Friday, January 17, 2014

A Good Famine

Personally I don't like detoxes, diets, or deprivation, even though I've done all of those in the past. I think life should be enjoyed and our waist-lines thought about a lot less. 

But I love what she says in Bread and Wine, that life is about feasting and also about famine. We should feast, literally and figuratively, by going through happy times where life is flowing smoothly, by eating rich foods and drinking wine, by celebrating and loving and being joyful that life is good. 

But what makes us appreciate those moments even more is the times that we go through famine. Where life is hard and there are hard choices and hard times and life doesn't seem so good. If we make it through those times than we can taste and be in the feasting with a greater awareness and appreciation that God is good and that he gave us good things to enjoy.

So lately around here eating has been less about all the rich foods and drinks over the holidays and more about cooking and eating lighter. We've had fish at least twice a week (which I want to keep up with because it's been yummy) and I've cooked every night instead of eating out. It hasn't been easy to cook every night, but it's been really good. 

One of the biggest struggles for me is weeknight meals. I get off work and don't get home till almost 6. I'm tired. I'm hungry.

 I want to eat but I don't want to cook.

What has made cooking on weeknights easier for me is finding recipes like this one that are so quick and simple but also flavorful. It may not seem healthy to have a butter sauce but personally I think butter is good. And if you aren't eating it with a lot of starch or empty carbs I say load up. (I've always liked this way of looking at food).

Gypsy Slow Down

 I love the French flavors with the butter and lemon and basil. I added white wine and a little flour to my sauce but the recipe is basically the same. I used frozen flounder which I defrosted beforehand. Here is the original recipe.

Flounder with Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 4 4- to 6-ounce, 1/2-inch-thick flounder fillets 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon or so all-purpose flour (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 slices
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, chives, or flat-leaf parsley (I used basil)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Pat both sides of the fish fillets dry with paper towels and then season them with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a medium skillet (preferably cast-iron or stainless steel and not nonstick) over medium-high heat until the oil ripples but isn’t smoking, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. While the oil is heating, go ahead and pat both sides of the fillets dry a second time.
  •  Sprinkle a little flour, if using, over both sides of the fillets and use your fingers to evenly coat both sides. Add the fillets to the skillet and cook, without moving, for 2 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula underneath the fillets (making sure to use firm pressure to scrape up any of the golden crust that may be sticking to the bottom) and carefully flip the fillets. If it seems impossible to slip the spatula beneath the fillet and the skillet, wait 30 seconds or so and try again. The fish will release when it’s ready–and only when it’s ready.
  • Place a slice of butter on top of each fillet and stand idly by as it melts and drips off the butter and into the skillet. Cook the fillets until they spring back from light pressure, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the fish to a platter or to 4 plates. Squeeze the lemon juice into the skillet and, with the skillet still over the heat, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the wine and cook until it simmers off. Add a sprinkle of flour and stire until thickened. Stir in the fresh herbs and spoon the sauce over the fish.

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