March 30, 2014: Whitefish with Asparagus

Whitefish with asparagus

Whitefish with asparagus

I went shopping this weekend and picked up a fillet of Alaskan whitefish, with the intention of making an easy meal, wrapping the fish in  foil with a lemon and throwing it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

And then I realized today that I didn’t have any foil.

So onto plan B, cooking with my singular pot. I had bought asparagus to go with it (I seem to buy a lot of asparagus on breaks, though I don’t get it much on a regular basis). I did a quick steam of the asparagus first – I don’t mind eating it cold, and there’d be less clean up. For the fish, I cut the fillet into 3 pieces, I added some salt and pepper, and added some Italian spice mix on one piece.  I just put a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pot, and put in the fish to cook, flipping the fish halfway through. For the last 2 fillets, I added a couple of lemon slices about halfway through the cooking. I really liked the flavor, though I think next time, I’d add the lemon earlier.

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August 4, 2012: Tilapia and Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

So Saturday night I was in the mood for some fish (partly since I missed out on Fish Fridays). And, I had been having a craving for asparagus for close to a week at this point. So I figured it’d be the perfect time to do both!

Asparagus

The asparagus was pretty simple, I had to trim off the bottom of a few of the spears before I washed them. Ideally, I would have steamed them, but lacking a steamer, I opted to put them in about a half inch of water in the pot. At least they stacked up so most of them were above water level and steamed. I also mixed them around a few times so the ones at the bottom wouldn’t be over boiled. They came out quite well after a few minutes – cooked, but still crisp, with that great asparagus flavor (no soggy, wilting asparagus here!)

After that it was time to cook the tilapia I had bought. It was frozen when I bought it but by now it was defrosted. Seasoned with a little salt and garlic powder, I put them in the pot with some oil and cooked them for a couple minutes until done (with a little browning crust). I also now realize that this is the first tilapia I’ve done this summer that was not done in the oven.

Cooked fish! All it needs now is the sauce…

Then, I tried my hand at a sauce. Taking out the fish, I then poured in some balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. Now ideally, I would have used balsamic vinegar, but I’ll take what I can get. I let that boil for a little bit and reduce (and caramelize/blacken some of those spices that are in the dressing). When I felt that it had reduced enough (meaning a wild guess), I added some butter into the mixture to melt and give it a little more richness.

Reducing the balsamic vinaigrette dressing

 

Plating time – I put the fish and some asparagus on the plate, and added some rice leftovers from my last chicken meal.  Afterwards, I poured a tiny bit of the balsamic butter sauce onto the fish. Just a little at first, to see how it tasted.

Great meal! (With a dash of sauce)

And to my surprise, it was quite good! Despite some burnt parts, it had a lot of flavor – some sweetness, but also some tartness – there was a great blend of flavors which went well with the fish. After taking a bite, I added a bit more of the sauce to the fish!

Great sauce on the fish!

July 6, 2012: Salmon!

So Friday was the big sirloin steak sale at Whole Foods – so I went and bought my 2 pounds worth! Though my intention was to freeze it, as I had eaten a fair share of beef lately. There was also some salmon on sale, so I ended up buying a couple fillets of sockeye salmon.

So the first thing I did was cook broccoli that I bought – again, a wonderful sweet flavor. Though I realized that the sweetness came from the stem, after I had finished cooking it, and I wished that I had cooked the stem pieces as well!

Seasoned sockeye salmon, with garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.

While the broccoli was cooking, I seasoned the salmon using salt and pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. After the broccoli was done, I used some oil to pan fry the salmon (I would have rather used olive oil, but lacking that, perhaps next time I could try using butter or margarine). I went non-skin side first to get some crusting of the spices, then flipped it over.

Instant mashed potatoes

And lastly, while the fish was cooking, I prepared a bag of instant mashed potatoes. I used two cups of milk instead of two cups of water, and microwaved it – it went in as a liquid and came out a solid! (Scary stuff!) Though good, I don’t think I hit the best combination – the texture was a bit off; not quite solid enough – next time, I’d probably use half milk and half water.

Love the color on the fish

Potatoes, fish, and broccoli plated

As for the fish, I flipped it over about 4 minutes in, to let the skin side get a little crispy. When it was almost cooked through, I took it off the stove and let it sit; then I did plating. In all, a great choice – I could taste my spices, but still taste the salmon, and the broccoli had that wonderful sweet flavor to it. Great choice for dinner!

Delicious!