, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours if you're not cooking immediately. 

Quarter the ball of dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to press into a flat, but thick piece. This will make rolling the dough through the pasta roller easier. Starting at the widest setting, roll the dough through your pasta roller at least twice, trying to get a rectangular shape. Continue to roll the dough through, adjusting the width in increments to a more narrow setting, and work your way down to where you can just see your hands through the dough. While rolling the pasta, dust it with just enough flour to keep it from sticking if necessary.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Using a fettuccine cutting attachment on your mixing stand if available, gently cut the pasta a quarter inch thick, and about 8 inches long. Place the fresh pasta in boiling water and cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and serve with the bolognese ragu (below), with fresh grated parmesan on top.

*If you don’t have a food processor, place the flour on a large wood board, forming a well in the center of the flour. Proceed with mixing in the eggs, olive oil and milk.

Bolognese Sauce


2 tbs olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, finely chopped
6 oz ground beef
6 oz ground veal
6 oz pancetta, chopped fine
 

 ½ cup dry red wine
 3 cups chicken or beef stock
  1 tbs tomato paste
  12 oz can stewed tomatoes
  1 cup whole milk
  salt and pepper to taste
  parmesan for garnish

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium/high heat. Brown the beef, veal and panchetta, cooking about 15 minutes. Add the onion, celery and carrot and saute for 8-10 minutes or until soft while covered with a lid.

Add the tomato paste, cooking until it starts to brown and then de-glaze with red wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing sticks or burns. Pour the stewed tomatoes in the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Add your stock, slowly, in ½ cup increments every 5 minutes; this will take about half an hour.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Gradually add the cooked milk to the sauce, cooking until absorbed, about 45 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over fresh fettuccine or the pasta of your choice, garnished with fresh shaved parmesan.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cake

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This elegant cake is both nourishing and satisfying, and it’s the first recipe that I ever modified to be gluten free. The flavorful oatmeal spice cake is hearty and a little dense, so flavorful that no one would ever notice the difference between this and it’s original gluten filled version. Using a high quality unsweetened coconut flake in the frosting makes all the difference in the world.


Oatmeal Cake

Yields: two 9 inch cakes

1 cup gluten free rolled oats
4 oz unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 ½ cups King Arthur gluten free multi purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt 

 1 tsp ground nutmeg
 1 cup sugar
 1 cup light brown sugar
 2 eggs, beaten
 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pot and mix in the butter and rolled oats. Cover with a lid and let it sit to the side for about a half an hour. Prepare parchment circles for the bottom of the cake pans..

Preheat the oven to 350*. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. 

In an electric stand mixer, combine the eggs, vanilla extract and two sugars and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mixture should become thick and a little lighter in color. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, being careful not to overmix. Now fold in the oatmeal, until you have a well-mixed batter. 

Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool on wire racks, then carefully turn the cakes out and frost the tops when completely cool. The sides will remain uncovered.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

   4 oz butter
   ½ cup evaporated milk
   1 cup sugar
   1 tsp vanilla extract

      1 cup toasted chopped pecans, salted
      1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
      pinch of salt 

Heat butter, milk and sugar in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Stir in vanilla, salt if using, coconut and chopped pecans. Spread over the top layers of your cooled oatmeal cake and serve.


Gluten Free Chocolate Tart

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This tart is my go-to when I’m having a dinner party at home. The rich, dark chocolate and the nuttiness of the crust play so well off each other, I honestly don’t think I’d go back to the old crust if I could. Another great option is to scoop the chocolate filling into bonbons and roll them in unsweetened shredded coconut, pecan pieces and cocoa nibs for a bite sized treat.

Crust

¾ cup raw pecans
¾ cup almond flour

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3 tbs soft, room temperature butter
2 tbs maple syrup
pinch of salt 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pulse the pecans in a food processor until they reach a fine crumb consistency. Combine the ground pecans, almond flour, unsweetened coconut and salt in a large bowl. Add the soft butter and maple syrup, and fold until combined using a rubber spatula.

Line a 9 inch tart pan with the crust mixture, making sure it’s an even thickness all around by pressing with your fingers. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the crust to cool fully before filling it.

