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?