When I get bored, I often turn to food. That was the case this afternoon. I picked up some Dover sole at the market after lunch, and decided to attempt to make an elegant, Louisiana-inspired dish for dinner.
First, I made a variation of a classic Cajun dish called couche couche (pronounced coosh coosh). Usually, couche couche is served for breakfast as a cereal with cane syrup or corn syrup. It's a mix of yellow cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and water that is cooked in a pan with hot oil. I also added a pinch of bloomed saffron, a fresh grind of sea salt, black and white peppercorns, juniper berries, coriander seeds, and fenugreek, and a small squeeze of lemon juice. The couche couche is then cooked until crumbly. While cooking, I added about a tbsp of unsalted butter, and about a tbsp of rendered duck fat.
I cut the sole fillet into smaller portions and seasoned them with the same spices used in the couche couche. I then seared the strips in a mix of canola oil and butter.
The whole dish was then topped with hollandaise. This was my first attempt at making hollandaise, and I must say that I'm extremely pleased because I used direct heat, instead of a double boiler, and it worked on the first try (no scrambled eggs!). To keep the spice consistent, I added a pinch of the same grind used throughout the dish.
After plating, I added a small squeeze of lemon and dusted the plate with cayenne pepper. Overall, I must say it was a great success.