Chocolate Filling

  3/4 cup sugar
  2 tbs water
  1 lemon wedge
  1 cup heavy cream


   1 tbs maple syrup

   1 tsp of sea salt
   1 ¼ cup dark chocolate, chopped
   2 1/2 oz butter, diced

 

Make a caramel by pouring sugar into a small sauce pot with water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the sugar (this will prevent the caramel from crystallizing).  Melt the sugar over medium heat and continue to cook until it turns a rich golden brown color. It will be extremely hot, do not touch it with your fingers. Turn off the heat, add the heavy cream, cane syrup and pinch of salt. Stir until combined.

Place the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour the caramel cream over the chocolate and gently stir. Once the chocolate and cream are combined add the butter, one chunk at a time. Pour into the prepared tart mold and refrigerate. Once chilled it is ready to serve!


Gluten Free Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake

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Sometimes using an ingredient that many would consider savory, such as olive oil, can elevate the "wow" factor of a dessert. Not only is it delicious, but the dubious cake consumer is surprised it’s delicious, and therefore their mind is blown. I love to serve this cake at a brunch or luncheon. It’s a moist, dense, crumbly cake that is packed with protein from the pistachios and deliciously sustaining. 

Cake


Yields one 10" cake

 ¾ cup whole almonds
⅔ cup pistachios
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cup sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tbs finely grated lemon zest
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs vanilla extract
¼ cup olive oil
⅔ cup King Arthur gluten free multi purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350*

Butter a 10-inch round cake pan. Cut a circle out of a piece of parchment paper and place in the bottom of the pan.. In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the pistachios until finely ground.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until it's the texture of moist sand. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions and scraping down the sides. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the olive oil in a thin stream. Fold in the ground nuts, flour and salt. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and peel off the parchment paper. Invert the cake again onto a serving plate and drizzle the lemon glaze (below) over the top.

Lemon Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar
¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Glaze should be thick, yet pourable.


Miso Chicken Grain Bowl

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The possibilities are infinite when it comes to making a grain bowl. Once you understand the formula outlined in the video, you'll be able to create any number of delicious and incredibly healthy meals. Grain bowls should always be flavorful, colorful and nourishing. By using a variety of whole foods you'll incorporate flavors and textures that you will find completely satisfying.


Yields 4 Servings

        2 ripe avocados, cored and sliced
  4 chicken breasts, shredded
  1/2 cup toasted peanuts, chopped
  3/4 cup cabbage kimchi
  1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  2 tbs toasted sesame seeds


   1 cup shredded carrot

   1 cup sprouts
   1/2 cup fresh basil
   1/4 cup sliced green onion
   1 batch brown rice
   1 batch miso dressing

Brown Rice

                              1 1/2 cups brown rice
                                2 1/4 cups chicken stock
                                 sprig of thyme (optional)
                          1 tbs olive oil
                                  salt and pepper to taste

Measure the rice and place in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with fresh, clean water and agitate the mixture for about a minute until the water looks starchy. Drain the rice and place it in a pot or rice cooker. Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil. If you are using a pot, bring the rice to a simmer and then cover with a lid and turn the heat to low. Allow the rice to cook for about 35-45 minutes. The rice is cooked when tender and the stock has evaporated. Keep it covered for 10 minutes with the heat off and then fluff with a fork. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Heat a large saute pan or skillet on medium/high heat and add olive oil. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and then add to the pan. Cook until the chicken is golden brown on both sides - about 8 minutes. Place chicken in the oven until it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees - about 6 more minutes. Once it has rested and is cool enough to handle, slice or shred the chicken to your preference. 

Miso Dressing

Yields 1 1/4 cups

    1 tsp ground ginger
     1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
    1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
   1 tbs tamari 

      1 tsp dark miso paste
     1/2 tsp honey
      2/3 cup sunflower oil
       1 tsp dark sesame oi

 

Place the ginger, garlic, vinegar, tamari, miso paste, and honey in a blender until combined - about 10 seconds. It is important to make sure the garlic has just been chopped before adding to the blender to ensure it will emulsify. Slowly pour both oils into the blender while running until the dressing forms. Pour your dressing into a container and refrigerate until needed. 

Assemble your Grain Bowl by adding the rice first, laying out the toppings of your choice that you have prepped above, and pouring your miso dressing on top. Enjoy!


