5 Star Makeover: Icy Poached Fish

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“Most of the famous French dishes involving filet of sole center around fish poached in white wine and coated with a lovely, creamy sauce made from the poaching liquid.”

Julia Child describes poaching fish fillets from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This month’s 5 Star Makeover theme is Cooking with Wine. We can choose any classic dish where wine is a major ingredient and put our own unique spin on it.

Poached Red Snapper with Wine Ice served with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Lemon Zest, and Scallions

I re-created Julia Child’s Fish Filets Poached in White Wine and decided to present an icy, refreshing poached snapper dish surrounded with ice made from its poaching liquid, accompanied by a mushroom cream sauce, lemon zest, and scallions. For a light dish like poached fish, a low-tannin wine is most appropriate due to the lack of fat in this dish. Tannin and fattiness go hand in hand. So braised short ribs would go well with a bottle of Bordeaux or Cabernet, for example. In this case, I poached the fish in Pinot Grigio to avoid masking the light fish flavor with a high-tannin wine.

Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Fish Filets Poached in White Wine
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped green onions
  • 2.5lbs of skinless, boneless red snapper fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp of butter cut into bits
  • 1.5 cups of Pinot Grigio and water mixture
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • A handful of small cremini mushrooms
  • Lemon, for zesting

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter a shallow fireproof baking dish that is about 2 inches deep.
  2. Sprinkle half of the scallions in the bottom of the dish. Season fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. Place fillets in dish and sprinkle remaining scallions over them, along with bits of butter.
  4. Pour in wine/water mixture until fish is barely covered.
  5. Bring dish almost to a simmer on stovetop. Lay a buttered paper over the fish, then bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove fish and set on a plate to cool, then refrigerate. Pour 2/3 of the poaching liquid into a shallow dish and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  7. Bring remaining poaching liquid to a boil on the stove and stir in 1 tbsp of butter, 1 tbsp of flour, 1 tsp of salt, a dash of pepper, and mushrooms. Boil sauce down until thickened. Leave in fridge to cool.
  8. To serve, scrap poaching liquid ice with a fork. Place ice in a glass or bowl. Spoon a little bit of the mushroom sauce over the ice. Place a piece of fish over ice and sauce. Cover fish with more crushed ice. Sprinkle a little bit of lemon zest over the fish. Serve cold.

Thank you to Natasha from 5 Star Foodie and Laz from Lazaro Cooks! for hosting the 5 Star Makeover!

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16 comments for “5 Star Makeover: Icy Poached Fish

  1. Peggy
    September 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    What an interesting take on this dish Jessica! Looks amazing =)

  2. lisa is cooking
    September 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    What a fun challenge! Making ice from the poaching liquid was a brilliant idea.

  3. kankana
    September 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Truly a five star dish and i bet it tastes awsm! I am fish lover and this goes is my wish list.

  4. Junia
    September 30, 2011 at 5:31 am

    making fancy fish dishes are hard! poached fish in white wine! wow, date night food!

  5. Lazaro Cooks
    September 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Creative, smart, and lots of fun. Your photo and presentation are flawless. So vibrant. Practically jumping off the screen. Two thumbs way up!

  6. Tanantha
    September 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I own this book to Jessica! However, I'm not very good at following a cook book haha. I tried a few recipes and I guess I was done. Good choice picking out this recipe! Poached fish has full flavor from wine.

  7. Linda Harding
    October 1, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I recently tried Pinot Grigio for the first time…and loved it! The winemaker who introduced me to it called it "a breakfast wine" as it's so light and fruity… your dish looks delicious!

  8. Magic of Spice
    October 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Such a lovely and creative twist…beautiful dish!

  9. Daily Spud
    October 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Wow, what an intriguing twist on a classic – I'd be fascinated to try this one out

  10. Priscilla - She's Cookin'
    October 3, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Love your modern take on Julia Child's classic! Making ice from the poaching liquid was brilliant!

  11. Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™
    October 3, 2011 at 5:19 am

    what an interesting approach to using the different wines. and i really like the iced sauce—I'm going to have to try this! Loving the makeovers so far!

  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    October 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    This is totally a new way of eating fish for me and I love it. I need to challenge myself with new method, new taste, in a whole different way… I don't read cookbook enough (well, I don't own many either). You inspired me to open some books and find some new method. I should try this one on weekends.

  13. angela@spinachtiger
    October 6, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Very unique and chic for this month's challenge.

  14. Lori Lynn
    October 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Wow so creative, and love that it is Julia inspired. This would make an amazing summer appetizer. Brava!
    LL

  15. John
    October 7, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Beautiful presentation! The mushroom cream sauce looks/sounds amazing.

  16. Trix
    October 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    A gourmet-restaurant worthy appetizer, and a stunning presentation!

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