Whenever I'm unsure of how to prep something, they give me a demonstration. But mostly I like talking to them when I'm out of ideas. This pretty piece of perch was the cheapest fish on sale today at the market. Last time I tried to pan-roast a piece of perch, it seemed to fall to pieces before it was cooked. I asked for advice. One of the lady fishmongers told me not to cook it on the stovetop, then she threw in a recipe for good measure: Layer slightly cooled, blanched, sliced potatoes with sautéed leeks; lay the perch on top, smear with a mixture of crème fraîche and Dijon mustard and bake. I'm looking forward to trying it later -- sounds like the perfect cozy dish for a rainy night.
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from Paris. She can be reached at kristin @ apartmenttherapy . com