I went to lunch with Nizar at Café Trang and had my usual Pho soup with rice noodles and rare beef and meatballs.
After lunch I drove across the parking lot to Ta Lin to shop for some vegetables and see what fish was available. Although it was Tuesday, they had a fresh Mexican yellowtail tuna in the fish department (Jurnel at $3.68 a pound) (Japanese yellow tail tuna was $25.00 per pound) and also had bottles of fresh West coast oysters, so I bought a one pound slice of the Mexican yellowtail and a bottle of oysters.
I then bought fish balls for soup and a 1 pound bag of Vietnamese fresh rice noodles for Vietnamese soups.
When I arrived at the vegetable department I saw that there were nice fresh Chinese eggplants and remembered that Suzette said she had not cooked two of the pork ribs, so I realized that I could use them to make a dinner of Ma Po Dofu. I bought three nice eggplants and went back to the Japanese area and bought a 14 oz. tub of medium firm tofu.
So I had bought ingredients for three meals and several lunches.
I went home and after riding my bike an hour found out that Suzette would be delayed and that I would be the cook for the night’s meal.
I started by cooking a cup of basmati rice.
I then plucked the stringy edges off 1 cup of sugar snap peas and put them aside. I then finely diced 1 carrot and about ¼ cup of onion and about two Tbs. of parsley and threw that in a pan with two Tbs. of butter and 1 Tbs. of olive oil and sautéed it slowly. I then went to the garden and picked four of five leaves of sage and about four sprigs of thyme (most of which had been frozen and dead). I chopped and plucked the sage and thyme and threw that into the sautéing vegetables with two bay leaves to make a bouquet garni style mixture. I then poured one half cup of white wine and one half cup of water into the sautéing pan and brought it to a boil and put in the fish and covered the pan with a lid to poach the fish and vegetables. After a couple of minutes I threw the sugar snap peass into the steaming poaching mediums so they would steam.
In another pan I placed two Tbs. of flour and two Tbs. of butter and cooked that for a few minutes to cook the flour. I then added about 1Tbs of Japanese wasabi horseradish and 1Tbs of Swedish Sennap (prepared sweet mustard) to the roux and turned it off.
When the fish finished poaching about fifteen minutes later, I added the poaching medium to the roux and then added milk until the consistency of the cream sauce was creamy. I let some of the onion and carrot and parsley fall into the sauce to add color and texture.
We served the fish and sugar snap peas in a soup bowl over rice coated with the cream sauce and drank some left over Riesling that complemented the somewhat spicy tang of the horseradish and mustard cream sauce. (see picture) The fish was surprisingly firm but tender. I would fix this easy and inexpensive dish again. I love cream (béchamel) sauces made with fish stock.
I have been trying to work on setting up my new bike by riding it and that and work have caused the flow of reviews and meals to become less regular and I apologize for that.