Julia Child’s 100th Birthday #cookforjulia

Today is the late great Julia Child‘s 100th birthday. In honor of her amazing cooking legacy bloggers all over the world are participating in #cookforJulia. I was really excited to participate because I am the recent owner of my very own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking! My original plan was to make something fantastic from the cookbook, but holy cow! Her recipes are really hard, and I’ve found myself short on time this week, as I had a final and a wedding cake. Though I didn’t make one of her recipes, I cooked lovingly, a dish reminiscent of the coming fall. I cooked for Julia. So today I’m going to share my recipe with you as Julie and Julia plays in my apartment.

One comment about the movie. A short google search of Julie Powell yielded some pretty unsavory responses. One thing that was portrayed in the movie that I think is wonderful, is that while Julie complains, moans, and has temper tantrums, Julia shone in every parallel scene. She had such a gracious and forgiving manner about her. She was so grateful, confident, and authentic. My brother, Nathan Lippy, had the amazing fortune of meeting her while he was in school at the Culinary Institute of America. He told her to “keep on truckin.” She laughed and smiled and said he reminded her of her nephew. She was cool. That is what I love so much about her.

So what I made in honor of Julia was a Turkey Roulade with Sage Sausage, Walnuts, Cranberries, and a side of Mashed Cauliflower & Butternut Squash with sauteed Kale.

Though it is really hot still in FL, the occasional breeze and back to school sales make me think that Autumn is on its way. This subconsciously made its way into my brain and I decided to make an early deconstructed thanksgiving dinner.

Here is what you need:

  • 4 turkey breast fillets (sliced about 1/2 and inch thick)
  • 1/2 package of Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped craisins
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower or 1 small/med head fresh cauliflower
  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash (frozen) or 1 small butternut squash
  • 4-5 handfuls of fresh kale
  • 1 slice of bacon
  • Sage, Tarragon, Thyme, Salt, Pepper

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350. Saute’ the sausage until browned, being sure to break it up into small bits. When its brown add the walnuts and craisins. No need to add any butter or oil because the walnuts and craisins will cook in the sausage fat. Set aside.

 Lay a piece of plastic wrap over your turkey, and pound it out until its about 1/4 inch thick. The plastic keeps bits of turkey juice from spraying in your eye. I don’t have a meat pounder but I do have a rolling pin, so that’s what I used.

Season the turkey with sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper. Go heavy on the Tarragon, medium with the sage and light with the thyme. Then drizzle olive oil on a cookie sheet and lay the pieces seasoned side down.

Spoon some of your sausage filling along the center of each piece, and then carefully roll up the turkey. There is no need to use a toothpick to secure them if you flip the roll over so it sits on its own tail. When it cooks it will seal up and you will have a perfectly closed little roll. Bake for about 30 minutes.

While the roulades are cooking, begin boiling the cauliflower until tender. While it is boiling, cut one slice of bacon into tiny strips using scissors. Brown the bacon until crisp. Add the Kale, some salt & pepper, and about a teaspoon of sugar, then toss so the bacon grease is incorporated. A drop or two of chicken stock or water might be necessary to help the kale cook down.

I’ve really been into mashed cauliflower lately, as you know, and my absolutle favourite way to punch it up is by adding mashed butternut squash. There are 3 options for doing this, you can buy fresh squash and roast it, then scoop out the flesh discarding the seeds (but that is pretty involved.) You can find frozen cubes which are great, but my new go-to is the pre-mashed little carton you can find in the freezer section. It is perfect for this side dish! After you’ve boiled the cauliflower, drain it and set it aside. In the same pot melt the frozen squash. It only takes a minute or two. Add the cauliflower back to the pot and then blend it all up with an immersion blender. The only thing I add is a bit of salt and a drizzle of honey. No butter or cream needed. It is delicious and healthy!

The plating for this dish is very simple. Just make a nice neat pile of the cauliflower mash, position the roulades on top and add some kale around it. 

I had some of the filling leftover so I made a delicious omelet with it for lunch today! It was really good, and I may make this filling for this purpose in the future. It is so good! Its a great filling to use with chicken or fish or anything really. I love it!

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