as i was saying, we have been crazy busy. we had a french student staying with us for a month, which was loads of fun and filled with sightseeing jaunts here and there. then spring everything hit our schedules at once. trial by fire, i have learned to cook fast. really fast. dinner in 15 minutes? can do.
strategies for cooking really fast: build up a repertoire of 5 or 6 dishes you can make super fast. once you know them, grocery shopping will be easy. simplify the meal, down to it's essence. make the most of each ingredient, but keep that list small.
another idea, one which i am completely dependent on: a rice cooker, seriously i sometimes travel with mine, i bought it 16 years ago for $125 dollars and it still works great. i am not at all into gadgets in the kitchen but this one thing is awesome.
another is get to know your broiler, hight heat broiling is great for fish, chicken and pork. cooks really fast and is hands free, in that you can chop or toss or stir something else while it is going on. you do have to keep your eye on it because burning can also happen fast. keeps you on your toes. the point is, you really don't have to buy prepared convenience foods or takeout when you are short on time. you can do this.
for the next few weeks, until school is out, summer begins and life takes on a slightly more leisurely pace, i am going to focus on fast meals, from necessity but also for a creative challenge. i want to eat well, and i love to cook, but i also love to do lots of other wonderful things and don't want to spend all day in the kitchen. ready set go.
broiled sole with spring onions
1 lb sole, about 6 to 8 small fillets
1 teaspoon minced cilantro stems
1 TBSP fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm or brown sugar
1 package spring onions, ramps (baby leeks), or scallions, cleaned and trimmed
preheat broiler to high and move top rack to highest position. mix together the fish sauce, cilantro stems, brown sugar. cover a large baking sheet with parchment or foil. place the filets on the parchment, intersperse the onions. with a large spoon, drizzle your sauce onto the fillets, up the center line.
when broiler is preheated, super hot. pop in the tray. broil for about 4 minutes, right up close to the heat source. until fish is cooked through and onions are nicely charred. serve immediately with a tossed salad and maybe some rice, precooked in your rice cooker, or bread.
that was fast for a homemade meal wasn't it? enjoy. and happy weekend everyone.