Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Barefoot Contessa's Mustard-Roasted Fish

It is funny to me how the transition of time can have such an affect on certain rights of passage.  When I was right out of college and the first of my friends were getting married, bachelorette parties were crazy weekends spent in New York City or DC...we stayed out all night long and the following morning was filled with crazy stories from the night before and mimosas to help ease the train that seemed to barrel through our heads.

As time has past, and hopefully we have grown up a bit from the raucous days of our 20s, bachelorette parties have evolved.  We now gather with those closest to us, drink probably a few too many bottles of wine (a nice step up from the rot-gut vodka of our youth) and though the stories are no less entertaining, and the friendship only deepened by maturity and the memories of the paths we have walked together, the headache isn't as bad the next day and the food far exceeds the late night cheetos and room service!

One of my oldest friends hosted a bachelorette party at her house recently.  It was hilarious listening to the tales of the wild world of dating for some and the terror that can be a 3-year old when left alone with a simple marker.

As I sat there, sipping nicer champagne than my 20s budget allowed, I looked around the room at the amazing group ladies around me and thought "damn, I'm lucky", for it is this group of women who have been through so much together, laughter and tears, breakups and marriages, babies and puppies, all of it with an unending sense of loyalty and a joke around every corner.

So for the bachelorette parties of my 30s, life has once again progressed to a new stage...by 9 o'cloclk dinner was ready, right on par for Katie B, and we sat around a perfectly laid table, candles burning, wine pouring and love never ending.

The Barefoot Contessa's Mustard-Roasted Fish

4 (8 oz.) fish fillets such as red snapper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. creme fraiche
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons drained capers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 
Combine the creme fraiche, two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. 
Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. 
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it is barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it is done.) 
Be sure not to overcook it! 
 Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.
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