Well, Moira, I really can’t decide on a favourite comfort food. I really can’t. But here is how we comforted ourselves this weekend. On Friday, we decided to have breaded fish to console ourselves that it was snowing. Again.
Yes, breaded fish. A great idea. Which meant tartare sauce. One can’t have breaded fish without tartare sauce! We trudged to the supermarket and bought some frozen cod fillets and a HUGE bunch of dill. I didn’t see any tarragon (it is winter, after all) and decided not to bother with the parsley. And still the tartare sauce I made was far superior to any of the commercial sludges. So the fish and tartare sauce were brilliant with boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli. Our house Sangiovese worked very well.
I discovered something about fresh dill and red wine though. I had a small glass of the wine as we were reading and chatting and preparing dinner. I absolutely adore dill so was munching on the washed dill that was in a vase on the counter. (Instant herb garden – great idea from a book my sister gave me: Little Herb Gardens by Georgeanne Brennan and Mimi Luebbermann) I ate a sprig of dill and took a sip of wine. Yikes!!! The wine tasted terrible! It was bitter and sour instead of the usual flavour that is full bodied and fruity with a hint of sweetness. And yet with the dinner itself, the wine married very well and tasted as we expected. And then dessert. Yes! There was dessert! Blueberry pie (frozen blueberries from the supermarket!!) with a mix of whipping cream and cream cheese on top.
But of course, on Friday, I hadn’t even begun to use all that dill. And it looks so lovely – those intensely green fronds. And smells so wonderful when brushed. But it really doesn’t last once it’s been cut.
Dill is not one of T’s favourites (even though he adores our tartare sauce) but he graciously agreed to try something else using the dill. Salmon? No, not if we can’t grill it… so we looked in our various cookbooks to see what others suggested. In the wonderful book A Culinary Guide to Herbs, Spices and Flavourings by Arabella Boxer, we came upon a chicken and vegetable dish with a sauce prepared with chicken stock, cream and dill. Well that can’t be bad, can it? We did have whipping cream left over from the pie. We always have chicken stock. Yes. It was agreed. Roast chicken and vegetables with a dilly cream sauce.
My hero rode his bike to Kensington market on Saturday and bought a chicken. He roasted it on a bed of sliced zucchini, onion and plum tomato. While potatoes were roasting in the oven, T made the most divine sauce with stock, cream (35%bf!!!), salt and pepper. It was like velvet. No wonder the French use heavy cream in their sauces! Just before serving dinner, in went the chopped dill so it wouldn’t get stewed.
The result? Fabulous. Simply fabulous. Once again we drank SanGiovese and ate like kings. So it snowed again! Who cares? (Hmmm, do you want the truth? No, perhaps you don’t – I’ll make this a whineless post.)
And we STILL have tons of dill! Hmmm, dill and eggs? Do they go well together?