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Is this Kitchen-Worthy Worthy?

March 26, 2010

First off, I am taking a 3 day break from the travels and trials of our adventures.  The next recipe in the International Language Series list is a repeat of a previous national dish.  I will still be posting an article for the country (Democratic Republic of Congo) but will be linking back to the other article for the actual recipe.  Previously, I mentioned that I would check in from time to time in a more personal posting and this is that type of posting.

Tonight I have Luke (my cousin and foodie from previous posting) on hand to help enjoy some delicious seafood.  Welcome back to the kitchen Luke!  Glad to see you back in Charlotte so regularly.  Let’s cook some seafood tonight!  Are the beers on ice?

One of my personal favorite blogs (as mentioned in the Sunshine Awards posting) is presented by Liren a Virtuosa in her own right.  A few weeks back she posted a recipe for “Fish cooked En Papillote”, or “in paper”.  I made a note to try this recipe the next time I cooked fish.  I have done plenty of packet cooking in foil but this looked very appetizing.  Today I will stop procrastinating and actually follow the recipe.

Thanks to my good friend Marty at Inland Seafood Charlotte Division, I was able to procure some of the nicest Striped Bass you ever did see, as well as a few armored crustaceans of an ornery and delicious nature.

Larry and Moe

We named them Larry and Moe right before they went into the oven.  I realize this sounds crass but to set the mind at ease, I did the more humane thing and killed them first with a sharp knife through the skull.  I am uncertain whether or not this is actually helping my cause for kindness but I have been told it kills instantly thus avoiding a slow painful death by cooking.  My intentions are good even when my words are not.  I hope a bit of humor offsets the ugliness.

Now, we move on to a more pleasant topic.  By the time I received them, the fish were already dispatched.  Note the beautiful texture and color of these fillets.

Striped Bass is a very carefully managed fishery on the East Coast of the United States.  Every single fish must by law bear a tag until it is butchered.  This helps maintain the population and reduces instances of illegal and unlicensed commercial harvest.  The fish has earned the moniker “the chef’s fish” for its superior qualities and flavor.  I think it is an ideal fish to try Liren’s recipe out on.

The next step is the cooking of the fish and lobsters.  I am using this recipe for the lobsters since I can’t get it out of my head after eating it.   Here is a link to “Fish En Papillote” at

To start us off we have a standard shrimp cocktail with extra horseradishy sauce.  It is as good as it looks.  I think the Fresh Carolina White Shrimp definitely are the difference.  Topped with a bit of old bay while steaming, not over-cooked and chilled instantly in an icebath these little puppies were screamingly delicious…

And here is the result of following Liren’s lovely seafood recipe!  The fish cooked beautifully in the parchement and the flavors and aroma were certainly worth 5 out of 5 ratings.  My presentation didn’t touch Lirens beautiful photos but the flavors were remarkable. 

Also, the lobster was as good tonight as it was the previous time we made it in vanilla sauce.  Thanks Larry and Moe, you will be remembered fondly.

For a delicious side dish that smacks of sodium overload but actually renders the potatoes featured in it a perfectly seasoned regional favorite from my hometown in Syracuse NY, try the following:

NY State Fair Style Salt Potatoes


3 lbs white creamer potatoes

1 cup of salt (I know!!  Trust me! J)

A large pot filled ½ way with boiling water


Once the water is boiling, add the salt and stir till incorporated

Add the potatoes being careful not to splash yourself with boiling water

Cook for about 25 minutes till tender when you poke a fork in to them

Remove from pot as you serve

Serves 6-8

When you serve them, the water will evaporate leaving a salt film on the outside.  This is exactly the right amount of salt to season the potatoes.  Dip in melted butter or slather in sour cream and chives for an even more sinful treat.

Also on the plate are the Lobster in Vanilla Sauce on a salad of Clover Sprouts, the Fish En Papillote with fresh veggies and a salad made of 5 varieties of edible seaweed tossed with sauteed shitake mushroom and vidalia onions and belgian endive with Miso and Yuzu dressing. 

Of course seafood goes well with beer and we had some beauties last night!  Chimays Blue Label Reserve, Spiced Ale, a tasty Belgian Wheat Beer, and my standby Yeungling.  We stayed up too late and had to wake up far too soon, but it was a memorable evening and I look forward to next time.

I am now officially ready to resume our global adventure.  Stay tuned to see where we land next…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2010 2:15 pm

    Wow, Eric! I’m so pleased that you tried the recipe and very honored. I have admit, I was a bit nervous when I saw your title, I mean, can you say PRESSURE? But I’m glad it turned out well. The sea bass looked so fresh and beautiful. So did Larry and Moe, poor little guys (I bet they turned out delicious!). Thank you so, so much your wonderful words!

  2. March 26, 2010 10:37 pm

    Dear Eric – Re: Larry & Moe, your good intentions overrule your harsh albeit neccesary actions. You are a sweet man to allow them to meet their maker without added suffering. And you’ve also done them the honor of being the best darn tasting lobsters in death…which fulfills their purpose in life? 🙂

    The parchment wrapped fish looks WONDERFUL…the fish juices with the fresh vegetables…yum!

    Once again, you’ve put together a delightful post & a delightful meal.


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