This weekend, with its fine warm Parisian weather (though as far as I’m aware, it was the same in the UK), was the chance to invite friends to spend an evening eating a salad and drinking wine on our balcony.
Monique and Peter were the friends that we managed to tempt out of their parisian flat in the 6th arrondissement, which also gave us a good chance to catch up on Monique’s restaurant project (last year she did the same CAP Cuisine as me) and also gave me the chance to speak a bit of English (Pete being Australian, though he speaks French too).
So, given that Monique worked in La Fontaine Gaillon (see my posts with category Fontaine Gaillon) for her professional training, I decided to concentrate on fish (anyway, I love working with fish), whilst keeping a salad theme given that I knew that we were in for a warm evening.
As per usual when preparing fish for dinner, I went to my fishmonger to see what was in / on offer / looking good, before deciding what to make. As it turned out, it was the red mullet that looked best and was on offer (13€ the kilo). Given that I work regularly with Mullet at the Fontaine, I knew straight away how I wanted to prepare the fish – cut off head, take out spine, take out bones, leave skin on (out of interest, in general, you lose between 40-45% of the weight of the fish when prepared this way, but it means that you have very little work to do once you start to eat the mullet….and I hate having to work even more on something once I’m sitting down to eat….mussels and oysters being one of the rare exceptions)
As well as using fish, I wanted to reuse a salad recipie that I had concocted a few days earlier – courgettes cut into a julienne / fine spaghetti, mixed with coriander (stem and leaves) and mint leaves (finely sliced), bound together with a warm walnut and shallot dressing (straight out of the Tom Aikens “Cooking” book – thoroughly recommended, by the way).
The final touch to the fish, by the way, was a couple of batons of rhubarb, pan-fried in a calvados syrup…..I wanted to add a bit of sweetness with the mullet, and it worked pretty well (this idea came from a visit to a restaurant – thoroughly recommended, by the way – in Paris, “La Carte Blanche” where they mixed macarons with mullet and chocolate)