Figuring out fish

We had our lovely neighbors up for dinner a couple weeks ago–they were kind enough to invite us over soon after we moved in, and we hadn’t managed to repay the favor until months later. The Times had just published the recipe for Brown Buttered Corn that scooted around the blogosphere shortly thereafter, and I decided to be brave and cook fish for a change.

To start we had some fun heirloom tomatoes with a drizzle of vinaigrette and a few little dices of feta. I know it’s fall now, but at the time it was still late summer and I was reveling in those last few weeks where cooking is mostly a matter of buying gorgeous produce and slicing it up.


I made the corn a little earlier in the day, and made the sauce variation by pureeing some of the corn with broth and garlic and then stirring in the rest. It was a bit too thick and creamy–next time I’d puree about a third of the corn, if that, with a bit more broth. I didn’t feel like you could tell it was corn; I wanted kernels barely bound together by a loose sauce.



I bought some beautiful fresh grey sole fillets, rubbed them with the compound butter from the corn sauce recipe, and broiled them (for only about 5 minutes, I think). Very delicate and light–even Ben, who generally does not like fish, really liked them. Of course, the fish was totally muffled by the (too-thick) sauce, so…

(I had two fillets per person; each one is so thin that it weighs about 4 ounces!)


See, you can’t even see the fish under there! (That’s a very simple israeli cous cous as a side, with just some lemon juice, butter and herbs.)

For dessert I made a peach crisp, using a half-recipe from Fanny at Chez Panisse. I had made it when my aunt and cousin came over and it was great. This time something had gone funny with the vanilla ice cream, so instead of tasting peaches I tasted that alcoholic vanilla extract flavor. Sad!

Still, despite some disappointments, there were a bunch of things to do again. I am feeling much better about cooking fish, especially.

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