As I mentioned a few weeks ago in the newsletter, Charlie and I are officially shacking up for a few months. The cohabitation experiment will continue beyond that (assuming we don’t kill each other!), but in a much bigger space than my 400 square foot studio.
Moving in general is one of the more stressful activities that life throws at us, even when the destination is full of excitement. And even when said move just means dehoarding your cabinets and closet to make room for another human’s wardrobe.
What I noticed in the process is that I have a lot of delicious clothing and pantry items going to waste in the back of my shelves. So as another unofficial wellness experiment, I’m going to try and do a better job this fall of making these sad long-forgotten items part of my daily routine again.
The clothing will hopefully be easier now that I have so much less of it (Goodwill, you’re welcome). And now that I have Charlie to come home to on a nightly basis, perhaps that will be motivation enough to swap out the same pair of yoga pants for some real “street clothes.”
The pantry piece is something I promise myself I’ll do every time I make it through a Spring cleaning spree. Between all the free swag that gets sent my way, and all the random additions courtesy of my creative recipe development whims, I’ve accrued a serious collection of grains, gluten-free flours, and pickled garnishes.
The trouble is when I’m not cooking for the site and attempting to reinvent the wheel (with exciting newly purchased pantry items), I’m kind of a creature of cooking habit. Somehow delicious things like Socca or overnight oatmeal don’t make it into the weekday rotation, even though my jars overfloweth with chickpea flour and gluten-free oats.
So I’m saying it here: for the rest of my short time in Chelsea, I’m going to make an effort to whittle away at the wealth of food in my cupboards with every meal I make. And I’m hoping that this effort will also offset the rise in food costs from my new roommate and his growing boy appetite.
This simple broiled striped bass recipe isn’t exactly outside of my usual weeknight wheelhouse. But it does involve two pantry items that I have a surplus of: Dijon mustard and capers. Though I donated multiple jars to a food pantry last week, I still somehow have many pounds of each. Not that I’m that upset–they’re two of my go-to’s for adding flavor to every meal.
For this fish, I used my mother’s method of slathering the fillets with Dijon and then cooking it under the broiler until the top is golden brown and the fish below is juicy and tender. She usually does this for bluefish and adds a little mayo to the mustard mixture, but sadly that condiment is in scarcer supply. (I’m sure you’re not surprised).
The tomatoes this time of year are usually so good it’s sacrilege not to eat them raw with just a little sea salt. But I thought a very quick char under the broiler would find a happy medium between a cooked sauce and a Provencal-style salsa, with olives and, yes!, capers.
The good news for all of you is that I’ll be cooking even more now that I actually have someone to share my meals with on a more regular basis. And though book writing has made me seriously negligent about posting recipes, you might just get even more easy, weeknight dishes from my virtual kitchen.
Anyone have any cohabitation cooking advice? I’m all ears in the comments section.
Healthy Broiled Striped Bass with Provencal Tomatoes and Olives
- Four 6-ounce striped bass fillets or other firm fish like, halibut, mahi mahi, or grouper, skin on
- Sea salt
- Herbs de Provence optional
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 medium heirloom tomatoes diced
- 1/3 cup mixed pitted olives nicoise work well, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Mixed chopped herbs parsley, thyme, or chives, optional, for garnish
- Preheat the broiler.
- Rinse the fish fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the fish on a baking sheet or oven-proof skillet. Season with salt and the herbs de Provence, if using. Slather the tops of the fillets with the Dijon mustard.
- Combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle the tomato mixture over the fish.
- Bake the fish under the broiler, rotating the pan halfway through for equal browning, for 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the tomatoes are slightly caramelized.
- Top with the herbs and serve immediately.