Food & Friends. Recipes and Memories from Simca’s Cuisine

It seems like forever since I posted an actual food recipe. With the Holidays, new boss, some travel, venturing into soap making, and the whole Ebony article thing, well I’ve been busy. Did I mention the flood in my storage unit? Not pretty. Anyway I’m due for some cooking posts, some more giveaways, and a winner announcement.

First…I picked the Senseo Stay or Go Personal Coffee maker winner. I decided to pick the third name on the list  from the random generator.

List Randomizer

There were 23 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Sabrina December 31, 2010 at 2:42 pm [edit]
  2. @parmie January 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm [edit]
  3. Louise January 1, 2011 at 8:06 am [edit]
  4. Megan January 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm [edit]
  5. Vicki (veeezeee) December 31, 2010 at 2:34 pm [edit]
  6. Henderson Honey January 4, 2011 at 9:07 am [edit]
  7. Pat R January 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm [edit]
  8. Carolina Epicurean January 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm [edit]
  9. Lynne Estes January 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm [edit]
  10. Megan January 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm [edit]
  11. Pat R January 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm [edit]
  12. John Ariatti January 4, 2011 at 9:41 am [edit]

And the winner is Louise of Month of Edible Celebrations. She needs it as she writes some pretty prolific and wonderful food history posts. Enjoy my friend.

Now onto the book review. I was given this wonderful book in November and in my spare moments of time read a bit here and there.Holidays are a bad time to try to read.Food and Recipes was first published in 1991, but with the resurgence of popularity of all things Julia Child, has been reprinted. Anyway most you you Francophiles and foodies know Simone Beck as the coauthor of Mastering the Art of French Cooking with Julia Child. After meeting in the women s cooking club Cercles des Gourmettes in Paris they began teaching private lessons together and collaborating on Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Stories of growing up Haute Bourgeois to an industrialist father  and Benedictine heiress mother in scenic Normandy, are interspersed with recipes and menus from another time and era. Luncheons after a Hunt, dinner parties in Paris  are are detailed with wine notes and recipes. Simone, or Simca she preferred to be called later on, chronicles learning how to make a roux and chocolate cakes for father from the family cooks. The reader sees how she emerges from a bad first marriage to a proper gentleman, to finally coming into her own and find a true love and partner.Scenes from the war, and finally Julia, and other great culinary figures such as James Beard and Richard Olney are told as well. Its a nice thick read, but half of the book is recipes. Recipes that haven’t been adapted to a modern day kitchen , but still work and offer great insight into technique.

I chose to make Croquettes au Fromage from A Hunt Dinner in Solange menu because I had the ingredients on hand. I did substitute out the French Gruyere cheese for Parmesan Reggiano figuring they were similar in texture. These were tasty nibbles that I think I could play on and even add more to. I found the recipe was like a pate  a choux that I ended up modernizing by a final whiz in my Kitchen Aid to really incorporate the final addition of egg yolks and cheese. I found the measurements may be questionable as the the description of the process , belied the measurements. But it still turned out  very nice. I also didn’t let it rest 12-24 hrs. but more like 6 hours as I felt those extra hours really didn’t matter. Remember these recipes were from another time but are still invaluable for technique and inspiration.


Croquettes au Fromage

Cheese Croquettes

adapted from Food& Friends . Recipes and Memories From Simca’s Cuisine

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 oz Gruyere Cheese
  • Pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 2/3cup bread crumbs
  • Fried Parsley for garnish
  1. Heat Butter in thick bottomed sauce pan. Melt.
  2. Stir in flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour in milk nand whisk until smooth.
  5. Return to heat and bring to boil while constantly stirring. ( Mine was to thick to boil but I heated it up again).
  6. Let cool slightly and whisk in egg yolk and cheese.( I transferred mine to Kitchen Aid and whisked it there).
  7. Add pepper.
  8. Spread on a oiled baking sheet and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.( I covered mine with plastic and chilled for 6 hrs).
  9. One hour before serving, shape the croquettes rolling chilled  mixture into small balls.
  10. Roll first in a plate of flour.
  11. Dip in egg whites.
  12. Roll in Bread Crumbs.
  13. Fry croquettes in small batches until golden.
  14. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  15. Can keep in warming oven until ready to serve.
  16. Garnish with fried parsley.


I am giving away a copy of Food and Friends . Recipes and Memories from Simca’s Cuisine. Comments to win close on January 22. Tweeting , signing up for Coco Cooks by email,or joining my fanpage will give an extra entry. Just tell me you did so.

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