Image of book: www.amazon.com
...if they cook, that is. I've been trying to stick to this principle lately--especially since this week turned out to be a dine-in instead of the originally planned dine-out week. Judging from the title of this entry, you can probably guess that I got inspired by a fun book I'm reading--French Women Don't Get Fat. While the actual book is nothing earth shattering--eating in moderation was not discovered in France--it offers a slew of cool recipes for every meal of the day. Below, you'll see that I made a semi-homemade version of the Fish en Papillote and also did my own spin on French Women's Chocolate Rice Pudding.
Fish en Papillote: This is actually called Halibut en Papillote in the book but I didn't have halibut so I substituted with tilapia. I used a pre-seasoned fish that I bought at Trader Joe's--my favorite grocery store. I put the fish in the parchment paper and also substituted the champagne/wine with small dollops of unsalted butter. I used a sprig of fresh parsley and omitted the thyme and fennel simply because I didn't have it. For all else, I followed the recipe and served it with a side of baked new potatoes.
Baked New Potatoes:
Ingredients: Serves 2-3 (depending on how hungry you are!)
4 medium sized new potatoes
Fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash the potatoes. Cut them in half and then into quarters and then into eighths. Place them on a mildly oiled cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Use your hands to mix everything together and make sure that the seasoning is evenly distributed. Bake the potatoes for 40-45 minutes or until golden around the edges. Top with chopped parsley for garnish.
Hint: You might want to check on your potatoes halfway into the cooking process and using a spoon, toss them around so all sides get golden brown.
Chocolate Rice Pudding: This sounded absolutely delightful to me when reading French Women so I decided to make it for dessert with last night's dinner. From the recipe link here, it sounds very very easy and let me tell you that it's not. The end result is worth it but be extremely careful with arborio rice. It burns quickly and gets sticky. My suggestion would be to add twice (or more) the amount of milk than this recipe calls for. If you don't want the pudding to be too rich, add 1/2 milk and 1/2 water. In my version, I also added dried cranberries, which puffed up nicely and provided a yummy tang. The end result was very pleasing and the chocolate was the best part but just know that this is a "diva" dessert--definitely not low maintenance.