After spending virtually every free hour the past three weeks listening to internet radio stations to research last week’s Top Ten Standards Stations review, I couldn’t bring myself to tune in for more radio this evening … even to our normal Friday evening dining session with the station that came out on top  — Martini In The Morning.

While chatting about with my friend Casey from Canada* earlier in the day, he mentioned growing up just down the way from Diana Krall. She was “front of mind” when I started casting about for music to accompany the Baked Flounder with Tomatoes and Basil on the menu for the evening. I decided to go full A/V and put on her Live in Paris DVD and was re-blown away by how good this DVD is.

We sat down with a couple of glasses of wine and watched for a the few minutes the flounder baked off with the tomatoes, and remembered in full measure why I think this may be the single best DVD from the vocal standards genre. Diana continued her performance through dinner and we finished the Paris show back in our seats with a little limoncello (Luxardo … great stuff).

The evening inspired me to do a full review (now penciled in for early Sept) so I won’t drop a bunch of details here — this is a food blog, right?! I will say that the combination of high quality video, spectacular audio (both DolbyDigital 5.1 and DTS 5.1) and most significantly Diana at her absolute best yields a fabulous music DVD — a steal at $15.

OK, ok … on to the food!

There was food … right?

I wanted a simple fish dish with a summer feel and snared this recipe** out of the Bon Appetite that had arrived earlier in the week. This dish is dead easy and very tasty. My only changes were to add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the tomatoes during the initial bake, and to divide the basil into two parts — the first part added up front per the recipe and the last part sprinkled on the hot dish at the end … just seemed to make sense.

I have an unholy love for roasted tomatoes like these served with polenta, so a simple semi-soft polenta (salted water, cracked black pepper and knob of butter at the end) won out over roasted potatoes as the side dish … oh yeah, that was a good choice. This recipe is so easy but yields a very nice finished plate of great tasting food. It will definitely be regular VSguy summer fare to be sure!

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

* What the hell do they put in the water up there, eh? Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, Nikki Yanofsky … Canada’s cranking out top vocal talent like the US treasury cranks out dollars! (well, almost)

** Remember recipes are available at the “Dining with the Rat Pack” Recipe folder (evernote public folder) found here.

  • Susan

    This was sooooo good (to quote my friend Adrianna!)… My new favorite…. Ok, until the next thing he cooks for me!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks bub … maybe paella next week!

  • Casey Pechet

    My friends Jacqui and Peter grow their own Basil in their greenhouse. More than ever I am convinced that the determining factor in Italian cooking is freshness of ingredients. While not necessarily freshly-plucked Diana Krall possesses similar traits – always fresh.

    • Anonymous

      Indeed … my time as an owner/partner of a hydroponic basil farm and also an Italian restaurant ruined me on cooking up any but the freshest produce and quality proteins. Likewise Diana’s “Live in Paris” DVD sets the high bar for a video performance!