52 Weeks! 52 Recipes! One Delicious Year!
I shared this photo on New Year’s Day, a stack of ten cookbooks, announcing that I have challenged myself to cook 52 recipes from 52 of my cookbooks – one per week!
So, time to get cooking!
What’s up for week one of 2022?
Vincent And Mary Price Of Course!
If you didn’t know that Horror legend Vincent Price was a Chef, that’s OK – you see, more than cooking, he just LOVED eating at the greatest restaurants around the world!
In 1965, he and his wife published this collection of some of his favorite places…many are closed now, including Oslo Norway’s classic Fish restaurant La Belle Sole:
According to the cookbook, this restaurant was as famous for their Sole dish as the legendary Paris restaurant Tour d’Argent was for its pressed duck, which I had once and yes, they give you a card with the number of your duck breast!
Here is the page from the book with the recipe – let’s see if I can replicate this dish – because I couldn’t find a photo of it at all!
First, I gathered the ingredients needed for the dish: the mushrooms and asparagus up front with a clove of garlic – an added ingredient that I didn’t use! That’s a golden slab of butter in front of the file of sole, along with some lobster tails, packaged Mussels and wine as well…first up, time to make the base for a sauce:
I broke down the lobster tails, removing the meat and breaking the shells into pieces, which I cooked in two tablespoons of butter…after they turned red, I tossed in the onion, along with salt, pepper, and a cup of water plus a cup of dry white wine…
I let it simmer for twenty minutes – then turned my attention to the other ingredients.
I decided to cook everything one at a time, then set aside for later. First, I sautéed the lobster meat in a tablespoon of butter.
Over medium heat, this only took 5-6 minutes, which I strirred constantly.
After removing the cooked lobster meat, I added a bit more butter and did a hot sear on some stalks of asparagus…it took about five minutes and I set those aside as well:
I kept the heat on medium high and used the remaining butter in the pan to give the mushrooms a nice caramelization…then I set everything aside, along with some more butter, which I needed for my next step in the recipe!
I returned to the pan with the simmering lobster shells…I strained the liquid, losing the shells and the onion, leaving it a gorgeous brown…
I melted some butter in another pan, and added a tablespoon of flour:
I added the flour to the butter, made a roux, which only takes a few minutes…
I added the lobster broth, and stirred until it achieved a nice creaminess….now, time for the star of the dish!
I got a nice piece of Sole, which weighed in at just under a pound…I added salt and pepper, then melted some butter in a fish pan and, instead of baking it, I pan seared it instead:
As with most delicate fish like this, the cooking process was just a few minutes on each side…I didn’t want it too crisp so I turned it often…then, I took a moment to make sure all of the other ingredients were warm, and it was time to plate the dish!
I wasn’t sure exactly how to arrange the plate – I’m not a great food stylist, but after doing so I added the lobster sauce and sprinkled some parsley on top:
I plated the fish in the middle, topped it with the sauce, then put the Mussels near the top, the asparagus on the left, the lobster meat on the right and Mushrooms on both ends!
I could have put the asparagus across the sole, or even put the lobster meat on top, but for this effort I kept the ingredients separate…presentation aside, the fish was delicious, the sauce had just enough essence of Lobster to make the effort worthwhile, and I was very happy with the sear on both the asparagus and the mushrooms.
I ultimately added more sauce to the lobster because it is, after all, lobster sauce!
Overall, not a bad way to start my “52 In 22” recipe challenge!
This terrific cookbook is a treasure trove of classic recipes from around the world…in fact, I’ve cooked from it before:
Vincent and his wife attended a special dinner at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and one of the dishes was this terrific “Game Hens With Wild Rice And Orange Sauce” recipe – it’s also in the book and you can see how I made it here:
So, there are two great meals thanks to the legendary Horror Icon:
Now it’s time for a delicious cinematic treat from Vincent Price and Diana Rigg as well!
Yes, there they are cooking up some evil revenge – Diana Rigg loved the costume and said she had the BEST moviemaking experience of her career working with Vincent Price, and how could she not?
The comic horror film “Theater Of Blood” tells the story of a once-great Actor who decides to kill all of the Critics who helped end his career!
It’s a blast, and you can see the trailer and a lot of great behind-the-scenes information by clicking here:
Price’s daughter Victoria wrote a beautiful biography of her Dad – aside from a Morro legend, he was a passionate fan of food, travel, art and more!
It’s a loving but candid tribute to a great Actor and “lover of life” – who knew everyone in Hollywood and she tells all of the tales!
Click here for more!
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Next week, a trip to Italy for a classic dish that I love – but this time it will be made with a classic restaurant recipe I’ve never attempted!
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