Sunday, May 1, 2011

A FRENCH CLASSIC

Springtime can't come any sooner for most of us here in Ohio.  It's been cold, raining and dreary for weeks now and although the calendar says it's been spring for a while, the weather still suggests tummy-warming comfort foods for dinner. 

As today was a little nicer, I opted for a lighter meal.  At the grocer today I ran across a fish I'd never seen before called Basa.  It was half the price of the catfish or cod, so I selected a filet and brought it home.  On the way home I thought over some of the recent food programs I'd been watching considering how to best prepare the filet.  There has been a cluster of shows preparing Sole Meuniere (or Chicken Meuniere) and it inspired me to try this French Bistro dish for myself. 

It's been said that plain, simple food, well cooked, is always the best.  A classic meuniere is the perfect example.  A simple filet of Sole, very lightly floured, cooked in butter and served with lemon is very simple and very easy.  These days there are as many recipes on the web for the same method in a chicken version and it sounds equally delicious. 

I made my meal complete with a couple of new potatoes and some broccoli, cooked and served with a bit of the lemon from the fish and it created a well rounded dinner.

FISH MEUNIERE WITH BUTTERED NEW POTATOES AND BROCCOLI

Seafood:
  1 fish filet such as Sole, Talapia or Basa
  sprinkle of salt
  2 tablespoons flour 
  1/2 tablespoon butter
  1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  2 slices lemon

Vegetables:
  2-3 small new red-skin potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  1/2 cup broccoli florettes
  1 tablespoon butter
  sprinkle of dried parsley-garlic powder


In a small heavy saucepan, add the potatoes and just cover with water.  Turn heat to medium-high and simmer potatoes 5 minutes or until nearly done.  Add the broccoli to the pot, cover and continue to simmer until done to your liking. 

  Meanwhile, blot the filet dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and dredge very lightly in the flour. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter has melted, add the filet and cook 3-5 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.


Flip the filet and add the lemon slices to the pan.  While finishing up the vegetables, rotate the fish pan a little to allow the lemon juices to flow around the fish.

Once the vegetables are done, drain the water from the pan and put it back on the burner to a medium heat while you finish the fish dish.  Add the butter and parsley-garlic powder to the pan, cover and keep warm.  Shake the pan to cover the vegetables with the butter. 

When the fish tests done (it will begin to flake if prodded with a fork), serve on a warmed plate with the lemon slices and vegetables.  Squeeze a small splash of lemon juice over all, garnish with fresh parsley or chives and serve.

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