Fish Fillet and Julienne Vegetables In White Wine Mushroom Sauce

Today was a new beginning... talk about spontaneous combustion! I felt something was missing from this world of mine... So of course i hit Barnes n Noble (the place I lovvveee), and checked out some new books... in the culinary section of course.

looking through the aisles...lookin'...lookin'... what will catch my eye? I wasn't really in the mood for buyin' a book, since i'm still readin' one at the moment, i just wanted somethin'... but didn't know what!

Then i see Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking... yeah... yeah... i know... everyone knows this book. But i didn't understand why I didn't have it yet? I had that empty feeling... out of all the books i collect why don't I have this? It's a simple classic book. I would always get it or pass buy it in the library... it so much reminds of the Escoffier's Cookbook that i have.

So i decided to take a look again... and i just realize, out of all the books I have, none was really on classic French cuisine... and why? I wonder. Maybe because i was so intimidated by it? Because i never grew up on French dishes...

I remember long time a ago in cyber world there was a group of cooks who decided to have a julia childs party kinda thing, where they cook dishes from her book...

I should do that, but not with the whole party thing... work and home is full of i don't really need more than that.

So I decided... I will buy this book and learn from this book, cook from this book and enjoy... but in the back of my head...something else popped up... puff pastry.

i look through the books and found nothing... damn, i really need a good bakin' book... Daniel Boulud said... your not a chef until you know how to cook and bake... and i do agree... you have to know both sides to fully appreciate the world of culinary and what it has to offer,they both complement each other in so many ways... what would one be... without the other?

well, i went back to the culinary section, checked under the baking section... it was down to about three book, baking professional (cia book), baking illustration (from the great magazine cooking illustration) and the Mac Arthur Flour Baking Companion... well of course i picked the last one... i couldn't afford the cia book... so I picked the last one, because it has step by step drawn pictures on procedures and they give an intro to each recipe and the whys ! (which i love)

So that picture that you see up there (lol.. not that great... is the first dish from Julia Child's cook book that i made) it's Fish Fillet in White Wine Sauce...I know... yes it a very simple dish... but i like to start on the bottom and move my way up... that way you build a much better foundation.

So... once i got home, i put on my relaxin' vibe...i put some jazz on, read the dish, and began preppin'. I decided to add julienne vegetables (leeks, red bell pepper, carrots and celery) with the fish, and mushrooms and fresh thyme in the sauce.

(talk about simplicity... it does go a long way!)

pss... my juli cuts suck in this pic i used my home old curved knife (a serrated fabbeware knife), it's sucked! And i really don't like how the vegetables lost color in the poaching liquid. But i definitely want to try this dish again to perfect it. The flavor was great.... presentation just needs more help, and cooking the vegetables as well, to preserve it's beauty and texture.

Today i practiced: fillet fish, making white wine sauce and julienne vegetables, it's maybe simple... but to do it from the heart with desire of perfection is just priceless!

Here is the Julia Child's Recipe:

Fillets De Poisson Poches Au Vin Blanc

A buttered, 10-12 inch fireproof baking and serving dish, 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep
2 tbsp finely minced shallots or green onions
2 1/2 lbs. skinless and boneless sole or flounder fillets cut into serving pieces.
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp butter cut into bits
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups cold , white wine fish stock made from heads, bones, and trimmings or 3/4 cup dry White wine or 2/3 cup dry white vermouth plus 1/4 cup bottles clam juice, and water or 1 1/2 cups wine and water mixed.

Sprinkle half the shallots or onion in the bottom of the dish. Season the fillets lightly wit salt and pepper and arrange them in a one slightly overlapping layer in the dish. If fillets are thin, they may be folded in half so they make triangles. Sprinkle the fillets with the remaining shallots or onions, and dot with butter. Pour in the cold liquid and enough water so fish is barely covered.

Bring almost the simmer on top of the stove. Lay the buttered paper over the dish. Then place dish in bottom third of preheated (350) oven. Maintain liquid almost at the simmer for 8 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. The fish is done when a fork pierces the flesh easily. Do not overcook; the fish should not be dry and flaky. Place a cover over the dish and rain out all the cooking liquid into a enameled saucepan...

(from this point skipped to sauce recipe...)
2 1/2 tbsp flour blended to a paste with 3 tbsp softened butter
1/4 to 1 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Rapidly boil down the poaching liquid until it has reduced to 1 cup.

Off heat, beat the flour and butter paste into the hot liquids, then 1/2 cup of the cream. Bring to the boil. Thin out the sauce with additional tablespoons of cream until it coasts the spoon nicely. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and drops of lemon juice.

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