Monday, March 25, 2013

Dinner and a Movie: Experiment Perilous

This fish dish from Mrs Beeton is made just like Wiener Schnitzel and, like Wiener Schnitzel, it's crisp and crunchy on the outside and juice on the inside. It creates a really perfectly-cooked fish. Use it for almost any white fish and serve with buttered potatoes and broccoli.

Fried Sole

2 tablespoons clarified butter
2 sole fillets (about 1/4 lb each)
flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Meanwhile, dredge the sole fillets in flour, dip in egg, and coat in breadcrumbs.

When the fat in the pan is nice and hot, add the fillets and cook until golden brown on each side. Place on a sheet of parchment paper (placed on a plate or baking dish) to drain. Keep warm in oven on lowest setting while you plate up the rest of your dinner.

Serves 2

Adapted from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management.

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To go with some Victorian fish, how about a Victorian psychological thriller that is famous for a scene involving fish tanks? I'd never heard of Experiment Perilous, but I saw it on the TCM schedule a while back and thought I'd check it out. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur and I figured: Cat People is such a guilty pleasure, why not try this one out? Besides, how could I go wrong with Hedy Lamarr and George Brent?

Experiment Perilous is, if we're being honest, a rip-off of Gaslight--Victorian husband goes around telling everyone his poor wife is crazy. The biggest differences are that it's set in New York instead of London and it's told from the "rescuer's" point of view.  Experiment Perilous a lot of fun, though. Check it out if you get the chance.

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  1. Looks yummy - exactly how I like fish!

  2. AH sooooo le mio....((couldn't resist)) Isn't George Brent the funniest leading man from that time period? I remember Bette Davis saying in her autobiography that during their numerous off screen affairs he used to stain her pillows with his black hair dye ((scandalous!!)), but I have always liked him, especially in his pre-code movies as a young swain. I want to see this Gaslight rip-off, now! I'll watch anything with Hedy Lamarr in it.

  3. This looks pretty yummy! I need to get better about cooking fish. I'm a little afraid of it, actually ;) but this looks pretty easy and pretty delicious!~

  4. Love Mrs. Beeton! I was just looking at a vintage copy of this book at our cookbook shop. This fish does sound very appealing. Happy spring to you!


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