Sunday lunch is our favourite family affair. Usually the girls are doing their homework, Margit does the magic in the kitchen and I try to set the table, prepare the wines and do some of the supporting cast work.
In the morning we went to the Villa Market to buy the ingredients. Asia is great in this respect. Shops are open seven days a week and the Villa Market is just around the corner from our flat in Thong Loh, Bangkok.
“Sole with Walnuts in Parchment” from my favourite cook book –“The Philosophers’s Kitchen” by Francine Segan – was on the agenda. We could not get sole but grouper was available. Parchment paper was also on hand. The adventure could begin. And the recipe goes like this (page 110 of the above book):
– 1 cup shelled walnuts (have you ever had unshelled walnuts in a dish?)
– 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
– 1 cup fresh mint leaves
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
– 2 tablespoons walnut or olive oil (we had the latter)
– sea salt and freshly milled five-colour peppercorns (we took fresh green ones)
– 4 lemon sole fillets (in our case grouper), about 8 ounces each
– four 12 by 12 inches sheets of parchment paper
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
– lemon wedges
How to do the magic:
Well, first heat the oven to about 220 centigrades. Grind the walnuts finely, add the parsley, the mint, garlic, the cumin, the honey, the oil, the salt and the pepper. Puree this mesh until it is well blended. Divide the stuffing in four parts and spread it on the top of the four fish fillets. Then roll the fillets with the stuffing inside. Put two fillets on one sheet of parchment, dot the top of each with some butter, close the packet folding the parchment in pleads. Tuck the ends under the fish and put it into the oven. After about 15 minutes they are ready.
We had green asparagus grilled with parmesan on top, mushrooms and potatoes with it. Have a look at the dishes below. I love Francine’s recipes.
The grouper in parchment
Green asparagus with parmesan cheese
Voila: the Sunday meal
You will ask what wine we had with this delicious meal. Well, we are still experimenting with the wines here in Bangkok. I choose a Thai wine (a rose). Unfortunately I tried the lower price end. It did not work. Nothing to report on the wine front. Sorry.
Wines are not cheap in Thailand. The lower price range starts at about 6-7 EURO/bottle, minimum prices for mass wines are 10-12 EURO. For a decent drop you have to fork out the minimum of 20 EURO. This situation is not conducive to extensive wine tastings. There is a great variety of wines from all over the world to chose from but the prices hinder you somehow.
I should have chosen a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or a Riesling from the Mosel (but had nothing at hand).
The Philosopher’s Kitchen
Recipes from Ancient Greece and Rome for the Modern Cook
by Francine Segan
Random House, New York 2004