(Photo cred: William Panlilio)
Last weekend, I had posted up a quick and easy salad recipe I made during one of my friend William’s many dinner parties (though party would probably be an understatement for these feasts). Seeing as Lent has begun and I’m giving up red meat for a while, I thought it’d be a good time to introduce my second dish from that night: a simple yet elegant French dish of pan-fried bluefish drizzled with a rich lemon-butter sauce. The tartness of the lemon cuts through the fatty butter (it’ll also cut through any guilt you have of using butter soooo…we’re all good yes?).
A quick note on fish. The appropriate type to use in the recette authentique would be sole or a similar whitefish, but seeing as Whole Foods charges an arm-and-a-leg for these wild-caught, “luxury” cuts, I went with Bluefish, which is akin to Mackerel. Bluefish is fattier and is great grilled, another reason using lemon is key in this recipe.
It’s lunch time on a Monday so I’ll be less verbose than usual…straight to the recipe!
For some reason, every chick flick / rom-com I’ve seen (I can count them on one hand) that involves a cooking scene features some ho-hum salad and pasta. I don’t get why that’s supposed to be the standard “romantic dish”. Hell if that was the case why didn’t you just go down to the local deli and get a tub of Fettucine Alfredo or Spaghetti Bolognese? Yes yes….cooking it at home is infinitely sexier. But there are infinitely more simple dishes that can impress the date.
Enter the gnocchi. Exotic sounding, bite-sized (ie…no wrestling with long and slippery noodles), and with some texture contrast. Pair that with some spiced sausage and you’ve got a killer side or main! If you’re feeling extra brave, you can make the gnocchi yourself since it’s not too hard but store-bought is perfectly fine.
I paired the gnocchi with some spiced lamb in a tomato sauce but you’re welcome to use other meats like lamb meatballs or cubed beef.
At less than 5 ingredients, this is dish wins on both simplicity and ability to impress.