This weekend begins a new adventure. The Three French Hens and The Chickadee have put together a new cooking adventure called Weekend in a French Kitchen. French food. Cooking from not one but two books each week. It reminded me of my old Whisk Wednesdays group when we tackled Le Cordon Bleu French recipes each week for a couple of years...I miss those days and cooking with my Whisk Chick pals.
I didn't have a lot of time to think about this new group since I just discovered it all on Thursday (thanks to my blogging friend Gaye who has cooked/baked with me in about a half dozen groups) and since the first post for the group was due on Saturday I had to act fast, signing up, finding the two books, finding skate (yeah, well that didn't happen, this is land-locked Indiana after all and skate would need to be flown in with much more than 2 days notice), making it, and posting. It's a good sign that I managed to get all that done in time.
You can read about the group here and meet the other participants. (You can also join up there if you are so inclined.) The books we are cooking from are: Cafe Boulud Cookbook by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan (these posts will be on Saturdays) and A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson (these posts will be on Sundays). The first recipe from the Cafe Boulud Cookbook is Skate with Brown Butter and Capers and is found on page 50.
The ingredient list: salt, white peppercorns, red wine vinegar, butter, parsley, capers, and skate fillets (I used halibut as skate was not available). He suggested serving it with boiled potatoes (Yukon Gold potatoes, salt, lemon juice).
Once you have your ingredients lined up and cleaned, diced, chopped, and such, the preparation of both the potatoes and the fish goes fairly quickly (about 10-15 minutes total) so all in all it's simple and easy. The flavors were good...I always think (personal opinion here) that most of the wow factor in French cooking is in the sauces, exciting delicious ways to perk up flavors in things like white fish or chicken, both of which can use a little help most of the time. The brown butter caper sauce was a wow factor...if I have one note it would be that for our taste, next time I would make half the quantity of sauce as it made plenty for the fish and to use to drag the potatoes around in and there was more left on the plate, so next time, a slight reduction in that amount. Otherwise everything was spot on, took the amount of time he specified, and the results were delightfully delicious. Definitely worthy of a repeat.
If you would like to see how the others fared, click here and follow the links. Next week's recipe is Chilled Spring Pea Soup, page 112.