The James Bond Diet II
by Mark R. Vogel

            There are actually two James Bonds.  Is one an imposter?  Absolutely not.  A double agent?  Heavens no.  Bond would never betray his Queen and country.  I refer to the literary and the cinematic James Bonds.  For those of you too young to remember rotary phones, James Bond was originally a literary character in a series of novels and short stories by British author Ian Fleming (1908-1964).  Many of the 007 movies are titled after the particular tome that inspired them.  Therefore, we have the James Bond as depicted in literature and his doppelganger from the big screen.  While certainly alike on all the major characteristics, each dimension adds its own unique twist.  For example, Bond is universally revealed as an aficionado of fine food and wine.  But the specifics vary from the pen to the film.

            My first article on James Bond’s Diet (The James Bond Diet), was based on the decadent choices of Sean Connery’s Bond in the 1983 movie “Never say Never Again.”  Quail eggs, Beluga caviar, foie gras and vodka were his seductive delights.  However, in the 1963 novel “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” Fleming notes that while in England Bond "lived on grilled sole, oeufs cocotte and cold roast beef with potato salad.”   Therefore, in the spirit of the original James Bond, I present to you those recipes.  And don’t forget the preprandial vodka martini, shaken, not stirred of course.   Some Bond archetypes are universal.

 

GRILLED SOLE

 

Grilled sole fillets

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Melted butter

Freshly chopped parsley

Freshly squeezed lemon

 

            Grilled sole is a snap.  Specific ingredient amounts are unnecessary, (hence my omission of quantities in the recipe).  The key is not how much butter or lemon juice you like on your sole.  The key is proper technique.  Sticking is always an issue with fish.

            First, ensure your grill is very clean.  Next, fully heat it before cooking.  Then, generously lubricate it with oil or cooking spray. 

            As for the fish, always try to procure thicker fillets for grilling.  Thin fillets are often too fragile.  Slather the fish with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper.  Place it on the grill and leave it alone for 2-3 minutes or until the first side sears.  Gently flip it with an amply sized fish spatula, sear the other side and remove.  After plating, dress it with melted butter, parsley and lemon juice. 

 

OEUFS EN COCOTTE (SHIRRED EGGS)

 

             “Oeufs” is French for eggs and “cocotte” refers to the dish they are baked in.  Also known as shirred eggs, these are quite simply, baked eggs.  The original and most basic recipe is merely eggs and butter.  The addition of cream however, has practically become a standard.  From these basics all kinds of additional flavoring elements are possible such as cheese, onions, pork products, etc.  I use one standard 6-oz., 3 ¼ -inch diameter, white ramekin per egg. 

 

Butter, as needed

1 large egg

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

 

            Preheat your oven to 325.  Copiously butter the bottom and sides of the ramekin.  Break the egg into the ramekin keeping the yolk in tact.  Drizzle the cream over the egg.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven 13-17 minutes depending on how runny you prefer the yolk. 

 

ROAST BEEF

 

1 top round roast

Olive oil, as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups beef stock

Freshly chopped thyme and/or rosemary

2 tablespoons cold butter

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Brush the outside of the roast with some olive oil and liberally season it with salt and pepper. Other additions include thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, hot pepper, etc.  In a very hot, heavy bottomed pan, sear the roast on all sides in oil.  Then transfer it to a roasting pan and place it in the oven. 

Cook the roast until the internal temperature is consonant with the degree of doneness you prefer:  125 degrees for rare, 130 for medium-rare, 135-140 for medium and shoe leather beyond that.  Don’t forget carry-over cooking.  Depending on the size of your roast, the temperature will rise 10 degrees or more after it is removed from the oven.  Compensate by removing it early.  Once done, it is vital to allow it to rest so the juices are reabsorbed.  Thinly slice it and serve. 

            While the roast is cooking we’ll make the jus.  In the pan you seared the roast add more oil if necessary and sauté the onion.  Once the onion has browned add the garlic and cook one more minute.  Deglaze the pan with the stock, (add a little red wine too if you like).  Season with salt, pepper, thyme and/or rosemary.  Simmer until it reduces in consistency and thickens.  Finish by whisking in the cold butter.  Strain and serve with the roast. 

           

POTATO SALAD

 

3 lbs. potatoes

2 ¾ cups mayonnaise

3 boiled eggs, chopped

2 boiled eggs, yolks only, chopped

4 celery sticks, chopped

1 medium red onion, chopped

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon McCormick® lemon-pepper seasoning

2 teaspoons celery salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Salt to taste

 

            If you like your potato salad mushier use Idaho potatoes.  If you prefer firm chunks of potato use a waxy potato such as the Red Bliss.  For something in-between use Yukon Golds.  Boil the potatoes, allow them to cool and then mash, slice or chop them to your desired consistency.  I abhor the skins but if you like them, by all means include them.  Combine all the ingredients and chill.

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