I'd wanted to make quenelles for years, after having once had them at an intimate summer dinner party in the back garden of a friend's apartment in Greenwich Village. Finally, having found the occasion, my own particular pale, fragrant, light fish dumplings were absolutely delicious and were served as our main course, preceded by a green salad, hosted with roasted potatoes, and followed by chocolate mousse cake. Quenelles were once served as a side dish, next to such things as seared scallops perhaps or even a steak but I think they very much stand on their own. The spongy little fellows in question here were made with pate de choux (paht ah shoe--sounds like you're sneezing, anyway it's a French thick sauce base) for substance from a Julia Child recipe. There are so many versions of this delish fish so search quenelles online for your favorite but to see the great lady at work, go here for the video or purchase a copy of The French Chef Cookbook as I did. I draped my quenelles with an impossibly easy, ingenious, really quick hollandaise sauce made in a blender, courtesy of Ina Garten. I shaped the quenelles into balls with two spoons before dropping them into barely simmering water to poach--however next time I would form them by hand, in more sturdy, cylindrical shapes. Whatever your preparation, this is an elegantly arranged, readily prepared dinner for any evening!
Tonight's Menu Delightfully Served Two Green Salad of Baby Lettuces (prepared a la minute, table side, with a few good sprays of squeezed lemon juice, a dose of balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground pepper and salt all tossed together) Monkfish Quenelles (any lean fish fillets may be used) with hollandaise sauce (don't be shy on the cayenne pepper) Roasted Potatoes (in olive oil, with salt and pepper, and topped with shredded flat leaf parsley--I used perfectly suitable canned potatoes, don't tell anybody!) Individual Chocolate Mousse Cakes (I bought them at a local patisserie--don't tell anybody!)
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox