Another one for the “quick dinner” list

April 17, 2017

Fish dinner, with a twist, and in a hurry.

If you’re like me, you hit those nights when you’re tired, it’s getting on toward dinnertime, and nothing you have in the refrigerator sounds like what you want to eat.

That’s where I either reach for the phone to order takeout, or for the freezer to get out some fish.

Fish is just a great go-to when you’re in a hurry. It never takes long to cook; it lends itself to all kinds of different preparations, goes with any number of sides. And if you forget to take it out of the freezer, you can soak it in hot water to thaw it.

That’s what I did the other night, and the result was pretty doggoned good.

I try to keep two or three kinds of fish/seafood in the freezer all the time. Right now, I have salmon, tuna, cod and shrimp. Shrimp require a little more forethought, if they’re the kind I’ve bought fresh and frozen in a tub of water, but the others can have a hot bath and be thawed within an hour, max.

I buy a fair amount of seafood from Schwan’s, because they deliver a high-quality product and one that I don’t always find in groceries. And generally, their seafood is shrink-wrapped in serving-sized portions, so I can thaw only as many as I want. I love their cod in a variety of preps, and one of my favorites is miso glazed.

I used this recipe  from the New York Times’ cooking section. If you’re not a subscriber to NYT Cooking, you should be; it’s a marvelous database of recipes, it’s searchable, it lets you save your favorites and keep up with what you’ve cooked. And it’s free, which is a pretty respectable price, and the NYT doesn’t flood you with a ton of junk email.

So I threw two cod filets, about six ounces each, into a mixing bowl of hot water to thaw. Ten minutes later I came back, changed the cooled water out for more hot water, and within another 15, it was ready to marinate. I cut the marinade time back to about an hour, because that was how long I had. Rather than let most of the marinade drip off, I left a thick coat on it, and instead of the broil-bake method, I just cooked at 450F in my CSO on steam bake.  I set it for 10 minutes, and it flaked like a dream.

In keeping with the quick dinner theme, we had an Asian salad from a kit I picked up at Sam’s. Shredded cabbage, a sesame flavored dressing, crunchy noodles. Worked nicely.

And just to round out the plate, I added some grape salad I’d made earlier in the day. This is one of my favorite fruit salads, in large part because you can make it year round, because grapes? Are always available. This is just halved green and red seedless grapes, pecans, and I threw in some blueberries, because I had them. The dressing is cream cheese, a little sour cream or yogurt to thin it, some lime or lemon juice, and some confectioner’s sugar.

I’m not giving amounts because you can make anywhere from a serving or two of this up to enough to take to the church potluck, as you wish. For a little more than a quart of the salad, I used about a cup of pecans, two to two-and-a-half cups of grapes, maybe 3/4 cup of blueberries. The dressing took about four ounces of cream cheese, about two tablespoons of lemon juice, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup of yogurt, and maybe 1/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like it). I forget about making this, but I love having it around to go with lunch, or just as a little pick-me-up during the day, or even for a light dessert.

You can add other fruit, but depending on how juicy said other fruit is, you may have trouble with it keeping for several days. The grapes and blueberries are good in the fridge for a solid week; I’ve never had it last any longer than that, but who knows?

Anyway, next time you’re in the notion for a quick dinner that doesn’t involve leftovers, think Vitamin Sea and fetch you some fish out of the freezer. It’ll make a nice change in you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em’s dinner routine.



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