Sole meuniere

The weekend usually brings along the farmers market in my city. Every Saturday the city center is filled with stands with fresh produce from around the Utrecht area. Beside the mushroom stand, one of my favourite buys is fresh fish. Few weeks ago I bought some beautiful Dover sole and since then I am totally hooked.  Every Sunday for the past few weeks I am preparing sole meuniere for dinner. I think this is one of the easiest and the best dishes ever. Served along with some sautéed veggies, some french fries and some garlic sauce this makes one of the most delicious meals out there.  According to Wikipedia meuniere refers to both a sauce and a method of preparation, primarily for fish. The word itself means “miller’s wife”. Thus to cook something à la meunière was to cook it by first dredging it in flour. A meunière sauce is a simple preparation — brown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon — and the name refers to its unelaborate rustic nature.

sole Meuniere

1 cup flour

6 fresh sole fillets

butter

salt

pepper

lemon juice

freshly chopped parsley

In a large skillet heat about 2 tablespoons of butter until it starts browning slightly (clarifies), this will give it a nutty flavour. Mix flour, salt and pepper and dredge the fish fillets through the mixture. Place 2 sole fillets in the hot skillet and lower slightly the heat. Cook the fillets for about 2-3 minutes and carefully turn on the other side with a spatula.  Add fresh lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper (if needed).

Repeat the same procedure for the remaining fillets and serve immediately. 

Brownies return

Few days ago a friend of mine left for US for few months. We usually have breakfast/coffee/ chats together and he was always complaining about the brownies he was buying at the store.

And since he discovered my blog, every morning I heard the same question – when are you going to bake brownies and bring some for breakfast?????

Well, finally before he left, I managed to cook some of my favourite brownies. Now the new question is – when are you going to make a deal with the store, so we can buy the brownies everyday?

For this I used Thomas Keller’s recipe featured in Ad-hoc at Home which always works like a charm, the only downside to it is that you become addicted to them. Just side story about this book – I LOVE IT. Besides the fact that is a special book for me, as I got it as a gift from my friends at my PhD defense, the recipes presented in this book are simply amazing. The food is so good, somehow it has a home feel to it, there are so many wonderful flavours married in these dishes that you can’t stop cooking :-)

brownies

makes 12 pieces

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
6 oz 61 to 64% chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces ( about 1 1/2 cups)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F. We use a 9-inch square silicone mold, because it keeps the edges from overcooking; if you use a metal or glass baking pan, butter and flour it. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside

Melt half the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Put the remaining butter in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter and stir to melt the butter. The butter should look creamy, with small bits of unmelted butter, and be at room temperature.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until thick and very pale. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the butter, and continue alternating the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer poked into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If the pick comes out wet, test a second time, because you may have hit a piece of chocolate chip; then bake for a few more minutes longer if necessary. Cool in the pan until the brownie is just a bit warmer than room temperature.

Run a knife around the edges if not using a silicone mold, and invert the brownie onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 rectangles. Dust the tops with powdered sugar just before serving.

Cupcake Mania – Pistachio cupcakes a la Martha Stewart


Few weeks ago I made Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes. It was one of the first times I made cupcakes, and before this I never got the cupcake frenzy…but boy was I wrong. Once you pop, you can not stop just like Mr. Pringle.This is my second cupcake episode and if this madness will continue much longer, you will get a large variety of cupcakes recipes and my blog will be flooded by little delicious cupcakes, while my hips will grow larger and larger :-). As I love pistachios, I looked for a good pistachio cupcake recipe and I came across Martha Stewart’s recipe for Pistachio cupcakes with raspberries. Since I am not a huge fan of bakes raspberries I replaced them for chocolate, which was in my opinion a good option. Pistachios and chocolate go together really well, so well, than only few of the 18 cupcakes are left after only a day since the baking event. pistachio cupcakes with chocolate chips

Yields 15 – 18 cupcakes

1 cup whole unsalted pistachios, plus 1/4 cup slivered or chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 pinch of salt

4 ounces butter

vanilla

4 large eggs

1 cup flour

100 grams chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Process whole pistachios, sugar, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter, vanilla, and eggs, and process until smooth. Add flour, and pulse until just combined. Mix the chocolate chips into the batter.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each halfway. Sprinkle with slivered or chopped pistachios. Bake until firm and pulling away from liners, about 30 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. When the cupcakes cooled down frost them with your favourite buttercream or mousse (vanilla and chocolate in my case).