Scorpion fish with citrus salad(Rascasse aux agrumes)

Sun and summer are  still plentiful here in Montlouis. On arriving home, we opened the gates to a jungle of green. . Mosquitoes in the switched off fountain. Boxwood in pots dried and sad. Rosebushes hanging heavy with hips, spiderwebs in every corner, dust swirling around in the streams of sun light. Mail overflowing. Advertisements strewn over the entrance…does it sound familiar?

…bienvenue chez nous!…

chez van wyk

…entrez!…

fenetre chez nous 2 fenetre chez nous

fenetre chez nous 1 view to the loire

Back bending and hopeful we dug in. Into the garden. Into the house. Scraping, digging, pruning  shoveling. We drank water by the liters and turned to icy cold colas. We washed and rinsed, dusted and coughed, groaned and polished. Not to mention attacking the washing machine with vigour and gratitude! I forgot how to set the time on my microwave oven and wondered if I still needed it? I listened to the murmur of my dishwasher and wondered how on ever I got by for 5 months without! I now once agin appreciate my comfy and (for me), simple but luxurious kitchen and delighted in putting together a meal of fish and citrus fruit. Then we indulged in our dinner under the parasol, hearing the fountain, smelling the September bloom of jasmin, dreaming and planning for this second half of 2009.

…indulgement…

Citrus Scorpion fish

Citrus scorpion fish filets 1

Suggestions:

  • Scorpion fish is really delicious  and reminds somewhat of lobster flesh. But of course any fish can be used for this recipe and the method of cooking can be adapted as well. If on a diet and you want to stay away from sauteing, then go for poaching, or even roasting in the oven. Just make sure NOT to overcook the fish filets. In any case, fish should ALWAYS be done quickly, because a little standing time cooks the fish even further. Nothing is more off- putting than rubbered fish!! Another note on fish…do your guests the honour and favour, by  removing ALL the fish bones…the reason why many people shy away from fish!
  • Don’t raise the eyebrows for the amount of lemon segments…it really flavours the dish and it isn’t noticeable as..”eeuww…lemon!”
  • For a suggestion on  how a citrus fruit is segmented you can seethe slide show in a previous post here:  Citrus and carrot salad – how to segment an orange.
  • the orange flower water enhances the salad and it is a good idea to have it in your pantry as a few drops enhances many a dish. To harmonize with the citrus and orange flower flavour, the addition of a citrus honey would be perfect, but a flower honey is nice too, which is what I used. Try not to use acacia, since it competes with the orange flower water.
  • And lastly…DO have fun when cooking! Remember, cooking is all about Try, Test and Taste!!

…letting it marinate…

marinating the citrus salad 9-8-2009 4-17-59

Montlouis is situated on the banks of the wild, untamed Loire river in Touraine, 10 minutes from Tours, and on the route touristique…wines, chateaux, promenades, photograph tours and the special troglodytes of Touraines, where many people adore living in the caves. We also have 3 caves at the back in our property, going into the cliff. But more on that and les troglodytes and its lifestyles  next time. For now, a taste of la vie quotidienne d’une Montlouisienne(moi!)!

…je vous prèsente  Montlouis…

Approaching Montlouis

…then you turn right, then go up the hill, then.. then…

famous landmark of Montlouisup the hill to Montlouis

In the photo at the top left can be seen…an enormous bunch of grapes! Which at some stage was lit at night and it was a fountain, but now it only serves as the land mark of our little town. It forms part of every direction giving to deliveries and strangers and visitors:  “…et puis on va tout droit, et puis on tombe sur une horrible grappe de raisin, et puis on tourne à droite et puis….(then you go straight, then you will see a huge ugly bunch of grapes right next to the Loire, then you turn right up the hill, then…”)

Turning at this bunch of grapes takes you up a steep hill to la centre ville, where cars play second fiddle to walking and cycling, shopping and chatting.

…centre ville…

riding bicycle staircase

…walking and shopping…

centre ville hand in hand

It is a busy little town with festivals going on throughout the year..brocantes et vide greniers, jazz festivals in September, tomato festival at the chateau bourdaisiere in September, garden festival in april, bread festvals, wine festivals, food festvals, fresh market every Thursday. We have the jour de Loire, with all activities and actions circling around the river Loire. And just as we think  by the end of the year that the festivals are over, along comes the Christmas market, and we eat again, chat again, drink and buy wine again, shop for that star for le sapin noël

…religion, homes and war..

