Since I started training to run a half-marathon this coming November (I’m up to six miles…only seven more to go!), I’ve found myself cooking more frequently. It isn’t because I’ve gotten all health nut or have decided to start treating food as fuel. No, nothing silly like that. When I run on the treadmill at the gym, I watch the Food Network.
Even though I usually can’t remember what day it is, where I need to be at 3:00 p.m. or what is next on my to-do list, I can remember what recipes I’ve seen on a tiny TV screen attached to a treadmill so that I can replicate it several days later.
Back when I started this blog and had ample counter space and a dishwasher, I thought cooking for one was easy! Anyone can do it! I still think that anyone can cook if they really want to and anyone can be good at it if they really want to, but I also now realize that not everyone is going to want to.
For some, the barrier to cooking lies in doing the dishes. There are some nights when I get home late or have newly manicured nails (omg yes, I really just typed that sentence and I’m not even deleting it) and would happily cook if only I had a professional appliance that would in essence, clean my kitchen for me.
It’s not the chopping and the mixing and the marinating that I dread: it’s the idea that I’m a grown adult and actually have to clean up after myself. When I was 22, I didn’t mind leaving dishes until tomorrow but now, with a very tiny apartment and little space for clutter, I avoid cooking when I don’t feel like cleaning and that’s just the way it is.
This recipe is perfect if you want to eat an actual dinner that doesn’t come from a carton, but also don’t want to have a bunch of dishes to do. You’ll steam your fish in parchment paper and compile all of the ingredients right into said parchment. The result is a flaky whitefish full of flavor. It will pair with basically anything, but I made a big arugula salad with lots of lemon and parmesan that I would throw sliced fennel and maybe orange supremes into next time I make it.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
For each serving:
4-6 ounce boneless halibut fillet
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon good olive oil
1 large sprig fresh thyme
2 Ceregnola or other large green olives with pits
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the fish fillet on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the top of the fillet. Lay the thyme on top and place the olives next to the fillet.
Beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of water for an egg wash. Brush the egg wash around the edge of the parchment paper and fold it in half. Carefully fold the edge of the parchment paper under and around the fish to make a package. Place the package on a sheet pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot in the parchment paper.
Arugula with Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
What You Need
3 ounces fresh baby arugula (about 2 cups)
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 ounces Parmesan (grab the highest quality you can afford)
If the arugula has roots attached, cut them off. Fill the sink with cold water and toss the arugula for a few minutes to clean. Spin-dry the leaves and place them in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the arugula to moisten. Toss well and place the salad on a plate (Note: You will have extra vinaigrette, which can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week).
With a very sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan into large shards and arrange them on the arugula.Print This Recipe