D cooked for a second night. I got home about 7:15 and smelled fish – hoping it was new fish, and that the house did not still smell of fish from last night! But yes, it was new fish. It turned out to be exceptionally good! I asked about it during dinner and every few seconds another ingredient crossed D’s lips. Amazing combination of flavors.
He started by cutting up three stalks of lemon grass, as small as he could stand. Lemon grass rules say peel off the outer, hard layers, but all the layers are hard, so it’s not clear what this means. D gave up discarding this good-smelling stuff, and just heated the choppings in peanut oil to make a sort of essence of lemon grass, then discarded the grass itself.
He cooked thin sliced fennel, scallions, and cilantro in the peanut oil, then fish fillets, tangerine zest, and soy sauce. What was so wonderful about it is that none of these flavors stood out – they were so well blended they just made an excellent whole. He simmered it up carefully, salted and peppered, and added white wine (a deceased CalStar Sauvignon Blanc). He sliced some more scallions – the green parts, to put over the top, for looks (nicely done).
Separately, he cooked pinto beans, from a huge bag our friend V gave us awhile ago. He boiled them in water with garlic and salt. He thinks it would have been better to pre-soak them, but they’re really good.
He cooked Thai jasmine rice, and then, after I quipped about mixing rice leftovers, he pulled in some black rice from yesterday’s dinner along with tonight’s white. All in all, a very pretty mixture and a perfectly delicious dish.
He bought an Acme sour batard today – wanted a baguette, but there weren’t any by the time he went. He chose a Moulin de Ferrand Entre-deux-Mers (2011) which was great with the meal. This costs only $8.99 at the Bowl. They have bottles on top of the fish counter – clever marketing.