Poached Fish with Pistou & Pommes Anna

Poached Fish w Pistou and Pommes Anna

People often ask me why I love to cook so much, what is it about being in the kitchen that keeps drawing me back in there.  Over the years I’ve come up with numerous explanations ranging from the emotional thrill I get from cooking to the more practical logic that I just love to eat.

Deep down though there is the fascination with creating something.  I don’t care what anyone else says, to me cooking is an art form and should be treated as such.   Of course I enjoy creating my works of art for others but most importantly, I do it for myself.

What I love about the dish below is how a few humble ingredients can, with a little love and attention, be transformed into the perfect French inspired meal.

I started with a beautiful fresh piece of fish, lemon sole to be exact.  Having an overflowing bounty of fresh basil thanks to all the rain this summer,  I decided the mild fish would be wonderful paired with a tangy pistou,  France’s version of pesto, full of fragrant garlic & basil.  And lastly, to continue with the French theme,  I rounded out the meal with Pommes Anna.  Simplicity at its finest,  I knew the crunchy crust of potatoes would lend the perfect contrast of textures to the poached fish.

Poached Fish with Pistou and Pommes Anna

Printable Version

For the Fish

1 lb. lemon sole (or other mild, white fish)
2 cups white wine (I used a bottle of Chardonnay that I had open already)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp  butter
Salt
Pepper

For the Pistou

1 1/2 cups basil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
Pepper

For the Pommes Anna

1/2 lb. waxy potatoes, sliced thinly (I used about 8 medium sized red bliss potatoes)
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
Salt
Pepper

Since it will take the longest in the oven, begin by making the Pommes Anna.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Brush the bottom and sides of a round baking dish with butter.  Begin to layer the potato slices in a circle, starting in the middle and working your way outward.  Once one layer is complete, brush the top with more butter and season with salt and pepper.  Repeat with remaining potato slices, brushing butter and seasoning after every layer.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven.  After half hour, remove aluminum foil and continue to bake uncovered for an additional 30-45 minutes.

While the Pommes Anna is baking, prepare the pistou.  Place basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.  Pulse to blend on low speed a few times or until all of the ingredients are combined.  Set aside.

About 10 minutes before the Pommes Anna is done (it should be crispy on top) place fish in shallow baking dish.  Pour white wine and lemon juice over fish and then season with salt and pepper (fish should not be completely covered).  Place in oven and cook about 10 minutes or until fish is just firm and flaky.

Slice Pommes Anna in wedges and serve with fish and pistou.

Bon Appétit!

Green Eggs & Ham…sort of

After getting out of work a bit late the other night I was faced with a dinner dilemma.  It was too early to resort to grabbing something in Penn Station before catching my train but if I waited until I got home and cooked dinner I would be so hungry (and tempted to eat any junk placed before me).

As I began to think about what was in the fridge that I could cook up in a hurry,  I remembered seeing gorgeous basil pesto on The Sweet Kitchen earlier that day.  I decided that whatever I ate would include pesto, but with what?  Pasta was an obvious choice but since I had noodles for lunch I tossed that idea out the window.

Then it came to me, I’ll have eggs!  I love having eggs for dinner especially when time is short.  They are quick, filling and delcicious!  But what about the pesto?  And there it was,  I was going to have green eggs & ham for dinner.

Now, the eggs weren’t actually green and the ham was actually Canadian bacon but work with me here, ok?

I got home and picked some super fresh basil from the garden, added some garlic, pinenuts, cheese & olive oil and combined it all in the blender.  Perfect pesto!  Then I cooked up some of the bacon and fried an egg.  It was all layered on top of an Ezekiel toasted bun (bottom portion only) and added topped with more pesto.

Apologies for the bad photo as my camera is still being fixed 😦

Green Eggs and Ham

WOW!  This was really a perfect dinner and I was almost sad to finish the last bite. Definitely something I will be making again very soon.

What are your favorite meals to make when you are in a hurry?