Category: Friday Fish

Salmon Puttanesca

Salmon Puttanesca

Bright, briny, and brilliantly bolstered with happy heat, Pasta Puttanesca is a favorite amongst cooks short on time and big on hunger. Garlicky tomatoes, onions, salty anchovies, olives and capers, along with herbs and a little wine for good measure, all come together quickly in a hot pot and are typically ladled on top of a bowl of steaming pasta topped with grated cheese and fresh parsley or basil. If you’ve made the sauce and had a little leftover in the fridge, you know it’s also good next morning on grilled bread or scrambled eggs or even just cold in your spoon.

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Salmon on Two-Cheese Tabasco Grits

Salmon on Two-Cheese Tabasco Grits

Sometimes dinner just looks like a party!

You either love grits or you hate them. They’re one of those kinds of things. If you grew up eating them, as did I, they’re comfort food par excellence — we so need comfort food now — whether buttered and tucked under a big plate of eggs over easy with spicy patty sausage or baked up all cheesy in a casserole dish for the Thanksgiving or any other buffet. They do not, as some folks will insist, taste like paste. (I always liked paste myself.) The trouble has come with the advent of instant grits, which while technically kinda-sorta grits, are nothing compared to the pot of goodness made with stone-ground grits that take longer to cook and definitely need more attention than mashed potatoes. I’d just as soon skip grits if they’re instant, but I’m sure they have their place for folks camping with a bunch of kids demanding a hot breakfast 10 minutes ago.

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Cod with Arugula-Basil Pesto

Cod with Arugula-Basil Pesto

Even before Covid-Cooking Time, I for years stocked the garage freezer with everything from extra baguettes to whole chickens to cookies to quarts of chili and chicken broth. Pork chops found on a great sale were purchased in quantity and leftovers suitable for quick lunches had a home. Nights when I was too tired to cook meant I tossed a couple of quarts of stew under the stream of a hot kitchen faucet for few minutes, popped them out into a 4-quart pot, covered them, and set them over low heat until they bubbled up dinner. A frozen half baguette heated beautifully in about 20 minutes in the oven at the same time.

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Spicy Citrus Halibut with Asparagus + a Grilling Book Recommendation

Spicy Citrus Halibut with Asparagus + a Grilling Book Recommendation

Come summer, I grab a stack of grilling books and magazines and leave them by our chairs in the sunroom, rotating them every few weeks so we have new things to consider as the summer moves along, the heat builds, and the kitchen is used less and less. (I have a horrifically hot range–wonderful in the winter and a bear in the summer.)

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FRIDAY FISH:  Instant Pot Coconut-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup with Grilled Shrimp

FRIDAY FISH: Instant Pot Coconut-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup with Grilled Shrimp

You might be like me and LOVE butternut squash soup. The baseline, silky with cream French-herby sort that graces decent/decadent/expensive restaurant menus and fills you up to the brim while you sip an oaky California Chardonnay. Or maybe the chunky vegetarian variety chock full of not only squash, but also every other vegetable in the whole wide world and is best served up with a local icy-cold wheat beer. Could be the Thai version all curry-laden–both sweet and spicy, which is lovely with a Grüner Veltliner, by the way. What’s your favorite?

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Fast Teriyaki Salmon Bowl

Fast Teriyaki Salmon Bowl

Serve with hot green tea.

Over the past five years, “bowls” have become a happily standard feature on American restaurant menus. Most feature some sort of grain (rice, quinoa, grits, barley), a well-seasoned protein, mixes of fresh and cooked vegetables, perky and tasty garnishes, and, of course, a stand out, distinctive sauce. While nearly anything goes into a bowl these days — including traditional Mediterranean or Mexican ingredients — I often find myself leaning toward the Asian-inspired varieties and am happiest if the cooks are fairly heavy-handed with the soy sauce, please.

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Crustless Shrimp+Green Chile Quiche

Crustless Shrimp+Green Chile Quiche

If you are a cook anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for something new for brunch–that lazy, laughingly-slow, boozy late morning meal reserved for special occasions or holidays. Even my husband, visiting his folks a few weeks back, texted me to say, “Anything new on the brunch front?” I guess he or his parents were a little tired of their go-tos and that’s a bit on the odd side because most people in the world are very attached to their breakfasts, if not their brunches.

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FRIDAY FISH:  Salmon on Caraway Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce

FRIDAY FISH: Salmon on Caraway Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce

Salmon has become sort of the steak of fish over the past ten years in the U.S. I have no data with which to prove that statement, but offer it up only from my own cooking, teaching, and eating experience. And how that happened is only your good guess, but I’d say it didn’t happen by itself.

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One-Pan Barramundi on Greens and Onions  with Dijon Sauce

One-Pan Barramundi on Greens and Onions with Dijon Sauce

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One of my favorite fish preparations is to cook fillets right on top of vegetables. Could be tomatoes and chiles, eggplant and garlic, asparagus, celery and fennel, ratatouille (see below) or, as in this case, a big bunch of tender young greens stirred up with one big sautéed onion. Plain white fish is, after all, plain white fish. Vegetables make all the difference in the world. There’s still lemon, of course.

Below:  Ratatouille-Steamed Salmon with Jasmine Rice

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Friday Fish:  Clam-Vegetable Chowder with Cheddar

Friday Fish: Clam-Vegetable Chowder with Cheddar

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If you’re from New England, I’m sure I just screwed the pooch with this chowder. But I’m from Chicago and chowder is a great meal I’ve mostly had in restaurants and on New England and Canadian cruises.

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