October 19, 2009

Adventures in French Cooking

"Les poissons, les poissons,
How I love les poissons,
Love to chop and to serve little fish."

Actually I hate fish but my family likes it so I eat a couple of bites, mostly for show, every week. Fish is good for you. And I don't want to limit my children's tastes. So I make myself eat fish.

I had hoped that if I went into it with an open mind and a good recipe then I could overcome my aversion to fish. For now I am left hopeless. The meal was:

Potage Parmentier
Filet de Poisson Poches au Vin Blanc
Haricots Verts a l'Anglaise
Bavarois au Chocolat

That would be Leek and Potato Soup, Poached Filet of Sole in White Wine, Buttered Green Beans, and Chocolate Bavarian Cream.

The leek and potato soup was easy(Yay!). It did take an hour but it was mostly simmer time. And it was good after a liberal shower of salt. The fresh baked French bread from the grocery store was absolutely fab with it.

The buttered green beans were excellent. Seriously. I blanched them, which is apparently different than my usual method of not quite boiling them enough so they remain a little crunchy and no one eats them. There was of course a butter bath involved, but that's why we like Julia so much.

And the chocolate cream was very much like the orange cream of two weeks ago but with much more confusing instructions. But we were familiar with the process so we managed fine. The flavoring was coffee and rum instead of orange juice and orange liqueur. It tasted like mocha mousse ice cream, which probably doesn't exist but might be a good idea(Are you paying attention Ben & Jerry? I will expect a commission for sharing my brilliant ideas with you.).

And then there was the fish.

As soon as I opened the package my throat constricted. My throat never un-constricted. It is still constricted and now it hurts. I tried to avoid smelling it but it has a way of permeating everything. And don't try to tell me that fresh fish doesn't stink because you lie. I lived in Seattle once. I walked the fish market. No matter how cool the flying fish were, they still stank. And sole smells like fish wrapped in gym socks.

And then there's the sight(I can see where the backbone used to be). And the feel(like it's trying to swim out of my hands for freedom). I'm getting queasy.

I got the fish washed, dried, seasoned, and poached without puking. I even got it on the table and on my plate. I even took a few bites. Like more than two. Then my gag reflex kicked in. Yeah, no. I couldn't finish. Now I'm left with nausea, a sore throat and a house that smells like sole, which actually tastes like fish wrapped in gym socks.

Hey, you can't win them all. And maybe you, dear reader, like filet of sole. *gag* If you are a fan of fish then you might consider this meal. It was very light and only took an hour(dessert sold separately). Considering the source, that's pretty good.


Anonymous said...

I have precisely the same opinion about fish. "Good" fish doesn't smell, according to the guy at the Whole Foods fish counter. He lies. My left foot, it doesn't smell.

Except for salmon. I love salmon.

bermudaonion said...

I'm a non-fish person too. There is no way to cook it in your house without making your whole house smell.

Linda said...

I love sole so I'll give this a try sometime.

Jenny said...

I laughed so hard when I saw the start of this post that I got tears in my eyes. I love the Chef in The Little Mermaid.

Petunia said...

Aimee-Salmon is tolerable, that's why we eat it so often.

BermudaOnion-I hate the morning after I've cooked salmon. The odor lingers.

Linda-The recipe is pretty easy. I can send it to you if you want it.

Rebecca Reid said...

I like fish, but I can understand not.....

I do want to try that potato soup. Looks and sounds so easy!!

Zibilee said...

I can understand your reaction to this recipe. I like fish, but only if it doesn't taste and smell too fishy. I don't think I would like this dish, especially since you say the fish smell was very overpowering. I do admire you for cooking it despite your feelings, and I hope your next recipe will be more to your liking. I am really enjoying reading about your adventures with this book as well!