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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Afternoon delight!


I'm stopping in for a lunch time quickie.....something I typically never do!
However, sometimes, a girl just needs to break away from the mind numbing trials of a day at work where nothing is easy and everything takes an act of congress to get done!
It would be great if my afternoon delight had a twist of lime or a cute little umbrella but drinking mid day is frowned upon these days.
In my 31+ year career, there was a time when it was the norm.....
My how things have changed.
Now folks depend on chill pills instead of wine and gin.
Gotta get me some of those.
Although they do not taste as good.
But, they are calorie free....

Speaking of calories....I wanted to share an absolutely yummy and quick recipe that I whipped up the other day that I just know you'll want to add to your recipe box. I found it in one of my Williams Sonoma cook books while I was looking for some inspiration! I had last minute guests coming to dinner (my favorite kind of guests!), I had a few bags of frozen tilapia from Sam's in the freezer and about 2 hours to get things together. When I came upon this recipe, I knew I had every ingredient in house to make it!
The moon and the stars must have been aligned perfectly that day because it was a smashing success.....

Fish with Olives, Pine Nuts, Basil and Wine

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 firm white fish fillets, such as snapper,
    rock cod, flounder, sea bass, halibut,
    swordfish or tilapia, each 6 to 7 oz.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. finely minced garlic
  • 5 Tbs. fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Mediterranean-style green and/or black
    olives, pitted if desired

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until they take on color and are fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.

Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish in which they fit in a single layer. In a small bowl, stir together 3 Tbs. of the olive oil and the wine. Pour over the fish fillets. Top with half of the garlic and half of the basil, and then distribute the olives around the fillets. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake until the fish is opaque throughout when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. The timing will depend upon the thickness of the fillets. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fillets to warmed individual plates.

Pour the pan juices, olives and reserved pine nuts into a small sauté pan and set over medium heat. Swirl in the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the remaining garlic and basil. When warm and fragrant, spoon over the fish. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.

And, just in case, you want to make a meal out of this......here's how I rounded out mine....

*I had a bag of Arugula in the fridge so I put together a light and fresh vinegarette to pour over the zesty green....again, I had all the ingredients....woo hoo...

Light tasting dressing for zesty arugula....

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced to a paste
  • Pinch of lemon zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of dry mustard
  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, sugar, the 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Adjust the seasonings with salt.

In a salad bowl, combine the arugula and the vinaigrette and toss well. Serve immediately.

*I had a bag of frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe's in the freezer so thawed them in the microwave, then sauteed them in some olive oil and garlic and squeezed some lemon on them.

*I had a bottle of a pretty oaky chardonnay--it ended up complimenting the stronger flavors in the meal

*For dessert, I decided on something super refreshing since everything was so full of flavors. So, I ran out and bought a quart of a hi-end vanilla bean ice cream. I pulled my bottle of Italian Lemoncello out the freezer, my very fancy martini crystal martini glasses out of the china closet aned then I pulled a few pieces of mint from my huge mind plant in the garden and then put it all together. It was a showy and delicious way to end a delightful meal....

Now, I gotta get back to work.
My afternoon delight is over.
But, oh what delight it was.
Funny how talking about food and recipes and menus and recalling a nice, feel-good evening can help me get on with a day like today.
I guess I don't need those chill pills after all.
For today, at least.

3 comments:

Darlin1 said...

MMMMMMMMM...Thank you!

Band Groupie said...

Missed you (and I actually WAS thinking of you and had a glass of wine for you...I wish they'd consider some other months too)...sounds like you would have been PBing the whole way there though...poor girl!! OK, off to catch up now!

Jody V said...

As usual....you're rocking my socks!!!