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How a near disastrous lunch turned into a new favorite recipe.
This adventure started at the grocery store last week when they had frozen packaged cod on sale. I’m talking really on sale - 60% off. The expiration date was fine, so I bought several packages.
This morning I took one of the packages out of the freezer, planning grilled cod and vegetables for lunch. The house is cool (we keep our thermostat on 68-70 in the winter) and the cod was thick, so it was still mostly frozen when I was ready to cook. That was ok. I put it in a skillet on low heat and started washing produce.
Maybe I was hungry, but it seemed to be taking a long time for the cod to thaw, even in the skillet. I was concerned about it sticking to the bottom of the pan, so I added a chopped onion and the juice of one lemon to increase the moisture.
The next time I peeked under the lid, there was too much moisture. The fish was thawed, but it was falling apart, more like ground meat than a fillet. I took a taste. The flavor was nice, but it did not look at all appetizing.
Soon the fish was cooked, but it looked like mush. How was I going to serve it? Gumbo came to my mind. I added a sprinkle of Creole seasoning. Then I opened a small can of tomato paste. I tossed in a little celery seed. Remembering rice left over from last night’s dinner, I divided it into two bowls, and called my Honorable Husband to the table. - - - He loved it.
He said, “I think I would rather have fish in a casserole like this, than have a chunk of fish on my plate.” I was stunned. Moments before I had been considering making him a peanut butter sandwich to hide my embarrassment, now we were brainstorming about how to make this accidental fish casserole better the next time. I suggested okra; he suggested broccoli; we both thought of carrots.
I have several packages of frozen cod to experiment with. Perhaps I will measure and come up with a real recipe. Or perhaps I will just wing it - that technique certainly worked well this time.
Then I sprinkle a very liberal amount of curry. It is absolutely delicious.
I think I'd enjoy eating something like this, but I know my kids wouldn't. They tend to prefer their foods kept separate.
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