My but this summer has yielded some mediocre dishes. I’ve hardly made anything worth sharing! The list of trials that were errors includes:
- This stir-fry with Romaine lettuce; so intriguing! And it turned out okay, just not anything great. It did freeze better than anticipated, which is to say it’s okay reheated after being frozen, but still not great.
- These quinoa-stuffed tomatoes. Great idea, right? But I under salted the filling by a mile, and the tomatoes I could find at the store weren’t anything like the summer glories they should have been. We had them with some Italian hot sausage links on the side, and thank god, because we needed the fat and spice that they added to the meal. Even then we added lots of Dijon mustard to further increase the flavor.
- These healthier oatmeal cookie things. Straight out of the oven they were basically just dollops of baked oatmeal. Now, I like baked oatmeal, but the sort of soft and squishy quality was not what I was looking for in a cookie, even a really healthy cookie. After being refrigerated they were better, and they get points for using stuff I had on hand, but still, probably not repeat-worthy.
- This sweet potato gratin. The words “sweet potato gratin” sound pretty freakin’ good, don’t they?! Then you add some chipotle peppers and top with crushed up tortilla chips for crunch… what’s not to like?!? Well, part of it’s my fault, as I added some tempeh and frozen spinach to try to up the nutrient content. But part of it is that there’s not enough liquid to really make the gratin hold together, and the baking time seems off by quite a bit based on how hard many of the sweet potato slices stayed. I hardly ever throw food away, even if it’s a miss, but half of this wound up in the bin. The other half I did eat, but only after thoroughly drowning each serving in barbecue sauce. Which essentially cancelled out the healthy bits. Ugh, at least it’s gone now!
Thankfully there were a few hits among the misses.
One weekend Cooper and I made these sushi bowls, but instead of imitation crab, we topped them with this tuna poke recipe. Turns out that frozen Ahi tuna steaks aren’t insanely expensive (I think the 12 0z. package was $9? So pricey, but not prohibitively so.), and they actually defrost to a decent raw texture. These bowls even keep for up to two days, though the color of the fish gets more brown the longer the marinade has to work its magic. These I’ve already made again, actually. 🙂
And I improvised a pretty good baked fish dish a few weekends ago as well. I’m sure you’ve seen those mayo chicken recipes floating around the internet; cover chicken breast in mayo, top with Parmesan cheese, bake, easy moist and flavorful entree, done. So when a friend was coming over to dinner and all I had were odds and ends in the fridge, here’s what we did:
- Leftover quinoa? Add some feta, sliced green onions and shredded carrots (leftover from the poke bowls), and heat up in the microwave. Instant pilaf!
- Need something else green to go with the fish and pilaf? Roasted frozen broccoli to the rescue!
- Have a spice rub leftover from making this Jamie Oliver chicken (which itself was another miss, due in part to under-baking the chicken I think, so user-error on that one)? Let’s add it to the mix on top of the fish.
The fish turned out totally repeat-worthy. Thank goodness.
Mayo Baked Fish
- 2 filets of white fish (or really, any fish)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon seasoning mix of your choice (use up one of those blends you like the flavor of but you just don’t reach for all that often, I know I have approximately 10 jars that fit that description)
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.
Pat the fish filets dry and place them in the middle of the prepared sheet pan. (Note: If there are exceedingly thin edges on your fish filets, you can tuck the edge under so that it’s effectively double-thickness; this should help keep it from completely overcooking and drying out.)
Spread the frozen broccoli around the edges of the sheet pan.
Combine all the remaining ingredients except for the breadcrumbs; spread the sauce over the fish filets. Carefully pour the breadcrumbs over the fish, pressing down gently to help the breadcrumbs adhere to the sauce.
Roast in the over for 10-15 minutes (or until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes apart easily). Place one fish filet and half of the roasted broccoli on each plate. Serve with improvised quinoa pilaf and quite the quantity of white wine.
Here’s to better luck in the kitchen!