Dinner/ Featured/ Instant Pot

Playing Julie and Julia

The Internet Movie Database, or IMDB, says of the movie Julie and Julia, “Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.”  Sounds pretty dry.  Google says, “Frustrated with a soul-killing job, New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a daring project: she vows to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Intertwined with Julie’s story is the true tale of how Julia Child (Meryl Streep) herself conquered French cuisine with passion, fearlessness, and plenty of butter.”

OK, that movie I’ve seen and highly recommend, to those who enjoy cooking, at least.  In fact, since the movie came out in 2009, I’ve thought of doing a cookbook challenge myself.  Nine years later I’m ready to try.

What stopped me before?  Life… work… and the thought that as a vegetarian/pescatarian, any single cookbook would be too limiting.  Additionally, as I work my way through the “soup” secion, say, I’d get sick of soups, or my wife would, as she is prone to get bored with my sometimes obsessive food patterns.  If I like okra, for example, it becomes the “always” ingredient.  She tires of it long before I do.  She is now sick of it.

Okra, the object of my obsession

This morning I hit upon the idea of using a cooking method book as my starting point.  This allows me to start with consomme, for example, and then look throughout my extensive cookbooks for something that uses it.  Obviously it could be eaten as is, but it could also find its way into anything from 

As an aside, what is consumme?  Being honest, I’d heard of it, but am not sure I could have spelled it correctly if asked.  Shockingly, I never was.  Well, the team at MarthaStewart.com say, “Consomme is a clear liquid that results from clarifying homemade stock.”  In other words, clear stock.

Consomme. Thanks to Wikipedia

I’ve chosen “The Cooks’ Bible” from Le Cordon Bleu.  As it turns out, that book is long out of print, so it is possible I may switch to another.  I’ll keep you updated.   

The book starts with STOCKS.  As a pescatarian, I’ll ignore chicken and brown stocks and head first to SEAWEED STOCK.  I used it to make Seafood Onion Soup.

In an effort to use up items I had around the house, I added a store bought seasoned salmon cubes, prawns, and some white fish, then cooked until tender, not overdone.  For the seaweed I used a sheet of sushi seaweed broken up.

I used my Instant Pot for today’s GIZMO.  I used SAUTE for the onions, then used SOUP.

Seafood Onion Soup

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 Liter Water
  • 25g bonito flakes
  • 25 g kombu seaweed
  • One onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbs Butter or equiv.
  • Wine to taste, perhaps a cup
  • Bouquet Garni (see below)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley
  • Your choice of seafood





Add together.  Boil.  Strain. 


Boil strained stock to concentrate flavor. 


If you'd like you can add the strained ingredients back in and repeat above.




Sweat the onions in butter for about 20 minutes.  You want them lightly browned and caramelized.


Add all other ingredients and boil while stirring.


Remove bouquet garni, taste and adjust.


In an effort to use up items I had around the house, I added a store bought seasoned salmon cubes, prawns, and some white fish, then cooked until tender, not overdone.


Garnish with Parsley


Bouquet Garni: Wikipedia's directions are as good as any - The bouquet garni (French for "garnished bouquet"; pronounced [bukɛ ɡaʁni]) is a bundle of herbs usually tied together with string and mainly used to prepare soup, stock, casseroles and various stews.[1][2][3] The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients, but is removed prior to consumption.[1] Liquid remaining in the bouquet garni can be wrung out into the dish.[4] There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most French recipes include thyme, bay leaf and parsley.[2] Depending on the recipe, the bouquet garni may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns,[5] savory and tarragon. Vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or leaf stalks), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are sometimes included in the bouquet. In Provence, it is not uncommon to add a slice or two of dried orange peel. Sometimes, the bouquet is not bound with string, and its ingredients are filled into a small sachet, a piece of celery stalk,[3] a net, or even a tea strainer, instead.[6] Traditionally, the aromatics are bound within leek leaves, though a coffee filter (or cheesecloth[1] or muslin) and butcher twine can be used, instead.

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