Something a little different

April 24, 2015

Doesn't it look plumb healthy?

Doesn’t it look plumb healthy?

I needed something different.

So dinner was a departure from the usual. No old standards on the plate at all. Baked fish, in lemon-butter sauce with sage; sauteed sugar snap peas with garlic, ginger and sesame oil; a rice-and-lentil medley that comes from the unfortunately named Kountry Kupboard here in the ‘boro.

I had a bag of tilapia filets I’d bought because Kroger had them on sale and I took a notion. I do occasionally like grilled fish, and baked fish, and other things one can do with fish. It’s a good change of pace, and I ought to do it more.

I was planning on doing these filets in a mustard marinade technique I’d learned recently, but I recalled, in the nick of time, that Child A is not a devotee of mustard. So I went to Plan B, which was a fallback on the good ol’ lemon butter sauce.

I just melted a healthy amount of butter in a non-stick skillet, sauteed some chopped sage in it, and put the salted and peppered filets in to saute. When I flipped them, I poured in a healthy amount of lemon juice and let them steam done in that. Fifteen minutes, maybe, from a semi-frozen state.

The rice blend I cooked in a combo of water and a little chicken stock, and got too salty for me, as I used a stock base rather than my own. Shame on me.

The peas came to my hand as I was looking for something green. I’d gotten them to go in one of the Asian dishes I was on a kick for last week, used only a part of what I had, and had just about enough to make two servings.

I ALWAYS use too much oil when I do this. What I should have done was just spray my non-stick skillet with a film of canola oil spray, add my drizzle of sesame oil, and that would be enough to saute. I threw in a teaspoon or so of grated ginger and a minced garlic clove or two, and after the peas started showing a little color, I splashed in some soy sauce.

In short, you can’t get much easier than this, or much quicker, for a nice, healthy, out-of-the-ordinary weeknight meal. I suspect I was done in under 30 minutes — maybe a little longer for the rice, which started first and finished last. The tilapia filets are handy, too, because they’re individually vacuum-sealed and so will last longer in the freezer. I can see me grilling these before summer’s over.

It’s shaping up to be a busy food day in the Chez Brockwell kitchen. Today I need to:

  1. Bake two cakes for the dessert table at our church barbecue
  2. Bake two loaves of bread for the “country store” at said barbecue
  3. Bake 2 dozen cornbread muffins to take to the soup kitchen, where I’m scheduled to work Saturday morning, before heading over to the barbecue to work Saturday afternoon.

I expect I will be one more tired kid by Saturday night. Sunday dinner, I expect, will be burgers on the grill, baked beans and potato salad. Or maybe baked beans and chips.

If you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em are in the NE Arkansas area and looking for dinner Saturday, come on by St. Paul United Methodist Church, 2201 Culberhouse, and have yourself a chicken dinner. Can’t beat a half a chicken, slaw, beans, drink and dessert for 10 bucks. I’ll be looking for you.

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