Monday, September 26, 2011

Cooking on the Fly

I have a column in today's edition of Small Town Newspaper, but I don't care about that at the moment. At the moment, I care about cooking instead, specifically cooking without a book, or cooking on the fly. I don't do that very often because I have favorite recipes and favorite recipe writers I like to follow, but this weekend, I cooked by my wits.

The one non-negotiable ingredient was tilapia because that's what I had in the fridge. I put that on the counter and then started pulling out things to go with it—Roma tomatoes, shallots, celery, lemons, butter. Upon looking at the stash, I remembered a little ditty I learned years ago before I knew much about cooking. There was a commercial about foil, probably Reynolds Wrap, that gave instructions in rhyme for simple cooking. I don't recall the exact wording, but it went something like this:

Turn the oven to 4-5-0h
not long. 15 minutes or so.

And that was it. The idea is you place fish or boneless chicken breast on a sheet of foil big enough to turn into a pouch, and you top it with stuff, seal the foil and bake at 450˚ for about 15 minutes. Dinner done. So, I turned the oven to 4-5-oh and got to work. I put the fish on the center of a piece of foil and dusted it with a combination of paprika, onion powder, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, pepper. Then I topped it with about a tablespoon of butter cut into four pieces. Then I added diced tomato, celery and shallot and sliced lemon. I added a little Chardonnay to help with the steaming process and added another layer of salt and pepper. While the fish was in the oven, I cooked a pot of risotto throwing in some diced leek and some of the paprika mixture and using simmered wine and broth.

The fish in foil looked like this before it baked:

And it looked like this served on the plate with the rice. Yum.

And because I can't help myself, here is Baxter. He likes sticks:

1 comment:

dive said...

Hoe delicious that looks, Robyn (and how cute Baxter is with his stick).
I enjoyed your feisty Netflix piece (even though we don't have Netflix over here), but you're right: corporate incompetence comes a distant second to good cooking.