This week has been non-ideal.
I’ve sat. A lot.
I own 300+ index cards. With really weird words on them.
And this is only day five of studying. Out of about 50. Let’s not do the math and find out how many index cards I’ll have by then. They’ll outnumber my cookbooks. And then I’ll really be in a sad state.
However, if you were ever thinking of investing in anything. I have insider info. Index cards are the new Microsoft. Really. They’re gonna be big.
Just, you know. Don’t forget the little people on your way up. Specifically the ones who are buried in index cards with no money to eat because they have spent it all at Staples. Ahem.
Can I also tell you that for the last two days, I have sat next to a beautiful specimen of a male in Starbucks? He’s also studying for something. He sits and writes copious notes, totally enmeshed in his own world. While I sit and pretend to write copious notes and sneak furtive glances at him to see if he’s sneaking furtive glances at me.
He’s not. He has this little thing that I like to call “focus”. I should ask him where he found it. Because I need me some of that.
And then, to top it all off.
There was this dish. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but there are four pictures of that gratin and one of the fish. Can you guess which I thought I was going to like more?
Can you guess how wrong I was?
Well, in case you ever thought that things were always peachy in the Eats Well With Others kitchen and that everything always turns out marvelously and beautifully and has multiple cherries on top. I am here to tell you that that is not quite true.
This gratin was a disaster. It was so incredibly tasteless that I had to throw it out. And I don’t readily throw out food. But it was just a waste of calories that I wanted nothing to do with. How this could have happened with cheese and corn and potatoes all mixed together in one dish, especially when they really look so pretty together, I just don’t understand.
Maybe that’s the problem with that boy who sits next to me every day. Maybe he’s beautiful on the outside and all messed up and commitment-phobic on the inside. Sigh. Likely. He’s not good for me. I should sit somewhere else today.
But in better news, this fish, which I had such low hopes for. Was amazing. There’s something about the ratio of coriander to salt to pepper in the rub that you sprinkle over it before baking that turns it into something wonderful and addictive.
So if there’s anything I want you to get out of this. It’s that you shouldn’t underestimate the underdog.
And that you should take equal numbers of photos of everything you cook. Just in case.
And index cards. Don’t forget the index cards.
As I’ve mentioned before, I will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday! If you wish to get real time updates as to how I’m doing, you can sign up for Athlete Alert, which will basically text message you or email you (whichever you choose) as I pass certain milestones (5K, 10K, etc.). Here is the link to sign up. My bib number is 13830!
Halibut with Zucchini Salsa
Serves 6, adapted from Bon Appetit August 2010
10 oz zucchini, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small white onion, chopped
5 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 jalapeno,seeded and chopped
2 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 tsp ground coriander
6 (6 oz) halibut fillets
1. Combine zucchini, cilantro, onion, lime juice and jalapeno in a blender or food processor. Add 1 1/4 tsp coarse salt. Puree until salsa is smooth. Transfer to small bowl.
2. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Coat with nonstick spray. Combine black pepper, coriander, and remaining 1 tsp salt in a small bowl and stir together to mix. Pat fish dry and sprinkle on all sides with the spice mixture.
3. Arrange fish on prepared pan and broil until just opaque in the center, about 3-4 minutes a side.
4. Transfer to plates and spoon some salsa over it. Serve with remaining salsa.
Poblano, Potato and Corn Gratin
Serves 4-8, adapted from Bon Appetit April 2010
2 tsp olive oil, divided
2 large poblano peppers, stemmed seeded and sliced into skinny strips
1 1/4 lb yukon gold potatoes cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella
1 1/2 cups almond milk **next time I would use less, maybe 1 cup!
2 tbsp AP flour
3/4 tsp salt **next time I would use more, maybe 1-1 1/4 tsp
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a deep dish glass pie dish or cast iron skillet with cooking spray or rub with oil. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano strips and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Arrange 1/3 potato rounds, overlapping slightly, in prepared pie dish. Sprinkle 1/3 poblanos over it, then 1/3 of the corn and 1/3 cheese. Repeat. Top with remaining potatoes, poblanos and corn, reserving the last 1/3 of the cheese. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Whisk milk, flour, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour over potato mixture in the pie dish. Press down on the potatoes to submerge them. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and continue to bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.