Tag Archives: Fish

What I’ve Been Up To…

Hi there.

Yes, it’s been a long time.  Longer than I ever would have expected.  When I started this blog, I vowed I would not be “one of those people.”  You know, the ones who start going strong and then suddenly drop off the face of the virtual world.

But, that’s what happened.  Multiple moves, one (very healthy, pleasant, and still ongoing) pregnancy, and a very uncertain future have taken the vast majority of my physical, mental and emotional energy over the past few months.

Still, I’ve come up with a few things worth sharing.  The first (which I only tell you about because it was something new to me) falls into the category of “church potluck casserole.”  That is, it contains canned cream of (anything) soup and some sort of crust on top–often, french-fried onions, but in this case, crumbled crackers.  I thought it absolutely revolting and wrong in so many ways, but Hungry Husband liked it, and so did the people at the homeless shelter.  But I threw the recipe away.  Quickly.  Because canned cream of (anything) soup is not real food.

Church Potluck Casserole

Fortunately, I have had better luck since then.  In the midst of what has been a long and very stormy spring, I have been yearning for summer and light, fresh flavors.  First, I came up with a lovely black bean-based salad.  It’s the sort of thing that does not have a recipe…I just threw in things that reminded me of the Caribbean: black beans, mango, celery, red peppers, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, chicken, corn, jalapeno, garlic, cumin.  It is very flexible and tasty.  I took a big bowl to a friend’s graduation party last weekend and the dish was cleaned out rather quickly.

So pretty!

Finally, another recipe-less dish based on one of my favorite marinades: olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, and garlic.  I whipped up some penne pasta, opened a can of salmon (fresh salmon is way out of our budget right now–boo!) and had Hungry Husband chunk the meat, and turned the marinade ingredients–plus a slab of butter) into a sauce.  When the pasta was ready I threw everything together and voila!  A fresh and flavorful pasta dish that pairs perfectly with sauteed or grilled vegetables.

A perfect pasta for summertime longings

Tonight, I am having Taco Lasagna with Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce (from Sweet Peas and Pumpkins), and I’m secretly glad that Hungry Husband is away for the night, because I may eat the whole pan myself.  Good thing I only made a half recipe!

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FISH WITH ONIONS AND SAFFRON

Despite the fact that lake fishing was a favorite pastime of my family when I was growing up, it was only my father who ever ate of the plentiful blue gills and sunfish that we caught.  My fish-eating experience was limited to tuna from the can and fish sticks.  Eventually clam chowder was added to my seafood menu, but only if it was really creamy and salty.  Everything else smelled too much like the dirty water of a fish tank.

Then, in college, there was a boy I liked and one time when I visited his family, his mother had baked salmon.  Desperate to please, I sat down with my face determinedly frozen in a smile and gracious, complimentary phrases waiting on my tongue.  All that fell away with my first bite, when I discovered the unexpectedly delicious flavor of lemon and rosemary mingling with the not-at-all-fish-tanky taste of the salmon.

My love of fish has come a long way since then.  Hungry Husband introduced me to sushi, boiled shrimp and Captain Frank’s, where I nearly drowned myself in buttery oyster stew.  We spent a few months in a country in northwest Africa, and lived with a family whose primary source of income was the mother’s fish and vegetable stand in front of the house; from her that I learned how to tell if a fish was fresh and to clean different kinds of fish.

The following recipe was made with frozen fish fillets of an indeterminate white flesh and mild flavor.  I think you could probably use just about any kind of white fish and it would still taste good.

FISH WITH ONIONS AND SAFFRON

  • 2 lb. fish fillets
  • 2 large white onions, cut in half and then sliced
  • Vegetable or olive oil (for frying onions)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons
  • ¼ tsp. saffron or saffron threads crushed or turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 c. water

In a large saucepan, fry the onions until golden.  Add the garlic and stir until the scent rises, then add lemon juice, saffron or turmeric, salt and pepper, and water.  Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

(If you want to fry the fish, you can do that now.  I don’t fry things, because I don’t have a suitable frying pan, so I just put the fish in straight and it worked fine.)

Add the fish to the onion sauce and turn the heat as low as possible, so that the liquid just barely trembles, and cook until the fish is done through.  Serve with rice.