A small but perfectly formed ladies’ evening

Missy B and I were dining home alone on Friday, while Mr B went off gallivanting at the Groucho Club(!). Instead of going for a quick omelette after Missy B’s circus skills class and before settling down to watch Andy Humphries’ lovely Torvill & Dean documentary on BBC2 (watch it – it’s a great programme), I made her wait a bit and served us up a proper fancy dinner, with nice table mats and everything.

I made myself a little Kir, tuned into Desmond Carrington on Radio 2  for some easy listening (just for the record, this post has NOT been sponsored by the BBC) and set about pin-boning the trout. I have filleted many a fish, the first couple of times with invaluable assistance from YouTube, but this time I went to Walter Purkis in Muswell Hill (http://www.purkis4fish.com/) and let them do the messy bit for me. We had trout en papillote, which I’m sure I’ve written about before. In between the trout fillets you sandwich a mixture of finely shredded carrots and leeks, sliced mushrooms and some tarragon, all fried gently in a little butter. Rather than try to describe how to make the papillote, I’ll take pics of the whole process next time.

Anyway, before you wrap your little parcel up, you add a squeeze of lemon juice, a couple of spoons of white wine, seasoning. Cook at 220ºC for 12 minutes. If you feel like showboating a bit, you can bring the parcel to the table and impress your guests as you slash it open to reveal the lovely tarragon aroma. But my 13 year old tends not to marvel at the things I do, so I just served it to her on a plate. We had this with some stoved potatoes – now that Missy B has discovered how popular they are with some of our chums, she decided she would give them a whirl this time. They’ll probably never topple the dauphinoise from the number one slot, but she definitely liked them. It was a very civilised dinner, Missy B enjoyed the food and she was charming company.

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Trout en papillote for the ladies’ dinner

Portuguese custard tarts for dessert – I find it impossible to let a bit of leftover puff pastry go to waste. 

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Portuguese custard tarts – mmmmmmm

And, despite her initial reluctance to watch Olympic gold winners of yesteryear, Missy B even enjoyed the documentary.

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