Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Fish n' Chips

This is the fish course that I made for the grand dinner event last month. I wasn't pleased with how it turned out at the actual event (you would understand if you saw the kitchen I had to work out of) so I decided to try it again at home to try to get it perfect. This time it definitely didn't disappoint! This is a recipe I adapted from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook. This dish features Rainbow trout, a parsley coulis, garlic palette, a potato chip (yes it's there!) topped with a parsley and shallot salad. Bon Appétit!


For Palette's:
  • 6 medium heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 10 hard-boiled egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
 For Parsley Coulis:
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bunch of parsley, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup cooking white wine 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 
Parsley Salad:
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp finely minced shallots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt
 Potato Chip:
  • 2 Large Idaho potatoes, peeled
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Kosher Salt
  • 6 large trout filets, separated
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Canola oil 
For Garlic Palettes: Place the garlic cloves in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Drain the garlic through a fine mesh sieve and run under cold water. Return to small sauce pan and repeat process twice. The third time, let garlic boil until easily pierced with a knife. Drain the garlic cloves and place them in a small food processor and slightly puree. Measure out 1/2 cup of the garlic puree for the garlic palettes. 
Place the garlic puree, egg yolks, butter and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a 1 1/2" circular mold on the baking sheet and add enough of the garlic mixture into the mold to come 1/2" up the sides. Carefully remove the mold and make 5 more disks with the garlic mixture. Cover and freeze for several hours, until mixture is solid, or up to a few days.
After mixture is solid, place the flour, cream and crumbs in three separate bowls. Dip each disk into the flour, patting off any excess, then completely coat with cream and dredge in the crumbs, being careful to coat each round completely. Re-dip a second time in the cream and crumbs and return the palettes to the freezer. I recommend making these the day before you want to make this dish, that way the are nice and solid before you pan fry them.
For Parsley Coulis: In a sauce pan, bring the chicken stock up to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour into a blender along with the parsley and white wine. Puree until smooth. Remove and keep warm.
For the Parsley Salad: Toss the parsley leaves and shallots with a light coating of olive oil and the salt. 
To Complete: Heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (there should be enough oil to come about halfway up the sides of the fish). Season the trout with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the fillets skin side down and saute, pressing down on the pieces of fish with a narrow spatula or small skillet to keep them flat. When the fish is almost cooked, after about 1 minute, turn the pieces to "kiss" or briefly cook, the second side. The total cooking time will be about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the fillets to paper towels. Add the frozen palettes to the pan and brown for about 1 minute on each side, until crisp and warmed through. Be careful for two reasons 1) turning the palettes because they will be very fragile and 2) There will be a lot of bubbling with the heavy cream reacting with the hot oil. Just keep an eye on it and don't let it boil over cause it will cause one heck of a mess. 
Cut each filet in half, it will be one filet per plate. Place a spoonful of the parsley coulis on each serving plate. Center a palette on the sauce and crisscross the cut trout filet on top. Top with a potato chip and parsley salad. The potato chip and parsley salad is intended to be eaten in one bite, almost like a built in amuse-bouche.
Kitchen Word of the Day 
Amuse-bouche is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served as a little tingler for the taste buds both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.

The term is French, literally translated to "mouth amuser". The plural form is amuse-bouche or amuse-bouches. The French word amuse-gueule is also employed in France, although amuse-bouche is more often used on menus in fine dining restaurants, as the word gueule is an impolite way of saying bouche.


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