In substitute for the native ‘loup’ fish of Beaulieu, I used a striped bass as my salt water fish. This was my first time ever buying a whole fish and I made a critical mistake when I acquiesced to the fish mongers offer of gutting and scaling the fish. He did so from the bottom of the fish when, in fact, I needed to remove the backbone from the top. The result was that when I got home and attempted to de-bone the fish I ended up with two fillets as opposed two a whole fish I could stuff. To add insult to injury I completely forgot about the cooking thread I needed and so wouldn’t have been able sew the fish up regardless. I tried to wrap the fish with aluminum–which my mother informed me after the fact that wine and aluminum don’t mix–to hold the stuffing between the two fillets and hoped for the best. The recipe in itself is quite simple: white wine, chives, bread, and butter. The wine I used was a Willm Alsace Riesling 2012 from France which promised to be quite dry but in the end was rather sweet. All in all the result was a rather tangy fillet of fish. I’m not racing to make this dish again but I feel as though I should do it properly one day to get a better idea of what it’s supposed to taste like.
The Gateau Marjolaine was one of my first forays into the desserts of Mary and Vincent Price’s book. It is a meringue nut cake made with three layers of buttered icing–vanilla, chocolate, and praline. I mistakenly thought that the cake was supposed to be rectangular as opposed to round and so ended up with a great deal more filling than the cake could support, making it quite messy. Despite this, the flavour profile I feel was quite authentic to the recipe and tasted even better the second day as the filling soaked into the cake. I might make this again one day, although the praline powder required for the third filling seems an erroneous overkill to an incredibly sweet dessert.