Jambalaya

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Learning to work around new dietary restrictions takes a little time. When I found out about sweet rice flour I felt such a relief! All of the dishes I had missed eating because they contained a roux were once more available to me. I'm so grateful to be able to share this secret with you. The possibility of successfully sticking to your diet is real. It just takes a little effort and research to discover new ways of making your favorite meals, such as this jambalaya. 

Yields 4 Servings

   1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
   save remaining shrimp shells
   5 tbs butter
   4 tbs sweet rice flour
   2 andouille sausage links
   1 cup tasso ham, diced
   1 cup yellow onion, diced
   1/2 cup celery
   1/2 cup green pepper

   1 tbs tomato paste
   1 tbs creole seasoning
   2 quarts chicken stock
   1 1/2 cups arborio rice
   1/2 pound crawfish
   1/2 pound crab meat
   2 lemons, zested
   salt and pepper to taste 

Place 1 quart of water in a small sauce pot and add the peeled shrimp shells. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the shells steep for approximately 4 minutes and then strain, reserving only the liquid. 

In the meantime, make the roux by placing 4 tbs of butter and 4 tbs of sweet rice flour (regular flour if you aren't gluten-free) in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat stirring every 2 minutes. It will take on a dark golden color, similar to that of peanut butter. Turn off the heat.

Take a large enameled or ceramic dutch oven and heat up the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins. Cook until golden brown and then remove the sausage from the pan to set aside. 

Cook the tasso ham in the same pan on medium heat until the fat is rendered out, about 8 minutes. Next add the celery, green pepper, and onions - stirring occasionally. Saute for about 8 minutes and add the tomato paste and creole seasoning. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often. 

Add the chicken stock, shrimp stock, and rice. Bring to a simmer and then adjust to low heat and cover the pot with a lid, still stirring occasionally. Allow this to cook for about 25 minutes until the rice is just tender. Always add more liquid if needed or desired. 

To finish the jambalaya, turn the heat up to medium and add the uncooked shrimp and your roux. Stir together and allow this to cook for approximately 3 minutes until the shrimp start to turn pink. Add the andouille sausage, crawfish, crab meat, and tasso ham. Season the dish with salt and pepper along with lemon zest. Serve hot and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Chicken Paillard

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One of my main objectives when I'm creating a meal is to try and infuse it with as many textures as possible. Spaghetti squash is pretty soft, so it really helps to have a crunch of vibrant, colorful kale and the rich nuttiness of the pine nuts to make the whole dish "pop". A hint of acidic flavor such as lemon juice or sherry vinegar can help make your food more flavorful naturally, and in this way you can find yourself relying less heavily on salt to create a perfectly seasoned meal.

Yields 4 Servings

 Main 

Ingredients 

 Marinade

 

 Salad

 

1 spaghetti squash
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs butter (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4 chicken breasts 

 

1/2 cup olive oil
  1 tbs parsley, chopped
1 tbs basil, chopped
  1 tsp thyme, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 lemons, juiced
   salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch curly kale
1/4 cup parsley
1 small shallot, minced
    1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
    1 cup shaved parmesan
1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil 

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 6 minutes to toast. 

In the meantime, place the squash on a cutting board and, using a sharp chef's knife or cleaver, score a line around the squash from top to bottom by just barely cutting into the squash with the tip of the knife. Lay the squash on its side with the line facing towards you. Insert your knife as deep as possible following the line and then press down to split the squash in half as much as possible. Remove the knife and insert again to continue splitting until it is halved. Scoop out the seeds and drizzle each half with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast the squash in the oven, flesh down, until tender - about an hour. Using a fork, scrape out the flesh resulting in "spaghetti like" pieces. Place the squash in a bowl and keep hot. 

Butterfly each chicken breast. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and cook. Because the chicken is butterflied is will cook quickly, about 6 minutes on each side. Combine your herbs, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to make the marinade and brush it liberally over each chicken breast. 

Combine the kale, parsley, shallot, pine nuts, and parmesan in a bowl. Squeeze lemon juice on top and drizzle with olive oil. Mix to combine and serve over the spaghetti squash on a plate followed by topping the salad with chicken. 

Chef Julia Leroy is a chef at the forefront of healthy, local cuisine. After a career spent honing her skills in the best restaurants she's decided to focus on what truly brings her pleasure: empowering culinary enthusiasts. With a forte in southern regional and french cuisine she combines her knowledge of nutrition and her ability to create quick, flavorful meals in order to help families find a little inspiration at the dinner table.

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