Good morning my lovelies!
Have you ever put yourself in an awkward and uncomfortable situation only to realize a moment too late that its happened?
After work on Friday I made my way down from the office to the liquor store buy my very-necessary and thoroughly enjoyable Friday night bottle of wine only to find myself at the till stuck between a rock and a hard place. By rock I mean an impatient cashier and by hard place I mean the angry, cursing, growling man behind me.
The 5:00PM rush in Toronto's Union Station is nothing to smirk at - the 5:00PM rush in Toronto's Union Station liquor store is madness. Angry financial people want their booze and they want it now. It wasn't until I found myself between rock and hard place that I accidentally selected a $40.00 bottle of wine when I meant to choose a $20.00 one. With a line up of 15 people behind me. Not fun.
When I heard the cashier say "$45 please", I realized my bad. Slightly panicked by the hostility in the room and a little taken aback by the price I light-heartedly joked that I'd be "having myself some good wine tonight!" She was having none of it. And Growly Mc-Growlerson behind me was inching closer and closer. Instead of admitting my mistake and returning the bottle to it's rightful shelf, I graciously paid for the thing and tucked it - carefully - away in my purse. Yes, I carry my wine in my purse.
Lesson learned: Pay very close attention to the price tag and the corresponding bottle of wine. If that fails, take the bottle and run.
Second lesson learned: That wine is fucking fantastic and elegant and smooth and bold and everything a 40 dollar bottle of wine should be.
Speaking of fantastic, elegant, smooth and bold... Trout is huge out here. Probably because of the prevalence of lakes. Lakes = lake fish. Trout, in this case. And I couldn't help but make me some for dinner the other night. This dish would make for a great weeknight meal, particularly if you make the gnocchi on the weekend, but is also indulgent enough to pair with a great $40 bottle of vino. Aye.
Pan Seared Trout on Bacon Green Beans with Chive Buttered Gnocchi
(printable recipe) - serves 2.
2 6oz. Filets of Trout, skin on.
Couple of Big Handfuls of Green Beans, pointy end-bits chopped off.
5 or 6 Slices of Good Quality Bacon, chopped.
2 Shallots, peeled & thinly sliced.
1/4 C Toasted Almonds, roughly chopped.
1 Preserved Lemon Wedge (sub zest and juice of one lemon if necessary).
Small Handful of Chives, chopped.
Couple of Tbsps of Butter.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
Pat the fish dry of excess moisture with a towel and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Bring 2 pots (one larger, one smaller) of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Once the smaller one is at a rolling boil, throw the beans in. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are a bright green and a fork pierces them without too much effort, yet still hold their integrity. Drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color. Once cooled, remove from the water and set aside.
Meanwhile, as the water heats, place a pan on a third burner over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the bacon. Fry until cooked through and crispy, stirring often. Remove from the pan and discard of all but a couple Tbsp of the grease. Return to the heat and toss the shallots and lemon into greasy pan and allow to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add a dollop of butter. Once that's really sizzling, place the fish skin side down in the pan and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until skin is good and crispy. Flip, and cook a further 3 minutes or until fish is flaky and cooked through.
Remove the fish from the pan, set aside. Throw the green beans, shallot/lemon mixture, almonds and bacon into same pan and heat through.
As you heat the beans, etc., gently add the gnocchi to the larger pot. Boil until the little guys float to the top (should only take a minute or so) and immediately remove them from the water with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Once all the gnocchi have been boiled, dump out the water, rinse pot well and dry. Place back on the stove over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp of butter. When the butter is melted and sizzling, gently toss in the boiled gnocchi, stirring often, until the little guys have a bit of color on both sides. Add to the veggie mixture.
Place a couple of big scoops of the veggie/gnocchi concoction on a plate and top with cooked fish.
*When smashing the potatoes for the gnocchi, add the chives. Tada - chive gnocchi!
What uncomfortable situations have you put yourself in? Are you ever intimidated by angry, growling men? Or women, for that matter? Would you have returned the wine?
This post is linked up with The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop via the 21st Century Housewife; Tasty Tuesdays; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; Tuesday Talent Show; Cast Party Wednesday; Whole Foods Wednesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.