John Dory, thyme; mushrooms; Brussels sprouts, sage

I picked up 2 beautiful John Dory fillets and then bought some mushrooms before checking my Food Blog to see whether I had a formula which would combine both. Once home, I learned that I had never prepared the them together, and didn’t have a recipe in my reference library.  By that time I was in a bit of a hurry, so I looked on line, and that’s where I found the recipe which became the basis of Wednesday’s preparation.

It’s a bit more French, creamy saucy, than I usually like these days, but, even with a few cavils, it turned out to be a pretty good meal.

The problems included some which were almost certainly related to adjusting the taste and seasoning for an amount of fish which was probably only half that which was contemplated in the published recipe, and I also think the mushroom sauce would profit from the addition of some allium, or a pinch of habanada pepper (the original recipe only mentions a pinch of ground nutmeg, which wasn’t enough, and which incidentally may also have given away the antiquity of the its original source).

The nuttiness of the roasted Brussels sprouts was a good foil for the richness of the fish and the sauce.

  • two 8-ounce John Dory fillets from Blue Moon Fish Company, washed, rinsed, dried, rolled in 1 1/2 tablespoons of seasoned local North Country Farms Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, then placed, first skin side down, in a large heavy tin-lined oval copper pan in which a mixture of a little butter and olive oil and half of a tablespoon of whole thyme leaves had been heated until the butter had stopped sizzling and was just beginning to brown, the fillets pan-fried for 2–3 minutes, then turned, and cooked for the same length of time, transferred to 2 plates once they were done, and kept warm, while in a separate pan 2 tablespoon of butter had been heated until melted and foaming, before 5 ounces of oyster mushrooms from the Bulich Mushroom Company stall in the Union Square Greenmarket and one small crushed clove garlic from Berried Treasures were added, stirred over low heat until cooked through, after which 2 tablespoons of white wine were added, brought to a boil and simmered until completely reduced (it takes no time at all), followed by a splash of juice from a sweet local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island and 6 ounces of heavy cream, the liquid brought to a boil and reduced until it coated a spoon, the sauce seasoned to taste and poured over (or next to) the fish and served, garnished with a little micro red amaranth form Windfall Farms
  • 14 good-sized Brussels sprouts from Brussels sprouts from Phillips Farms, tossed in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried sage from Stokes Farm, spread, not touching each other, onto a medium, well-seasoned Pampered Chef oven pan, roasted in at 400º oven for about 25 minutes
  • the wine was an Oregon (Willamette) white, Scott Kelley Pinot Gris Willamette 2015, from Naked Wines
  • the music was that of Joonas Kokkonen, his Symphonies No. 3 and 4, composed in 1967 and 1971, respectively, Ulf Söderblom conducting the Lahti Symphony Orchestra