Fern wanted fish tonight so I was thinking about sole but cod was the best buy so I bought two nice pieces. Asparagus was also on special so I bought that and planned on hollandaise sauce for the veggies and fish. I decided to make saffron rice with carrots and season the fish with only salt, mixed pepper and thyme. I forgot to buy tomatoes so I used a red pepper in the salad. We had a Knorr Bernaise sauce packet left from before I learned to cook. Fern used to use it so I thought it would be at least acceptable.
Early in the afternoon I started the bread.
2 cups flour - 1/8 cup wheat gluten, 1 7/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp olive oil
Put dry ingredients in a bowl or mixer with dough hook. Slowly add water until all the dry ingredients have been picked up. The ball of dough should not stick when touched but will become sticky if held onto. I put a little too much water in so I added flour as I kneaded it. It must be kneaded for 5 minutes and try to trap air in it while you work.
To knead, put dough in front on counter. Push down and away with the palm of the hand. Fold dough, trapping air, rotate 90º and repeat. If dough is not properly kneaded it will be like eating leather. Knead 5 full minutes or don't bother making bread. After kneading the dough will be soft and smooth in texture. Put olive oil in the bowl and brush it up to the edge on one side, add dough, more oil on top. Brush the oil up so all the dough has been covered. Put in a warm location for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Turn dough out onto baking sheet and put in oven. Immediately turn oven down to 400ºF and bake 30-40 minutes. Knock on it will sound hollow when done.
I snapped the ends off the asparagus and put it in the steamer basket. I put salt, 6-10 saffron stigmas, 2 tsp olive oil and a sliced raw carrot in the rice and put it in the microwave. I first salted, then sprinkled with thyme and finally covered with flour the two pieces of fish. I put the fish in a hot frying pan with plenty of olive oil and put the asparagus in the steamer. I had the Bernaise sauce ready according to the directions in another pot. I got a beautiful sear on both sides of the fish and plated it on the rice. Asparagus beside with Bernaise over both.
I varied the vinaigrette tonight and the result was disappointing. I won't put the recipe up as it would just confuse things. Sometimes experiments don't work.
We both found the Bernaise sauce anaemic. I remember it being nice and tasty but now that I know what can be made fresh, it just doesn't cut the mustard.
The seasoning on the fish was wonderful, I'll do that again for sure. I'll also make asparagus with Bernaise again, but it will be fresh. The ciabatta was wonderful and made up for the salad. In this plate of mild flavours, the saffron tasted really nice.