Our story begins tonight with the best of plans. Menu plans, that is. A lovely meal plan comprised of sole wrapped around a heavenly, garlicy shrimp and lemony rice stuffing. The lovely bundles would be shrouded in foil and lovingly grilled to perfection. Rounding out the menu was a spinach saute. Ah, but then I do have children which means I've learned to punt, roll with the changes, go with the flow ... you get the picture. Here's how our afternoon went .....
A little background info -- My house has an open floor plan and so my kitchen and family room are intertwined. The best feature of my kitchen is my giant island that is not encumbered by any cook surfaces. It's a vast open playing field, an envious prep center that I do not take for granted. Today it held my bounty from the sea ... lovely sole fillets not to thin and not too thick, and gorgeous shrimp that I peeled and cleaned for my family who prefer to never, ever deal with shells in their food. All my spices are laid out, the lovely garlic cloves are teetering back and forth sharing space on the cutting board with the lemon, my favorite chef's knife is ready to go, and just as I start my butter sauce ... sigh ... my built in mother's intuition kicks in. If I were Spiderman, my "spidey sense would be tingling". (Um, yeh, we just watched Spiderman the other night.)
I get these gut feelings often and much to my chagrin, I'm usually right on target. Today when the feeling struck, I actually said out loud, "ouch, that can't be good". Thirty seconds later, my youngest bursts through the door announcing that offspring #2 has wiped out on her bike. The walking wounded limps through the door shaken, bloodied and bruised. Worse was that she was literally turning green from shock ... she's fair skinned so I literally mean she was turning green ... and so instead of whisking my sauce, I ended up whisking her to the couch and administering first aid and some dr. mom time.
When she was comfortably cleaned up and settled down, a quick glance at the clock let me know there was no longer enough time to prepare the planned recipe. (I can see all you mom's nodding your head with a "been there done that" expression.) No worries ... I can punt, roll with the changes (REO Speedwagon flashback), go with the flow. Ahem. I know, you get the picture. As it turns out, the meal ended up better than what I originally planned. I decided to pan fry the sole using some of the gluten free Bob's Mill flour that I recently purchased. I figured I'd make a piccata sauce of sorts and toss the shrimp in it. I still had just enough time to make the lemony rice that I found on Marjie's blog, and set to getting that done. No spinach this time around; instead I substituted sliced, fresh strawberries. In less than 30 minutes, I had a meal that was once again snarfed (yes, snarfed) down by my family. I'm three for three this week using recipes from blogs.
The sole fillets turned out phenomenal using the gluten free flour. Working at warp speed, I simply rinsed and dried the fillets, sprinkled them with liberally with season salt and dredged them in the plain g/f flour. The g/f flour is a silky powder and it kind of melted into the fish as I coated it. I was a bit worried thinking that it would fry up gummy, but I couldn't have been more wrong. If anything, it fried up to a more beautiful, crispy, golden brown than I've ever produced using regular flour. The piccata sauce was a quick mixture of butter, olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, minced garlic, and capers. Since shrimp cook really fast, I prepared the shrimp at the last minute by quickly sauteing it in the piccata sauce. The rice was the delightful element in tonight's fare. In my haste, I unknowingly altered Marjie's directions just a little bit by adding the lemon juice as well as the rind and cream after the rice was prepared. The consistency of the rice immediately resembled a risotto yet the lemon kept it fresh and light. I thought the addition of cream would make it heavier, but it didn't. I really, really, REALLY liked it. Marjie knows her stuff. Double click on the photo and check out how creamy the rice is. While you're there, check out that lovely crust on the fillet, too. I got a kick out of offspring #3 who kept saying between mouthfuls, "I really love this 'melon' rice". When told it was lemon not melon, she responded with her usual shrugged shoulder playfulness, "Melon, lemon ... I have my mouth full!"
Sometimes life throws you curves. It certainly is a common occurrence in our household! Tonight's curve brought us another menu for the repeat list.