Mar 272006

I’m the primary cook of the household. As with most families, everyone aound here has their own likes and disklikes when it comes to food. It’s a fine balancing act trying to get different foods on the table that everyone is going to enjoy. Sometimes, I just have to make the decision that someone is on their own that evening if I to make something different (the most common example being fish). As a family, we get tired of the same old dishes over and over again (and really, there’s only so much “helper” you can eat).

netgoth and xanyboi have gotten me turned on to Alton Brown’s Good Eats. He devoted a recent show to “pouch” cooking, and I thought it looked like a great way to cook some white fish that I recently picked up at Sam’s Club.

The results were less than stellar.

To start with, I put a 1/2 cup of Chardonay in the parchment paper with the white fish. I put a tablespoon of butter in there with it, and covered the top of the fish with bread crumbs and parsley. I cut a lemon into thin slices and lined the top of the fish with them, then put some minced garlic, red onion, and mushroom on it as well. I sealed the whole kit and caboodle up and put it in the oven at 425° for 20 minutes.

The good : The fish was incredibly moist, and evenly cooked. It had a great smell, and really seemed to absorb the flavors of the ingredients that I put into the pouch with it.

The bad : Chardonay is not a good flavor to be absorbed by white fish. It was, at the same time, bland and yet overly sweet. There wasn’t a “hint” of wine flavor to the fish – When you tasted the wine, it was pretty much all you tasted. There was far too much moisture in the pouch, making the thinner portions of the fish very soggy (where the fish was high enough to be out of the liquid, it was moist but dry and the bread crumbs weren’t breaded mud).

All in all, not a great cooking experience – But a good learning experience. The quality of the fish itself in the end result makes me definitely want to try the method again. Next time, no wine – or at the very least not a chardonay and not nearly as much. I might go with another sauce altogeher or just use butter for the steaming moisture. I definitely need to put some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper in the mix as well, and maybe some parmesan and oregano along with the parsley.

Tomorrow night – Crock pot pot roast (which is already prepared and ready to be turned on when I leave for work in the morning). That one, at the very least, I know is a hit.

Any suggestions you all might have on other things I can try with this method are welcome. I’d post the pictures I took, but as the meal wasn’t all that great I don’t wanna post ’em.

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