Sunday, June 23, 2013

Filets de Poisson à la Bretonne

With the first bite, I heard a, “this is amazing!”  Ahhh, the sound that every mom wants to hear after spending 2 hours in the kitchen cooking an elaborate fish dish.  Each of my children told me that the dinner was amazing.

Filets de Poisson à la Bretonne translates to Fish filets poached in white wine and a julienne of vegetables.  Thank goodness the French name is shorter than the English translation.  The recipe calls for any mild white fish, and since I gave the husband the grocery list, it was up to him to find any wild-caught white fish.  He returned with cod, which is perfect because it is thick and meaty.  It holds up well to the poaching and the sauce.  Overall, it’s a very filling fish.
When it comes to French dishes, this one is relatively easy.  The fish is poached in just 1 ½ cups of white wine and water (mixed) with a layer of julienned carrots, celery and onion over the top.  They only cook for about 8-10 minutes in the oven, and once done, the filets are moved to a platter, and the cooking liquid is boiled rapidly until there is just a cup of liquid.  Whipping cream, butter and flour are added and cooked until the liquid is nice and thick.  The sauce really makes the dish, which is why the kids liked it so much.

I’m not much of a fish eater, but this recipe is a winner.  I know the kids will want me to make it again!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Souffle Aux Epinards

Egg whites beat until stiff
It has been almost 2 years since I've blogged about my cooking.  Most of it is because I got extremely busy with work, and I no longer took joy in cooking.  I still cooked dinner for my family, but it wasn't adventurous or fabulous.  

Buttered pan with parmesan cheese sprinkled on
Now that my job has settled (I have a new position), and summer is cresting, cooking is once again becoming my passion.  Since I needed to make a new menu for the next week, I decided it was time to break out the Mastering the Art of French Cooking and have a little chat with Julia.  She guided me through the book quickly, touching on some interesting recipes that I have not yet tried.  

My family loves quiche and souffle, and they love fresh spinach.  There really isn't anything like fresh spinach.  Frozen spinach is disgusting, but fresh is delightful.  Tonight's dinner was spinach souffle (how do I get the accents in my text?), and it did not disappoint.  My boy, who is super picky and can hardly eat anything healthy, LOVED this meal.  In fact, after he ate his piece, he stated the obvious: there was no more souffle.

Free range eggs

True to this Julia's fashion, I did manage to mess up this recipe just a tad.  I was supposed to add the boiling milk to the butter/flour mixture, but I jumped ahead in the recipe and started adding the egg yolk first.  I only got one yolk in, but it was enough to scramble it with the hot butter/flour mixture.  My daughter had to jump up and pop a cup of milk into the microwave while I continued to stir the butter/flour/egg mixture.  I added the boiling milk, then the eggs.  This got a little thick, so then I was able to follow the rest of the recipe.  Although my souffle did not rise above the top edge of the dish, it still tasted fabulous.  Ahhh, I'm so happy to be cooking French food again!

It fell fast!