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Friday, Fish and France

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Friday, May 13; Yes, the sun did shine that day. Really!

What a pleasant evening! The sun was shining and the air was calm. The road crews had gone home, and we had just finished a simple, but simply delightful dinner at the end of a busy week.

Today was our Wenatchee day, so in Costco I looked at the fish and found fresh Pacific rockfish, one of our favorites. Once in awhile I make Snapper Vera Cruz, but usually, as tonight, I prepared it the way my mother used to prepare chicken breasts: rub each piece of fish (or chicken) lightly with regular mayonnaise and coat with seasoned panko crumbs. Heat a non-stick skillet and add a tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Cook fish for a minute on high, then reduced heat, turn over and brown the other side.

Before cooking the fish, make the sauce. My personal sous chef makes this while I am slaving over a hot stove; it is an Alice Waters-of-Chez-Panisse-fame concoction, and very good with fish, potatoes, and asparagus. And there we find our menu for the evening.

Sauce: finely chop 3 tablespoons shallot and put in small bowl or 1 cup glass measuring cup. Add 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and let rest 15 minutes. Oops! I left out the parsley. Add 3-4 tablespoons finely minced parsley at this time.Add 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon rinsed and drained capers. Whisk briskly and add a tablespoon water. Whisk again. Serve on the fish, potatoes and asparagus.

So, cook the fish while the potatoes - small Yukon Golds - steam. When potatoes are nearly done, steam the asparagus. Serve fish, potatoes and asparagus with the sauce and with a good Sancerre or Graves Blanc.

Yes, I know we have good Sauvignon Blanc in the U.S. Both California and Washington produce some. New Zealand is noted for it. And most of them smell and taste of gooseberry and grapefruit. While I like those fruits (yes, I have had gooseberries many times), I prefer them in pie or juice and not in my wine. So for this occasion we had a crisp, citrusy and aromatic French Sancerre.

Our usual "dessert" after each meal is a salad of mixed greens. For this meal the greens were dressed with toasted almond oil and Trader Joe's orange muscat champagne vinegar, and topped with fresh orange segments and toasted sliced almonds. Other nights the dressing, as well as the toppings, might change. Toasted walnut oil and balsamic vinegar with slices of fresh pear or fresh lightly pickled beets, and topped with blue cheese and toasted walnuts remains a favorite.

After this, who wants anything else?