Last night was a rarity in our house – my youngest daughter (Stephany) and I were the only ones home for supper. She and my oldest daughter (Emily) are ridiculously easy to cook for – they’ll try anything. So, on the rare occasions that it’s just us, I take the opportunity to try something new.
Steph and I both love fish fiercely, so I knew it’d involve some sort of fish. I put a few fillets of cod in a large skillet. I added some bay leaves, lemon zest, chives, a stalk of celery, and seasonings. Then I poured about a cup to a cup and a half of water over the whole production. After I brought it to a boil, I reduced the heat and covered the pan with foil. I poached the fish for about 6-7 minutes.
I removed the fish and wrapped it in foil to keep it warm. Then I tried something I’d seen in Nigella Express (an AMAZING cookbook if there ever was one): I added a few cans of Cannellini Beans to the remaining seasoned water in the skillet. I let the beans get all hot and bothered in the aromatic water.
I strained the beans into a small casserole dish, crumbled the fish on top, and finished it all off with a few spritzes of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I’m chive mad, so I also snipped some fresh chives on top.
Geez, Louise – it was amazing! It was a perfect, light yet filling, and very delicious meal. It would have been great with hushpuppies, but we had some Red Pepper Hummus left from the weekend, so I toasted some thick Italian Bread to use with that. We finished it all off with Rice Krispie Treats with red, white, and blue Go USA sprinkles on top. We enjoyed a great meal and great conversation – I don’t think we left an Olympic event or athlete un-discussed.
When Em got home, she delighted herself with a plate of goodies I’d saved for her. When my husband came dragging in, he was too pooped to pop, so he just popped in bed. The vegetarian (Brittany) of the group wrinkled her nose at the cod and dove head first into the hummus served with a boca burger I fixed for her. I told her that I’ll make her a version of this dish soon, with Firm Tofu instead of the fish. Tofu soaks up the deliciousness of bay leaves and lemon beautifully. It loves garlic, too, but I wouldn’t want to steal the show from the lemon – garlic’s such a scene stealer!
Poached fish is amazingly fast and a very healthy alternative to fried fish. The next time I make poached fish, I’m going to serve it with orzo – although I’ll be returning to the Cannellini beans often. They’re a perfect companion to just about anything.