Saturday, May 2, 2009

Perch Dinner

Today is my sister, Jenny's, last evening home. She's headed back to Greece tomorrow until June. Jenny, Steve and I went to the Vevay market this morning to check out the happenings and find something to catch our fancy for dinner. Jenny decided that she would like perch from the Lake.

The lake that we are on is commonly called Lake Geneva in The States but in Europe it is called Lac Leman. The lake is full of perch that are very similar to the lake perch we get out of Lake Erie. The perch here are smaller by at least half and while they have the same mild and buttery taste they are not quite as sweet as Lake Erie perch. I have had lake perch from all the Great Lakes and some inland Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota lakes and while it has all been great perch, I am convinced that there is no other perch as sweet as Lake Erie perch.

Jenny also loves coleslaw so I made a big bowl of that and I used some left-over baked potatoes to make a delicious potato casserole with butter, leeks, onions and creme fraiche. Of course, I made an apple pie for my sister too.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my Grandmother makes the best perch ever and it is her method I use when I make perch: dust in flour, egg wash, cracker or bread crumbs and let rest before frying in as little oil as possible in a hot skillet.

If you notice the perch is breaded two different ways. I started with bread crumb that I made today with a mix of stale breads that I have been accumulating in the freezer. The mix was plain baguette with several different varieties of farm-wheat breads. I can never get bread crumbs done in the food processor as fine as I would like and today was no exception. After breading several batches of perch with my bread crumbs, I decided that the crumbs were to big and that the breading would be too much so I switched to just egg bath and flour. Guess what? The bread crumb breaded perch were heavenly. Even though the crumbs were not as fine as I was going for, they didn't make the breading as heavy as I thought they would.

I only cooked a third of what I purchases at the market today. I told the person how many people and she suggested the quantity. Maybe she misunderstood 4 people for an army? No worries though. Nico Steve and I are already looking forward to another perch dinner tomorrow. I only wish Jenny would still be here to share it with us.

I will SO miss my sister as I always do but I am SO glad that we have had this week together. I am incredibly lucky to be so close to my family. No one knows and loves you the way family does and that is especially true of my sister and I. Well, all of us siblings actually, but the girls have an extra special bond just as the boys do.

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