Saturday, August 15, 2009

I publish a review of the stuffed haddock and biscuits

Regular readers have been breathlessly waiting for over 3 years for the review from the veterinary research histopathologist of the latest recipes to be pulled out of the box for the Marguerite PotLuck Project. Yes, ladies and gents, it's time for stuffed haddock and biscuits (but not at the same time).

Review: Filets d'aiglefin farcis

(I should add at this juncture that it was not possible to find aiglefin (haddock), so instead we used colin (coley - usually fed to cats in the UK and I can see why). The recipe called for "noix" (nuts) that I interpreted as hazlenuts, and butter beans were there none, so I used plain white beans.)

“Why ?” thinks the haddock (or hake). “Why ? Here I am, swimming in the ocean, being all fishy n’shit, and then this big net thingy scoops me up, squeezing me in with thousands of my neighbors (whom I don’t necessarily all like), then I’m flopped in a big vat (not particularly clean, thankyouverymuch), shipped to Neptune knows where, have to lie there for an undertermined duration on some scummy ice, then get sliced (oh dear, look what they did to my beautiful scales) and chopped up in little pieces, get scattered to the four winds, including in the kitchen of some woman who mixes me up with so much other shit that I don’t even taste like anything no more ?!? Oh the indignity.”

Thus spoke the haddock (or hake), and he does have a point. I mean, this dish is not bad by any means, but you wonder what is so wrong with fish that ole Maggie feels she has to add bread crumbs, tomatoes, beans (beans ?) and nuts (nuts ?!?) to make it interesting.

Grade: B-
Recommended: If you feel like going back to the seventies for a night, but are too old for coke or too squeamish for key parties.

Biscuits au chocolat et aux noix

Marguerite says the quantities are enough for 50-60 biscuts, but you're looking in the bowl and thinking: that's enough for 12 bloody cookies, that is.

Then you remember that we are not in England in 1967 anymore, we are in North America in 2009, and that in England in 1967, a biscuit was not something that had to be the size of your face. You see she says that you should dole out "small mounds" (but in French) of mixture, so you do half teaspoons. And let me tell you, what comes out are smallish (but not that small - the size of the bottom of a small wine-glass, say), crispy-chewy biscuits that you can imagine having two of with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Biscuits, not cookies. Biscuits, English style. Not cookies, American style. Lovely. (And very easy to make.)

The Review

Hmmm, biscuits.

Grade: A+++
Recommended: make more, and bring to me. NOW


Anonymous said...

This is way more fun than "Julie and Julia"! (The best thing about that film is Meryl Streep's Julia Child, by the way.)

I also like how you've cleverly recreated the original photos - very artistic. I hope that the French Canadian pathologist with whom you live truly appreciates what a multi-talented catch you are!

Icy Mt. said...

I agree with pinklea on the cookbook photo recreations. Your creativity seems to have no bounds, Monkey. You should go into marketing or something.

Buggles Balham High Road said...

It gets better and better. As for Coley. I am a fishmonger's daughter and Coley and Whiting are strictly for cats.

The photos are brilliant. Looking forward to the next one already.


Newsflash: the photographs are the work of the pathologist!!! I cook, he eats and photographs. What's not to like? We are calling it a "couples' activity" and then making puking noises.

Krazy Kitty said...

Well, if the recipes called for "noix" it's walnuts, so obviously you ruined it with your hazelnuts.

(What kind of stupid idea was it to serve fish with nuts? I want to know what Marguerite was drinking. Because I might need some to forget about the fish and nuts combo.)


Krazy Kitty, very interesting. Usually, if it's a walnut, a French recipe will say "noix de Grenoble" (Marguerite does it elsewhere) because, as I know you know, "noix" just means "nut" in French. Either way, it wasn't as disgusting as it sounds, walnuts or not.

Megan said...

I was afraid the color grading in the original photos is biasing me. I look at it and think it would be quite irritating to make and probably fiddly and fussy and the result at the end wouldn't be worth it. But I like fiddling and fussing - well, I like chopping things finely with a very sharp knife [foodstuffs only, honest] and things so worried that the slightly off tones of the tomatoes were Spoiling It All. Now I realize that it's just subconscious sympathy for the haddock! I believe I'm ready to enjoy the rest of the series now.

Unknown said...

Those cookies look great. Got milk?


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