Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Right before we left for Italy this spring, I bought these cool dishes from Jenaer Glas, a German manufacturer. They are little covered dishes that can go in the oven, freezer, microwave (I guess, don’t know much about microwaves). I picked them up yesterday and started wondering what I could do with them. Then I went for a bike ride to get some groceries and wine….and started thinking about poached sole. I haven’t ridden my bike in the city for awhile, so it wasn’t the best idea to ride around concentrating on flavor combinations instead of traffic, but by the time I got home, I had the inspiration for ‘sole due’.
Sous vide is all the rage….basically you take food, with all its seasonings and juice, vacuum seal it in a bag, and cook when ready. It has a lot of advantages, but there was something about cooking in a bag that just seemed….not right. But, sealing the flavors in a little glass jar and cooking it…now that worked for me.
The first sole dish was sole on bed of pureed potato and leek. Potato and leek is as good a combination as socks and shoes, just a natural fit.
The second sole dish was sole with bitter greens and orange. Here is a riff on a classic Sicilian combination, oranges, chili and garlic. If you are stuck for a quick salad, just combine those 3 ingredients and you’ve got a fabulous, palate cleansing salad. Bitter greens just seemed like they would a counterpoint to the sweet orange.
Results: the potato leek combination was a little pot of sin, smooth, silky, sensual. We literally licked the pot clean. The bitter greens/orange combination was also delicious, more agressive than the potato leek, you know like a hot blooded Sicilian man meeting up with an upper east side blonde babe. I think either dish would be a great stand alone entree or fish course, but together?? Well, it’s a little like that Lina Wurtmiller film, Swept Away!