Garlic Baked Whitefish

This is a super-easy recipe.  My first time trying I went from pre-heating the oven to dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

The source recipe calls for tilapia, but it should work with nearly any white fish.  Really there’s no reason it couldn’t work well with darker fish like salmon or tuna, though being thicker you may need to cook longer and flip the fish halfway through, as well as increase the other ingredient amounts.

This pairs well with rice and roasted vegetables.

Garlic-Baked Whitefish

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Cast Iron skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 pounds White fish (Tilapia or similar)
  • 6 tbsp Butter melted
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400° F, with cast-iron pan inside
  • Mix up the melted butter, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes
  • Toss fish into the pre-heated pan and sprinkle on some pepper. You don’t need to grease the pan first, dry is fine, the fish won’t stick.
  • Pour the butter mixture evenly over the fish
  • Bake for 12 minutes

Adapted from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19665918/oven-baked-tilapia-recipe/

Dashcam to the Rescue!

This shall come as no surprise to anyone that lives in or near Boston: my car got hit by another car while driving in downtown Boston.  This is an every day occurrence, and is why many people avoid driving downtown.

The downside:

  • my car got hit
  • it must be fixed
  • we didn’t make the appointment that I was picking up Alpha child for

The upside:

  • nobody was hurt (in either car)
  • the damage is relatively minor
  • it wasn’t my fault
  • I have a dashcam 🙂

youtube's closed-captioning symbol Turn on the closed captioning for additional viewing fun!

Note several so-very-Boston things that occur in this video:

  • a car crash in perfect driving conditions (shouldn’t happen)
  • the two guys on the sidewalk that briefly glance in our direction, then keep going (principal of don’t-get-involved)
  • the woman who takes advantage of the break in traffic to jaywalk (no fucks left to give)

Sadly, the other driver was scurrilous and claimed that I had swerved from the left lane into the right before stopping suddenly.  (That would also be a very Boston thing to do, if it had happened.)  Our insurance companies found in my favor after reviewing the dashcam footage, and my car’s damage is fully paid for – nothing out of pocket, no deductible.

I will not drive without a dashcam ever again.  I wish I could provide a review of my particular unit but, sadly, it’s not made anymore – a review would be pointless.

I do recommend that anyone and everyone get a dashcam, though.  Besides proving the details of driving incidents, you can accidentally capture some really cool stuff.

If you like watching dashcam footage, may I recommend dashcamgifs on reddit?

Indian Butter Chicken

 

Indian Butter Chicken

Delicious chicken and cauliflower. Pairs well with rice and/or naan bread.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 14+ inch skillet w/ lid

Ingredients
  

  • Olive oil
  • Onion, yellow, small diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Ginger, fresh
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Stock
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Tumeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1.5 pounds Chicken diced to bite-sized pieces
  • 1 head Cauliflower chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 cup Heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet until it shimmers
  • Add onions, garlic, and ginger, and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the onions begin to soften
  • Stir in, and bring to a simmer:
    butter
    chicken stock
    tomato paste
    cinnamon
    cumin
    garam masala
    tumeric
    salt
  • Add chicken and cauliflower, and stir until coated
    Don’t be alarmed: the previous steps leave you with a paste, not a sauce, and the chicken and cauliflower might seem a little dry.
  • Cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked through)
  • Stir in lemon juice and cream, and bring back to a simmer
  • Simmer, uncovered, for a couple of minutes

Notes

A variation of a traditional Indian dish, my recipe is adapted from The Modern Proper.
This is one of those recipes where your significant other may saunter through the kitchen and compliment the fragrance; children might run away in fear and loathing.  The final product is smooth, tasty, and not nearly as strong as it seemed while you were cooking.
Keyword cauliflower, chicken

Cape Cod 2021

Highlights From Cape Cod

“Baba” plays the part of the matriarch and rents a house on the cape, then invites the families to come stay with her.  Our responsibilities include making dinner (plus cleaning up) and enjoying ourselves.

This year was one of the rainiest summers in a long time, among the top 5 since record keeping began, but we still had plenty of time for fun.

seals in the water
Swimming was poor for humans but great for seals on Saturday evening

We went on a whale watch out of Provincetown on Wednesday.  It was really foggy and we didn’t see any whales, or anything at all, for almost two hours.

barely-discernable boat in the fog
There is a boat in the center of this picture, less than a hundred meters away

Suddenly, out of the fog, we stumbled across some whales that really showed off for a bit.

We discovered Skaket Beach, on the bay side of Orleans, on a beautiful afternoon.

sunset at skaket beach
Sunset at Skaket Beach

The beach is very flat so as the tide retreats you can walk out very, very far.

looking back on skaket beach from the water
Looking back at Skaket Beach after walking out to meet the retreating water

There are natural tide pools that trap crustaceans.  The kids had fun hunting hermit crabs and minnows.  Tim dug up a couple of steamers to show the kids what lives beneath the sand.

