I am Julia's father. Although I have written a number of books and magazine articles, this is the first time I have written for a blog. I do so at Julia's invitation.
My subject is a cookbook. I suppose thousands of cookbooks have been written, especially in recent years. But this one is unique. Not only was it specially created for me, but I believe it is different from all the others of the genre. It is known in our house as The One-Page Cookbook.
In response to the ever-increasing demands of Julia's mother for my bolder participation in the preparation of our evening meal, I have with increasing frequency taken to cooking its central feature, usually fish. However, I would often get stuck in the middle. Since one of my daughters is a professional chef, this situation would naturally lead to a frantic telephone call to Cambridge. As often as not, she would be out.
Over time, it became clear that I should think ahead of time about where I was going--or rather how I should proceed--in this culinary adventure. This led to a request for more sustained assistance from Julia.
In response to my request, Julia wrote The One-Page Cookbook on an 8 ½ x 11 piece of typing paper that is now crinkled with heat and spotted (in several colors) but valuable as ever.
In one page, Julia managed to provide recipes for tuna, salmon, codfish, tilapia, snapper and scallops.
The only reason this cookbook has not been published by Random House and distributed more widely is that, unfortunately, there is no money in it.
Here is Julia's recipe for tuna from The One-Page Cookbook:
Season with s&p both sides. Add seafood herb mix. Get steel skillet and utensils (thin spatula, tongs, potholder) ready. Heat pan med hi, cover pan with canola oil. Canola must never smoke. Gently place tuna in hot canola oil. Start with tuna at room temp. Sear each side for two minutes. If oil starts to smoke, remove pan from heat.
The only modification I would make in this recipe is to place at the beginning the direction to begin with tuna at room temperature. I never remember to take the tuna out of the refrigerator in advance. But we're getting used to cold tuna in the middle. It's like seared tuna with sushi inside. Delicious!
Happy Father's Day, Dad! Looking forward to cooking many more meals with you and FOR you.