Elizabeth and I typically view weekend nights as an opportunity for ambitious culinary undertakings, many of which result in giant or indulgent meals. Since moderation and reason set at the cornerstone of our TBYK philosophy, this is perfectly fine. However, after a few nights of this ‘partying in the kitchen’ so to speak, the thoughtful cook should enjoy a respite for the sake of his or her health, wallet and schedule. We have very few ‘rules’ (e.g. “Tuesday is pork chop night”), but I would say we have fish almost every Monday. This food tradition, like all good ones, was merely a result of circumstance.
I tend to do my grocery shopping on Saturday and this usually affords me a trip to the fish counter. I have spoken at length about my wonderful experiences there- sometimes I’ll go for something special like scallops or a humongous bag of mussels for the weekend, but I *always* grab something humbler for the following Monday (which, incidentally, is the last day the fish would typically be good without freezing it).
So what began as simple practicality and an impulse to take advantage of a great fish counter has become a food therapy session, every Monday night at 7pm. A light, fresh meal after the debauchery of the weekend is the perfect way to feel good entering the workweek or recover from travelling, celebrations, or what ever else may be ailing you. Start with what’s on sale and what you feel comfortable cooking and work from there. If all you can do is bread fillets and chuck them into the pan, then chuck first and save venturing into the unknown for second.
Buy your salmon, tilapia, cod, etc., and prepare them your favorite way, but then consider adding something new to the dish, either a salsa, sauce, crazy side or salad. This way, you can be sure about the main player and the only thing you’re gambling with is the peripherals. Since your flaky friend is a safe bet, go crazy with something else. If you or someone else doesn’t like the way your peach corn salsa turned out, don’t use it! Take solace in the fish- it will still be there, still be delicious and nutritious. No fear, kitchen adventurers!
Last week took my tried and true cod preparation (I think I had haddock though) and tried a crazy sauce called chermoula that I had come across in a Gordon Ramsey book I got on the discount table at BJ’s. I got a photo of it, I’ve also listed a few fish forays from the TBYK archives for quick reference.
- Panko-coated Cod with Safflower Orzo and Red Onions
- Artic Char with Roasted Tomatillo and Red Pepper Salsa and Brown Rice
- Wild Atlantic Salmon with Red Wine Sauce and Brown Rice
- Breaded Tilapia with Lemon-Parsley Orzo