Something From Nothing - Week 7
Sometimes, even those of us who live to cook - just are not all that into it. I know, try to contain your astonishment....and this may not be "nothing" but one morning, I took out the following for supper...
Yes, it looks very nice...but quite frankly, come suppertime, I just had no energy to be creative, or spend hours in the kitchen whipping up some gourmet seafood feast. I perused the Pixie-library of cookbooks for a while, but did not see anything that struck my fancy. An Internet search using some of the ingredients I had on hand produced a recipe for "Portuguese Fish Supper", from Rachael Ray. As an American of Portuguese descent, I was a little concerned about its authenticity, to say the least. However, it did look quick, hearty and filling, and since I was rapidly running out of both time and heart (the most essential ingredient, of course), I decided to make it. Click here for the recipe.
Clockwise from bottom left; fresh parsley and thyme, chicken cubes, olive oil, diced tomatoes and sauce, garbanzo beans, Old Bay seasoning, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and onion, garlic and a package of Spanish-style chorizo. (Not shown, a handful or so of fresh spinach, chopped). The recipe calls for kale, but spinach was the green that I had on hand, and thrown in during the last minute of cooking, does quite well in this. You can find those shelf-stable (!) chorizo in the Spanish section of your local mega-mart, as well. Really not too ingredient-heavy! Now, we cook....
Chop the onion, garlic, spinach, parsley and thyme. Cube the chorizo into small chunks, dissolve a cube of chicken stock in hot water, open your cans & prepare your seasonings and you are in business! Now, start to cook the chorizo...do not jack the heat up here, just warm enough to get the chorizo to crisp up a little, and release some of their paprika-and-garlic flavored goodness....like so,
Add in the onions and garlic. I apologize for the blurry photo....but this is real cooking...heat happens!
Now, add in your parsley and thyme, tomatoes and sauce, garbanzo beans, salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Note: I am not fond of nutmeg, so I just added a pinch. Bring this to a nice simmer...look at the beautiful, vibrant color of the stew!
Place your cod fillets, rinsed and patted dry, on a plate and sprinkle on both sides with Old Bay seasoning..
Slide the fish into the stew broth and simmer for ten minutes, covered, until the fish is cooked through.
At this point, I carefully broke the fish pieces into more spoon-sized chunks. When the fish is just cooked (make sure your heat is just at a simmer, you don't want that beautiful fish to get tough, or overcooked), throw in your spinach for the last two minutes of simmering...
The results? Well, with a piping-hot, crusty loaf of French bread, I must admit....this was a satisfying, easy, hearty winter stew! The only changes I would make would be to add shrimp for the last five minutes of cooking time, and some canned diced, or leftover cooked potatoes. Here was a stew I could get into!