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Holli Ugalde - Bastille Day Blog

July 9, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Le Cordon Bleu 0 Comments

Bastille Day, July 14 1789, is the story of the ultimate food fight. The French peasants were hot and famished, suffering from a severe shortage of bread, their staple food, on top of everything else that was going awry in their lives. All the while the rich were gorging themselves in lavish style. The words that are famously attributed to the Queen Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake!” sums up just how naive the royal family had to be to utter those words in public. Fed up with eating the scraps, thousands of Parisians stormed the gates of the Bastille fortress in Paris and the French Revolution began. Luxurious ingredients that had been set aside strictly for the royal families were now free for all to take and take they did.

Members of the royal house fled for safety leaving their highly-trained chefs jobless, not to mention homeless. During this time, without another skill to fall back on, the chefs began opening restaurants or more likely food carts, in the town centers. Suddenly food developed flavor and the art of cooking was being celebrated by all. It’s said that people danced in the streets rejoicing the taste of freedom and freshly baked tarts.

Bastille Day Blog Cherry

There aren’t many written recipes from this period; however I know that during the summer months in France, hearty foods were exchanged for light and decadent dishes. Buttery pastries and egg custards began making an appearance on Parisian tables in addition to whatever they grew for themselves. Chilled soups were often served during the summer while hearty stews and heavily sauced meats were reserved for the colder months. Fresh fruits were commonly tucked into baked goods such as a Milliard or Clafouti to showcase their freshness.

I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to be without something as simple as bread, but I can still appreciate the celebration of life and food. "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!"

About the Author
Chef Holli Ugalde is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles and the winner of Hell’s Kitchen season seven. While attending culinary school, Chef Holli honed her knife skills and practiced techniques that have served her in her career.

Holli Ugalde

Enjoy these summer recipes and savor the flavor of food

Chef Holli Ugalde Blog Tomato Soup

 Summer Tomato Soup
3 pounds heirloom tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic or 5 ramps
1 tbsp purple opal basil
¼ cup water
3 tbsp flaked sea salt, less if using kosher salt

Quarter the tomatoes from stem to end. Cut out the core and use your fingers to push out the seeds and juice over a strainer to catch as much liquid as possible. Discard the bitter seeds.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic until fragrant, add in the carrots and sauté for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, the strained juice, salt, basil leaves and ¼ cup of water. Turn the heat low and cover the pot. Allow the tomatoes to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the lid and give it a little stir. Simmer uncovered for another five minutes and then remove from the heat. Add the remaining salt, ¼ cup olive oil and puree in the blender until very smooth.

I like to eat this soup chilled, but it is delicious hot as well.

Chef Holli Ugalde Blog French Tart

Green Bean and Onion Tart

Crust
4 ounces unsalted butter, cold
6 ounce all-purpose flour
½ tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup ice water

In the food processor, pulse the cold butter, flour and salt together until the butter is broken into fine pieces. Pulse the mixture while adding in the water a little bit at a time, just until the mixture can come together if squeezed in your hand. Pour mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press it into a flat disc, wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling out the dough. Roll the dough out to an 11-inch circle and press inside the pie plate. Trim edges and crimp to decorate. Line the pie with a sheet of plastic wrap and fill the pie with dried beans until full. Bake the dough at 475° for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the beans and plastic and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Filling
2 strips uncooked bacon, cut into lardons
1 cup cipollini onions, sliced
¼ pound green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces on the bias
2 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup whole milk
Salt
Pepper

In a cold skillet, add the bacon and turn the heat to low to slowly melt out the fat and crisp up the bacon. Cook for about five minutes then add the sliced onions. Cook on low for 30 minutes stirring about every two minutes. Once the onions are cooked, toss in the cut green beans just to heat through, about one minute. Remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs until they are foaming and homogeneous. Whisk in the milk,cream, salt and pepper.

Arrange the cooked bacon, onions and green beans on the bottom of the cooled pie shell. Pour the egg mixture over the top and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle on some diced farmer’s cheese and place underneath the broiler for an additional two minutes. Cool slightly then cut and serve.

Chef Holli Ugalde Blog Cherries

Cherry Milliard
1 lb cherries, pitted
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tbsp Milk Liquor
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375F
Reserve one cup cherries and transfer remaining cherries to a 6- to 8-cup shallow baking dish.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in whole egg and yolk until combined well. Add flour and salt and beat mixture on low speed until just combined. Add milk and milk liquor, beating until batter is just combined, and pour over cherries in baking dish, spreading evenly. Arrange reserved cherries decoratively on top of batter.

Bake the cherry milliard in the middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes, and cool slightly on a rack.

Dust the milliard with confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

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