Montlouis church Madame Martin aux enfants de Montlouis

…need directions?…

Montlouis collage 9-9-2009 11-36-05 AM

Life is a hustle and bustle at Montlouis, while the Loire just nonchalantly continues snaking forward – silently  in summer and filling up with winterrains to a passionate and powerful flood..

Voilà a short introduction to the place we call home. There is more to come in follow ups- the festivals, the people of Montlouis, interviews with les vignerons(winemakers) and their pleasures, artists of the area, the caves and their history and all kinds of food, fun and flair! A bientôt!

…la Loire en septembre…

la loire from the top of the hill

…sunset in September…

sunset in September 3

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16 responses

  1. benedictedelachanal

    Montlouis must be proud to have you as a “porte-paroles”, I could say “porte-dessins”. I love your art and I am discovering your edible art. It is hard to find rascasse and also sorrel, here in Montreal, but I will certainly try this poisson aux agrumes.

    09/09/2009 at 13:03

  2. What a superb fish dish!! I love fish with pink grapefruit!!

    MMMMMMMMMM,…so many lovely pictures too!

    09/09/2009 at 15:43

  3. What a wonderful place to call home! Your fish with citrus sounds delicious too.

    09/09/2009 at 20:17

  4. Bon..pour moi.. le paradis aux 2 endroits!! I look forward to every single post:)

    Thank you!

    10/09/2009 at 00:03

  5. chloe

    i love the bokeh in the photo “up the hill to Montlouis”!

    10/09/2009 at 01:30

  6. Jean Prescott

    Mon Dieu, another storybook location. Am I easily impressed? Or is all of France so fabulous? Also, Ronell, I believe what I like so much about your recipes is the inventiveness of your flavor combinations but also the ease with which the recipes may be adapted to what’s at hand. And the photos and pictures are lovely. Thank you, thank you.

    10/09/2009 at 02:37

  7. Thanks for the directions Ronell – and looking forward to seeing you in October. Montlouis looks delightful!

    10/09/2009 at 20:03

  8. I would live by those “ugly” cluster of grapes any day!

    How lovely are your postings. Family , Food, Friends and Foliage! The photographs pull me in to your beautiful world. A life well lived and artistically expressed! Makes me sigh!

    In your honor, I’m going over to Whole Foods and buying some orange flower water and a baguette!

    Thank you and hugs!

    11/09/2009 at 01:31

  9. Bonjour..je te découvre grâce à ton message et je vois France. En plus elle écrit en français, alors c’est bonheur. Bravo aussi à ton joli blog qui est plein de fraicheur, de tendresse et on sent que tu aimes très fort….En tous cas, je reviendrai te redire bonjour et je te souhaite une belle journée et un très bon week-end….

    11/09/2009 at 05:45

  10. Ronelle, welcome back home. What a wonderful tour! What brought you to France? You seem to have also lived in the States, which do you prefer? (of course I know that home is always where the heart is.)

    Your fish dish looks fabulous, I went out and purshased some orange flower water, am anxious to try my next fish dish with it.

    Take Cae
    Rita

    12/09/2009 at 18:26

  11. What a lovely respite this gorgeous post provided on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. I’m sure you have everyone bewitched, Ronell.

    13/09/2009 at 16:49

  12. sue

    Oh, Ronell–more! more!! This is so gorgeous. What a lovely place, and that recipe has me drooling. Sounds delicious. I’m on the road and can’t really cook now, but I’ll have to come back and try this one day!

    22/09/2009 at 04:22

  13. Great post, makes me want to visit Montlouis. As for the scorpion fish recipe – it’s simply divine! What wine would you reccommend with this? :)

    30/09/2009 at 07:57

  14. Another wonderful post – and I LOVE the fish recipe. And I hear you on the dishwasher – I don’t know how I have survived the 11 years or so since I left my parents’ home without one. Now that we hae had one for 5 months, I am so spoilt – but I do want to hug it when I open the door after a cycle and smell that rush of hot, lemon-scented air!!

    02/11/2009 at 17:37

  15. Pingback: Bruschetta with tomato…and a day at Montsoreau brocante. « Myfrenchkitchen

  16. Bonjours

    je connait pas fortla rascasses donc vous voulez bien me die des truc sur le rascasses pour s’avoir quoi

    meci a vous.

    29/11/2010 at 17:08

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