Saturday, March 29, 2008

Try Again

It's time--Oh, alright, it's way past time-- for the low fat cookbooks to come out more often. How could this have happened in such a short time? (Rhetorical: I know perfectly well how).

Anyway, I didn't have the ingredients, nor want to chase them down, for Boeuf Bourguignon, though I had the onions and a lovely cut of chuck, so I froze the Chuck, but the duck wasn't gonna be thawed until tomorrow, so what's tonight? All the fish looked so lovely last night, and I have this delicious malo-lactic fermented (In stainless, not Oak barrels) Chard, so off I go, with recipes in my head, looking for trout.

It's a simple recipe, thinks me: Herb-encrusted Braised Trout. Ah, but it calls for 12 3oz fillets, which seems excessive, so I have two: a little over 8 oz. With a mushroom medley and a seasoned breadcrumb mixture: no problem. On detailed reading of the assembly, problems begin to show themselves; it's a layered dish, like a Lasagna, but I only got two fillets to layer. Furthermore, I must cut the proportions of the mushroom mix and the crust WAY down. Way FURTHER down next time, but that's what this is about. Of course, after everything from olive oil to reconstituted mushrooms and broth to raw fish is laid out (my counter space being twice the size of my chopping block), Miz Scarlett T. demands ...? What? Not food, a clean box, nor attention, it seems, but demands, nonetheless. A decision must be made. (Yea passive voice!) She loses, for now, and sulks.

Clearly, the accompaniment for this needs to be simple, and well-known: a Salade composee of Bibb Lettuce, fingerling potatoes, leftover green beans, and scallions.

Everything comes out surprisingly tasty, given the sturm und drang and the skullsweat that went into producing it. Too much crust, but hey: bread crumbs, a dab of oil, and chives. It's obvious that, with the right balance of ingredients, this is a simple and delicious winner.

Thank you, Mr. Pepin, even if you do like ketchup on your burgers. And thanks to your lady friend (RIP) for the dry rub blend. The recipe in question is from Jacques Pepin. Simple and Healthy Cooking. Rodale: 1994. It's a beautiful book, with charming illustrations by the author, whose paintings were on display at a museum in the town where I shop for vegetables and bread; the menu for the reception was as you may imagine: to make the poor foodie crazy with longing.

Why the hell did I get an invitation?


Anonymous said...

Oh, my, but that does sound simply devine...I adore trout...mmmmmmm....

Pagan Sphinx

Grandmère Mimi said...

Why the hell did I get an invitation?

Because you're a good man, Johnieb, and a good man is hard to find.

Seriously, your meal sounds delicious. I'm presently salivating. It's not nice to make old ladies salivate without offering them a morsel.

johnieb said...

It was a fund-raiser, Mimi, and, while I knew one of the former board Presidents a few years back, it aint good they're after, but money.

Mercy, purty lady, surely New Orleans is not so different that ya gotta look to the No'th for the offer (or many) of a juicy morsel.

I'd rave about the Cheney/ Rumsfeld administration, but that just angries up the blood, as the late St Satchel put it.

FranIAm said...

I don't like trout but this still sounded lovely.

And no ranting about the evildoers, just think of our community here, linked by love, prayer and much hope.Those thoughts do not angry up the blood!

pj said...

Wait a minute. You don't like ketchup on your burgers?


WHAT??? :)

johnieb said...

Dare I risk repeating it? I grew believing it was an odious Yankee practice, and still do not care for it, though almost anything else, in the right combination, is fair game.

Current standard is something like mustard, mayo, tomato, lettuce, onions, and pickles, though bacon and cheese (Gorgonzola is marvelous, though not with all the above) are welcome additions at times.

Crimson Rambler said...

the mention of boeuf bourguignon reminds me of the Christmas my Dad bought, for my Mom, Julia Child's first volume (The Art of French Cooking, perhaps). And as soon as we'd opened our gifts, they went out in the kitchen together, and shut the doors, and concocted BBourguignon for our dinner. Starting with the little match-stick pieces of salt pork.
We were fair ready to claw furrows in the doors by dinnertime. It was amazing. I don't think they ever did that again. But it's a lovely memory, this morning, and I thank you, johnieb.

johnieb said...

Yeah, my butcher doesn't carry salt pork; can you imagine? I have to go to a Supermarket!! Waaaa! I was trying to remember the last time I was in one--last Spring, I think.

It took nearly as long to get Pan-Fried Duck with Parsnips, Shallots, and thirty cloves of Garlic ready, but most of it was peeling, and it's almost done. Maybe a report later.

It's *The French Chef*, I think; OCICBW.

Kate Morningstar said...

Gorgonzola!! Mmmmm ....