Beta child made some new friends, as usual.  Baba did, too, with a couple that lives in the next town over from us.  Meghan and I had fun talking with them about local stuff, and listening to the husband grouse about local contractors and the crappy McMansions they put up.

A couple of days into our stay, a local hawk mother decided that her chicks were ready to leave the nest.  One of the three wasn’t quite ready and complained, loudly, every remaining day of our stay.

fledgeling hawk
This newly-fledged hawk haunted his former roosts while complaining, loudly, and calling for mom.

The mother hawk, to her credit, never strayed too far away.  The siblings showed up as well to coax him off his branch.  This one, however, mostly hopped from tree to tree and demanded a nest and food.

Other highlights, of which there are no photos

Alpha’s Graduation

Alpha child officially graduated from high school today!

Hot day, graduation was moved to morning to avoid 90+° F in the afternoon.  (92° as I write this, expected to top out around 94° in a couple of hours.)

Afterwards, lunch with the grandparents at the Emerald Rose.

I’m very proud of Alpha.  I’m also very proud of myself and @mom that we successfully launched a tiny human to adulthood.

Saint Patrick’s Day, COVID-19 Edition

We’re just over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.  Most years past we would simply go to Meghan’s mother’s house, and she would put on a traditional dinner: boiled corned beef, boiled potatoes, and boiled cabbage.

Last Year Was Different

Last year we ate a sad dinner on our own, as I had never made corned beef and cabbage before.  I tried it in the slow cooker.  It didn’t turn out very well.  Lesson learned.

This Year Is Different

Due to the wonders of science and concentrated efforts, the world has vaccines in record time and we see the light at the end of the figurative tunnel.  My mother-in-law has been vaccinated and graciously agreed to come to our house.  And I’m taking another stab at making traditional Irish-American dinner.

dutch oven with corned beef and vegetables
Just finished assembling the raw ingredients for a traditional Irish-American dinner: corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and onions

Recipe

Taken from How To Make Corned Beef:

Stovetop method: For a 5 pound brined corned beef brisket. Place the corned beef in a Dutch oven. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of pickling spice blend and pour in 4 cups beef broth. Add potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 3 1/2 hours. Add water if necessary to keep brisket covered. Slice across the grain.

The Aftermath

I don’t mind saying, it was delicious.  But it might have been a side-effect of having company for the first time in a very, very long time.

after dinner table

We made two exceptions from tradition: I added garlic mashed potatoes, and we didn’t have Irish coffee after dinner.

Korean Beef Rice Bowls

This recipe was an instant hit.  I have to make a double batch if I want leftovers for the next day.

It pairs well with steamed veggies like broccoli or edamame.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced as a garnish
  • Rice (white or brown, your choice)

Sauce

  • 1/4 up packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium is preferred
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Steps

  1. Start some rice while you prepare the rest
  2. Brown the hamburger and garlic in a pan.  Break it up into crumbles as it browns.
  3. While the hamburger is cooking, whisk the sauce ingredients (brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper, black pepper)
  4. When the hamburger is browned, drain off the fat and pour in the sauce.  Simmer for a minute or two.  Mix in the scallions.
  5. Serve over rice

Adapted from therecipecritic.com

Lentil Soup

When I was a kid I disliked soups and stews, and hated even the idea of lentil soup.  Fortunately I became more open-minded as an adult, and found that I absolutely love lentil soup.  It’s very healthy for you, to boot.

The red lentils in this recipe break down and make a very creamy soup.  Green and brown lentils may be substituted, but black lentils don’t work out well.

Equipment

  • Dutch oven, or a large pot

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, diced or sliced
  • 1  medium yellow onion, diced
  • olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, about 1 ½ boxes of store-bought
    • Substitute with vegetable broth for a vegan soup
  • 2 cups dried red lentils (about 1 pound)
    • Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear, roughly a minute

Alternatives

You can try other vegetables as substitutes or additions, including sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mushrooms, celery, or whatever you have on hand.

Steps

  1. Heat dutch oven over medium heat with olive oil, until it shimmers
  2. Sauté carrots and onion until softened (maybe 5 minutes)
  3. Add garlic, curry powder, cumin, thyme, and salt.  Cook until fragrant (about a minute)
  4. Stir in lentils, tomato sauce, and broth
  5. Bring to a simmer and cover
  6. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Optionally, stir in (up to) 5 cups of spinach before serving.

Adapted from The Absolute Best Lentil Soup.