Make it healthy, make it quick

June 4, 2011

There is something to be said for cooking a three-quarters healthy dinner after drrinking a six-pack of beer by the pool. I think.

I had not actually planned to cook. The original plan was to eat leftovers, because NS was expected to work today. But they had a sked mix-up, he came home, and I had to feed the starving child.

So we grilled fish, blanched some fresh sugar snap peas, and made mac and cheese. And I sliced tomatos with mine. Like his father, NS will not get wwithin shouting distance of a raw tomato. Foolish Yankees.

Dinner took about 30 minutes from the time I started it untl the time we ate. I put the water on to boil for the mac, and started the grill (and can I just say I LOVE this gas grill?). Came back in, cubed up some Velveeta, grated some cheddar,  put the macaroni on to boil. Went back out, checked the grill temp (can I just say I LOVE the temp gauge in the lid?), came back in, sprinkled my tilapia down with some seasoning, put another pan of water on to boil.

Put the tilapia on to grill. Tossed the peas into the boiling weater. Drained the mac, added the cheese, butter, cream. Went out and flipped the fish (you MUST have one one of those basket thingies; they’re the best thing in the world for grilling fish and veggies). Came back in, stirred the mac. Drained the peas, tossed in a cube of butter and some tarragon. Went back out and retrieved the fish.

Dinner was served. And it was pretty sporty.

I used Spade L Ranch fish and seafood seasoning. (Fish AND seafood? Fish is not seafood? Go figger.) It was pretty decent, although the next time I do tilapia, I’ll just sprinkle one side of it; it’s a little overpowering on both sides for that mild a fish. It has a bit of a sweet taste, along with lots of black pepper and a heavy hand with the salt. I couldn’t identify the other stuff in it, other than to say there was other stuff. Worth using. I don’t think it’d be much good on anything other than grilled fish filets — I can’t see it on any kind of shellfish. But it gave the tilapia a nice zing.

The peas had gotten a little starchy; they were last week’s peas that I had not cooked, and had sat in the fridge all week. They were decent — but tomorrow, I’ll cook the peas I scored at the Farmers’ Market today, and they’ll be significantly better.

Speaking of the market … today’s haul included peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, tomatos, new potatos, green onions, lettuce, fresh eggs. Plus I went by the Culinary District and discovered they had two bags of six each Hudson Valley duck leg quarters on sale for half-price, because they weren’t moving.

I moved them. We will confit, here one of these days soon.

Uncertain what tomorrow will bring for dinner. I know I want to make a cake and some peach sauce to go over it. I’m thinking a ricotta cake whose recipe ran in Food 52 a while back. I know I need to bake some Guinness bread for NS. I think I’m going to use the remains of the last duck confit to make duck egg rolls. I have pork chops, ground beef, and assorted other things I could cook. NS goes in to work at 10:30; how late he works will determine what I cook. And because he’s a teenager and does not think beyond the next five minutes, he only knows when he goes in, and not when he gets off. So tomorrow will bring what tomorrow will bring.

So you and y’mama ‘n ’em hang with me, and we’ll figure it out together.


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