"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cod & Spinach Roulades #French Fridays with Dorie

Yum
Sole & Spinach Roulades
Sole & Spinach Roulades

The last time I was in Paris I had a moment when I thought I can't wait to have food in it's natural state again. The French really love to do things to food: puree, mousse, chaud-froid, etc... I come from the Italian cooking tradition which in many ways is the antithesis of French cooking. Italian cooking is very simple, little technique, few ingredients.

As I read through this recipe and saw that Dorie wanted me to turn my beautiful fresh fish into a mousse, and then make a filling and two sauces... the Italian in me said, "BASTA, this is just too fussy for a home cooked meal." Maybe if I was out for dinner I might order this dish out of curiosity, though I really think there are too many things going on in it.

The following is my simplified version of Cod & Spinach Roulades. I used sole because you need a thinner fish than cod if you are going to stuff and roll it without turning it into a mousse. I cooked the spinach close to Dorie's directions, and I pureed it. Spinach is definitely easier to use as a filling when it is pureed. For a sauce I basically made a bruschetta which incorporated both flavors of Dorie's sauces in one. I did not puree it. Tomatoes are watery enough, pureed... no thank you.

The result was definitely more Provence style than the original recipe (oh, so much simpler and easier to make)  and it was enjoyed so greatly: I got two text  messages from my nephew thanking me for a delicious dinner.


Sole & Spinach Roulades


Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Cod & Spinach Roulades from Around my French Table

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com

Preparation: 30 minutes                                  Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

4 pieces of sole or other thin white fish

Filling:

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of minced shallot
1 clove minced garlic
5 ounces baby spinach
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:

1 large ripe tomato chopped
1 tablespoon good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of anchovy paste
1 tablespoon of minced fresh basil
salt (fleur de sel is great)
pepper 


DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put rack in the middle. Coat an 8x8" baking pan with olive oil. 

2) Whisk the olive oil, anchovy, basil,  salt & pepper for the sauce together and pour it over the chopped tomatoes. Let this sit.

3) For the filling sauté the shallots and garlic with the oil in a large skillet. Add spinach as shallots begin to wilt. Do not brown the garlic. Cook the spinach until it wilts. 

4) Puree the spinach mixture in a blender or food processor.

5) Face the fish dark side up. Salt and pepper each fillet. Divide stuffing among fillets, mounding on thicker half of each. Fold thinner half of fillet over stuffing, tucking end under to form a packet.


6) Cover baking dish with parchment and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 10 minutes or until fish is opaque. 


Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

 





Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

35 comments:

  1. Thank you for this recipe. I actually liked the puree, but I doubt I'd make the recipe again. Your version sounds so much easier, and still delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it's delicious, but I am and this blog is about maximizing flavor in the simplest, and easiest way possible.

      Delete
  2. Yours is definitely prettier than mine...and much simpler!!! Well done, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was hard to wrap? it sounded like you might need some background in sushi making for this recipe.

      Delete
  3. Your simple version is beautiful too.

    Yes - rolling up the puree and the filling did kind of remind me of rolling sushi. Minus the bamboo mat, of course!

    Have a nice weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've eaten sushi that is like this... shrimp actually. It might make a nice sushi roll.

      Delete
  4. I found pureeing the fish very challenging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a feeling it would be and I didn't quite feel it would really taste that much better?

      Delete
  5. If I ever consider doing this again, I will make it this way instead! Sheesh, what a production! And not much payoff in flavor. I imagine this would be much better, keeping the fish in its natural form. And yours looks so much more appetizing too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a way I'm relieved to hear this... I cook a lot of fish and it didn't seem worth the effort to me. You'll like it this way. As usual Dorie's sense of flavor is right on... nice ingredients.

      Delete
  6. I likely would have preferred your version. More likely though, I would take it down another notch and just serve the fish with a side of spinach. My grandparents were Italian so maybe I have a little of that in me too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just listening on the radio to Chris Kimbell the editor of Cook's Illustrated and he said, "I think the more one cooks the simpler one cooks." Sums it up for me.

      Delete
  7. Well that does look lovely but really the recipe as written is quite fun and interesting to make too! You should definitely try it sometime!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure experimenting with the technique might be interesting but I don't like moussed fish.

      Delete
  8. Your version looks wonderful! Glad I tried it, but not a repeat for me :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was expecting you to say that... we seem to agree on most recipes. I"ll go check out your post right now.

      Delete
  9. Right on, Diane! You are telling me that my instincts were right! Ha. No more fish mousse in this house! Yours look exactly like I was imagining after I read this week's assignment title and purchased my beautiful fish, but before I read the recipe. Yikes! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also come from a Mediterranean background, and so agree with you! I like my food in it’s natural state, too!! When I first read that Dorie wanted us to puree this beautiful fish I was seriously thinking of skipping this one. I love your version!! A perfect compromise! Have a great weekend, Diane!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny I never really thought about the contrast between French and Italian cooking until I joined this group... I never could put my finger on what bothered me at times about French food, now I get it... it's because of my background.

      Delete
  11. Oooh, I like the idea of using whole fish instead. Your dish is more like what I thought this would be - until I read the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was pretty thrown while reading the directions too. I hope you try it whole fish, really nice ingredients in this dish.

      Delete
  12. Your version is exactly what I envisioned when I saw the title, but before I read the recipe. I love how yours came out. I made the mousse, which was interesting, but like food in its natural state better too.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog about the Yankees/Red Sox banner. It warmed my heart. Even rivals come together in times like these. And for the moment, it looks like we'll have some answers on why.

    Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear it was helpful. It really was amazing. So glad the chase is over. You guys need a good night sleep amen.

      Delete
  13. I love your version - I think it would have gone over much better with my partner, too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This sounds great! I will have to try it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do Emily it really is delicious.

      Delete
  15. No thanks to fish mousse. Pretty please to this roulade! Simple, elegant, each component shines through in its own right.

    Interesting about your French food experience. Never really thought about it before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been to Paris about every decade and in general I love the food, but last time it really struck me that it was very manipulated... must have been where I was eating.

      Delete
  16. I love this much simpler variation on this dish. It looks and sounds absolutely scrumptious, but it's much less daunting to make. I've pinned it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for pinning... I hope you get to make it soon it is really an impressive meal.

      Delete
  17. Recipe sounds good.........Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. That looks so delicious! I don't cook French dishes very often but this looks simple and healthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I skipped the cream and butter... this is definitely a recipe for you. It is light but still has lots of flavor.

      Delete
  19. Your Cod Spinach Roulades look delicious, we will just love these. Your recipe is fabulous and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete