"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mustard-Cream Roasted LingCod Fish, Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Steamed Baby Carrots

Friday was a typical San Francisco Bay Area October Day -- sunny and warm!  For our family movie night, I wanted to make something a bit light, but ultra tasty for dinner.  The day just screamed fish.  When I was growing up in Haiti, I ate fish a lot and I just love fish.  So, I made a mustard-cream roasted Lingcod fish, served with rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes and steamed baby carrots.  This dish was inspired by an episode of Barefoot Contessa when Ina Garten -- one of my favorite chefs on the Food Network -- made a similar dish using red snapper.  But, our local Butcher -- Ver Brugge on College Avenue in Oakland -- recommended the Lingcod.  They had just gotten the whole fish delivered yesterday from a local supplier, and they cut me the pieces that I needed when I got there.  You can't buy fish fresher than that.  I love Ver Brugge.  Thanks, Guys!

Lingcod is a saltwater fish that has lean, flaky white meat and is mild flavored.  When cooking Lingcod and you want to check whether it is done, you should use the tip of a sharp knife and cut through the thickest part of the fillet. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will appear opaque but will still be moist.

This dish is absolutely delicious.  The fish came out moist and buttery.  It soaked up the mustard-cream topping so wonderfully.  The fish, coupled with the rosemary potatoes, and the sweet baby carrots left an explosion of flavor in my mouth.  And, you know what the best thing was?  This dish is so quick and low maintenance to make, it gave us plenty of time to enjoy Finding Nemo -:) with the kids.

For dessert, I made something simple, fresh, and delicious.  I mixed 1/2 small container of Mascarpone cheese (about 4 ounces) with some light whipped cream, 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon zest, and 1/2  teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Mascarpone is a tripple cream cheese, and is the main ingredient in Tiramisu.  I layered the cheese mixture in between a medley of fresh berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry) in a martini glass. I topped it off with a couple of pieces of thin milk chocolate crisps that I got from Trader Joe's. My daughter had a blast making this dessert with me.

Along with this yummy meal, we had a glass of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington, 2008).  Riesling is a white wine that originated in Germany.  This particular Riesling has a nice scent of orange and peach blossoms, honeysuckle, and sweet lemons on the nose.  When you taste it, it has a refreshing taste of juicy peach, ripe pears, apricot and citrus flavors.  This Riesling leaves a nice unexpected lingering finish in the mouth.  It complemented the Lingcod dish very well.  Surprisingly, this Riesling is inexpensive (usually sells for $9, but Safeway now has it for about $6).  I strongly recommend it if you are looking for a light, refreshing, semi-dry white wine to serve with fish.

If you would like to try any of these dishes, here are the recipes:

Mustard-Cream Roasted Lingcod Fish
4 fillets of Lingcod boneless, but with skin (or other flaky, mild-flavored fish you like)
1 small (7 to 8 ounces) container of Crème fraîche (Crème fraîche is fresh cream, similar to sour cream)
3 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard, which gives the dish some flavor
1 Tablespoon of whole-grain mustard for texture (whatever brand you have in the refrigerator)
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season fish generously with salt and pepper.  Place the fish skin side down in a shallow ovenproof baking dish.

Mix in a small bowl the Crème fraîche, mustards, shallots, and lemon zest. Add to the cream some salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the cream mixture evenly on top of the fish. Bake the fish in the oven uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish fillets.  [If you use red snapper, it takes about 5 minutes less to cook.  Lingcod takes a few minutes longer because it is a bit thicker.]  Serve the fish with the potatoes and carrots (below) or your favorite side dishes.  Make sure you spoon over the fish the extra sauce from the baking dish.

Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
1 pound of fingerling potatoes, rinsed but not peepled or cut
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter (melted)
Salt (about 1 teaspoon) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 Tablespoon of dried rosemary)

Cooking Instructions
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet.  Mix all the other ingredients with the potatoes.  Bake in the 425-degree oven along with the fish for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

Steamed Carrots
1 small package of fresh baby carrots
1 Teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions
Steam the carrots in a sauce pan on the stove top (or in a steamer).  Once cooked, drain the water, and return the carrots to the pan.  Add the olive oil and the salt and pepper.  Mix well, and cook on low for about 1 minute.

I hope you try this meal next time you are in the mood for fish.  And, next time you are at the store looking for an inexpensive bottle of white wine, pick a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle's Riesling.  And, please be sure to post a comment and let me know what you think about the fish and/or the wine.

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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