French Weekend #2: What to Cook, Drink, Read, and Watch This Weekend

Filet of Sole Meunière. Photo by Rofi via Flickr.

Happy Friday! This is the second in my ongoing series about how to put a little French into your weekend. Last week’s post featured Gerard Depardieu’s self-imposed exile, Julie Delpy’s Two Days in New York film, a great recipe for your braiser from Melissa Clark, and my ode to Beaujolais cru. On to this week!

What to Eat This Weekend: Poisson Meunière

We got another major blast of winter this week, but March starts today and I’m craving a wee hint of something fresh and vibrant.  I’m thinking Fish in the style of the Miller’s Wife (that is, Poisson Meunière) would be just the ticket.

For a great recipe, check out this story that I wrote for I wrote it for Valentine’s Day, but truly, isn’t Sole Meunière a great recipe any time it’s just the two of you dining together? And you can use just about any fish you want to. If you’ve never made this beauty, why not this weekend? Serve it with Any-Night Baked Rice.

What to Drink This Weekend

It would be fitting to suggest a great white Burgundy (especially a citrusy-minerally bottle) with the Sole Meunière; but to be honest, unless it’s a special occasion I don’t usually spend more than $25 for a bottle of wine—and most of the really great ones go over that price.

My second-favorite white in the world (after white Burgundy) is Oregon Pinot Gris. I love the way they offer a great balance of body and blitheness—fruit, yes, but a zip on the finish, too. These are great food wines and fabulous aperitif wines! PS: Is it French? Non, but I discovered this wine at my favorite French restaurant in Amerique Profonde, and it tastes French, which is high praise from me.

Try Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($19); with beautiful, round fruit, minerality, and a zesty finish, it’s a five-star bottle for the price.

What to Read This Weekend

Your French friends will say “Merci” if you bring them this.

I loved this piece by David Lebovitz on Food Gifts to Bring French People from America. Personally, I’m always stumped about what I should bring my French friends from the USA, and Lebovitz gives some great answers, like maple syrup, dried cherries, and heavy-duty aluminum foil (something I always miss when I’m cooking in my French kitchen, btw). He gives quite a few more ideas….and even if you’re not headed to France, it’s a good read—it makes us appreciate some of the things we take for granted.

What to Watch This Weekend

Have you ever seen Camille Claudel? It stars Isabelle Adjani as the immensely talented but troubled 19th-century sculptor, who happened to be Auguste Rodin’s muse (and brother of the writer Paul Claudel). It’s a fascinating portrait of what it might have been like to be a female artist in the 19th century. I recommend it for anyone who, for example, loves the novels of Emile Zola and enjoyed the book The Greater Journey. Others may want to skip this one.

A word of warning: I remember watching it when it came out (in 1998); halfway through the movie, my friend turned to me and said, “This movie is about Isabelle Adjani’s face.” Well, yes, the camera loves her face, perhaps almost too much (there are a lot of slow, lumbering close-ups). But what a face!

Still, the movie could’ve been half as long if there wasn’t so much “face time.”


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