Last night’s meal was a cracker: the recipe was an old favourite and the main ingredient was far better than I had thought (I thought that the baking would dry it out).

The recipe was from Francoise Bernard’s cookbook, La Cuisine, which is one of those old fashioned cookbooks that I picked up for $25.00 and contains hundreds of recipes with no photographs; it is like a French version of Joy of Cooking or the CWA Cookbook-just recipes.  Also, it is not like Julia Child’s famous, The Art of French Cooking, because Bernard does not explain the processes as Child does so well.  Bernard just presents recipes that for the most part are easy and she does display ratings at the beginning of the recipe so the reader knows what they are in for.  The ones that I have tried have been noted as Easy.

The cooking could not be simpler and this time I tried, as the fish of choice, Patagonian Tooth fish.  Several years ago, bear with me because it is a good story, the Australian Fisheries Dept. spotted on radar a vessel fishing in Australian waters far southwest of Australia but in territorial waters so they gave chase.  The illegal trawler ran for South America, the nearest landmass, and after about six days in bad seas the Australians boarded the trawler, impounded it, arrested the crew and confiscated the trawler’s catch that had been quick-frozen on this factory ship.  They brought the fish cargo back to Australia and sold it but no one here really knew what the hell Patagonian Tooth fish were but they soon found out.  To my taste buds it is the best fish that I have ever tasted, even better than salmon; it is soft and mild with a distinctive flavour.

Bernard’s recipe is so easy.  Oil the bottom of a small baking dish; cover with thinly sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with finely chopped shallots, pour in about 120 mls. of fish or vegetable stock, sprinkle with fresh thyme, dot with butter and bake at 180 c. for 20 minutes.  Serve with rice and a garden salad.

We enjoyed a 3 Corners Enterprise Chardonnay from New South Wales with it.

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