Friday, April 17, 2009


"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."
~ Alfred Austin

Snail and Baby Tears wall

~ Owner Gary Cochran's (Beau Jack's - Bloomfield Hills) memorable signature dish, Charlevoix-style, piped with duchesse potatoes around the plank.

Duchesse Potatoes:

2 lbs. Idaho or russet potatoes
1 tsp. salt
4 softened butter
1/2 - 1 cup hot milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Planked Whitefish:

2 lbs. boned fresh whitefish fillets (about 5-7 oz. each)
olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt
white pepper
granulated garlic
fresh chopped chives or parsley
lemon wedges

  • Soak planks in water for a few hours before using. Preheat grill to medium-high (about 359-degrees). Place planks on grill and heat for 15 minutes.
  • Potatoes: Fill a large pot with cold water and 1 tsp. salt. Peel and cut potatoes into large chunks and add to pot. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain very well and while still hot, mash or beat with the butter and 1/2 cup of hot milk. When smooth, add egg yolks and Parmesan cheese, salt pepper to taste, and beat again until very smooth. Add more milk if mixture is not very smooth, being careful not to make the potatoes too runny.
  • Fish: Brush the planks with olive or vegetable oil. Place whitefish on planks. Brush fillets with olive oil and season fish light with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Spoon potatoes into pastry bag fitted with large star tip and pipe into small mounds around the edge of the plank. Grill fish and potatoes until cooked through 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. (6 servings)
Note: Since wood planks are mostly flat, place a baking sheet under the plank to catch juices and prevent flare-up.


RURAL said...

Trust me to focus in on the photography again......

But wow, and thank you. I am obsessed by moss, and green lately. Love this collage.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Those photos are so lovely. The baby tears and moss are such a wonderful shade of green. A very tranquil place with a feeling of agelessness.

Anonymous said...

The photos are lovely as always -- I had a pot of Baby Tears in college. :) But I'm most intrigued by the planked fish -- I've had planked salmon before, and the Maritimer in me would love to try this recipe, too. Sounds dee-lish!

Unknown said...

I like your recipes, Joey. I only recently learned about planking. What type of wood did you use?

Brenda Pruitt said...

Oh Joey, I feel like I can transport myself into the tranquility of the green.

joey said...

As I focus on your fine photos, Jen! You would love Detroit Garden Works ... Deborah Silver is amazing! I'm at the lake, 'focusing' on green and moss.

I agree, Marnie, and thank you. I'm all about green, especially in spring. This was taken at our off site Garden Club meeting. BTW, your post was stunning!

I hear you, Nancy. Baby tears are so precious ... 'Terrarium madness'!

Thank you, Desmone ... I prefer cooking on cedar planks (both inside and out). Many are available in alder, cherry, hickory, oak & maple ... it's all personal taste ... a fun way to cook!

You hold my heart, dear Brenda! I'm all about green :)

Shady Gardener said...

That is a most unusual piece! Do you have other photos from this place?
I've never "planked." Looks like I'm missing something!

joey said...

Hi Shady ... click on Detroit Garden Works. It will take you to Deborah's site, an amazing place. I met her years ago, a gardening guru. We had our last Garden Club meeting at this site ... inspired ... you bet!

Carolynn Anctil said...

Hi Joey,
What lovely photos! Are you a chef? You have such an amazing collection of really yummy sounding recipes on here.

I know we've just met, but I think you should change your profile description. I don't think you're ho-hum at all.

Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving such a lovely note on my doorstep.


Anonymous said...

Oh, tell Nancy we are thinking of her. And you are listening to Loons! I'm so envious. Now I've never heard of planking. Sounds tasty and fun to fix.

That collage is so interesting. The bright greens are just the ticket for Spring. Your collage is prettier than the actual display.

marmee said...

what a beautiful place to comtemplate. i love places like this. green is one of my favourite garden colours

Naturegirl said...

WOW!! Oh to have that much green in my Canadian garden today! All I have is a lot of seasonal brown.
I love moss and adore Baby tears!
It's good to be green..*rib-bit!I'm hanging out with little ones so *Kermit comes to mind when I see all this green!! :) NG

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Joey, I love this montage, I suspect I say that every visit, but this one really speaks to me because of the spiral in the shell, I always put in spiral in my work somewhere.
Fabulous images - so serene with the green and earth tones.

joey said...

Thank you, dear Carolynn ~ Guess I am a chef of sorts ... I cook daily for those I love and these are many of my favorite recipes that seem to please, most easy and suit the feeling of the season. Ho-Hum is my trademark name (a long story). DIARY OF A HO-HUM HOUSEWIFE is the name of my novel in progress, hopefully soon to be 'kicked out of the door'! Life is about dreams ... right!

Anna, you have held my heart near all weekend. Your senses are so keen; I will never see another sunset and not think of you, dear friend.

Of course, dear Marmee ... green signifies growth and renewal. You live your life in harmony with this strong color :)

Yes Naturegirl ... green is the color of nature, freshness & fertility. I wish you a green spring!

How thoughtful, dear Karen. I too am drawn to the univeral symbol of spirals (the spiritual balance between inner and outer consciousness ... the sun, and the Cosmos). Must go back and check your awesome art.

Frances said...

Hi Joey, another mouth watering post, both for garden lovers and food lovers. I never knew that secret with the egg yolks for potatoes, sounds wonderful. The garden shop sounds like a place I could spend some serious moolah at, I love every single thing shown in the photos. It looks like a sea, or curtain of moisty green, how lovely.

joey said...

Hi Frances ... actually, a simple recipe that looks very impressive! And indeed you could spend serious $$ at this lovely site. I bow to Deborah's talent as a garden designer ... and choice of fine art and garden wonders. I imagined your frolicking fairies in the heavenly baby tears while shooting :)

Anonymous said...

What great photos! Wall gardens seem to be all the rage these days. This one is lovely.

Rose said...

I love this mossy wall garden, Joey! Any kind of garden shopping is my favorite type of shopping:) This looks like a place I wouldn't want to leave.

Unknown said...

So you use cedar wood. Ok, that would definitely add a nice flavor to the fish. Hope you'll try out the widgets soon. I think Foodista readers would enjoy reading your blog!

joey said...

Thanks Susan ~ if you ever come to MI, give me a call. This is a delightful stop. Thanks for visiting :)

Well then ... this might be a great trip for Thelma & Louise. I'd love it Rose! (I have lots of garden goodies to share ... was it my turtlehead you craved :)

Hi Desmone ~ life is a bit crazy here and I'm running behind catching up on blogs, BIG TIME, but I'll check out the widgets. Plank cooking is yummy ... always delightful to hear from you and thank you for checking in :)