Sunday, March 25, 2012
Fresh sole was on special again so I picked up a few fillets. Definitely never buy frozen sole, it cooks up like fish mush. Asparagus is still on special for the same price as broccoli but I'm getting tired of asparagus every day. To round out the plate it's mashed potatoes, carrots, sliced blanched almonds and fresh lemon sauce.
I peeled and mashed the potatoes and put them on to cook. While the potatoes were coming to a boil I prepped the carrots and broccoli. When the potato water was boiling I turned it down to a fast simmer and left them for 20 minutes. I put a teaspoon of oil and a patty of butter in my smallest frying pan. On medium heat I lightly browned the almonds and took them off the heat. In my sauce pot I put a tablespoon of oil, a patty of butter and a heaping teaspoon of flour. I brought this to a sizzle to cook off the flour taste but not enough to brown the flour. With the sauce pot off the heat I added an ounce of white white and one of chicken stock. I whisked that smooth and added more stock till I had a thick sauce then added the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt. Putting the pot back on the burner I added stock till the sauce was thick but not gummy.
I've been using the microwave to cook my vegetables. Mine has a moisture sensor so it can tell when food is cooked but I find it over cooks if I leave vegetables in the whole time. I know I will get better results if I partly steam the vegetables then finish them in a frying pan. When I find I am standing doing nothing while food cooks then I am ready to add more difficulty. I just got there with this meal, so next time I'll steam the veggies, probably. This time they just got butter, salt and pepper. When the potatoes were cooked I drained, mashed and added a patty of butter to them. When the butter was melted I added salt and milk then whipped with a fork. Don't use an immersion blender on potatoes, it turns them into a thick unpalatable paste.
The fish only takes a minute or so each side so you want to put it on at the last minute. This time I seasoned, then dredged the fish in the flour instead of shaking it all in a plastic bag. The fish was better seasoned this way so maybe I'm using too much flour in the bag. More experimenting there is needed. In any case, popped the floured and seasoned fish in a hot frying pan and when it's cooked half through turned it over. It will finish cooking faster on the second side because heat is still coming from both sides. While the fish was cooking I got the plates out and start plating the potatoes. As soon as the fish was done I plated it opposite the potatoes then added the almonds. Next the broccoli and carrots and finally, spooning lemon sauce over the fish and vegetables.
This is a simple easy meal to make but it is complex in that there is a cooked garnish on the meat as well as a sauce. I should have sprinkled chives over the potatoes too, but didn't think of it. Next time.