“Mess o’ Golden Fish” in Buttery Lemon SaucePosted: September 11, 2012 Filed under: Fish, Gluten Free, Seafood/Shrimp, Uncategorized | Tags: basil, butter, catfish, cod, fish, halibut, lemon, sea bass, talapia, white fish, wine 1 Comment
(Becky, the Mama.)
Yesterday was one of those Sunday afternoons that Greg and I love. I’d popped a roast in the oven before church and then Greg’s sons, a daughter-in-law , one nephew and one grandson showed up to enjoy a meal on the back porch. These are special days as we know summer is waning, the leaves are turning, but for now there are still flowers and green grass and perfect 70 degree weather.
Meals for our big gang of kids (even half our crew) means lots of food, mess, dishes. A virtual kitchen disaster, since I am a fast cook, but not a tidy one. In addition to lunch, I decided to make a quick casserole for my stepson to take home to his family as well. (Tortilla Flower Pie.) They adopted little six-year-old Anthony this year, and suddenly became foster parents to a toddler last week. At minimum, I felt, they deserved a night off from cooking. So more pots and pans were added to the sink creating a virtual mountain dirty dishes.
I took a deep breath and dove in to Dish Mountain, rinsing and washing with gusto, when I felt… not a few drops, not a trickle, but a sudden wave of warm water flooding my feet. A broken pipe. Several trips to the hardware store, lots of under-sink-laboring, not a few choice words, and many hours later…the pipes still leaked like an artsy under-the-sink fountain.
I loaded the dirty dishes into a big ice chest on wheels and alerted my neighbor that I might be rolling up to her door, the Bag Lady of Dirty Dishes, to borrow her sink. Thankfully a plumber showed up today and miraculously fixed the issue, to the tune of $200.00.
Welcome to reality. It is messy. “Mama said there’d be days like this,” and all that. I’ve found, however, that life’s “little aggravating interruptions” get a lot easier to deal with once you accept this truth: About 20 to 30 percent of life is handling hassles.
I’ve found I don’t lose my cool over life’s inconveniences when I…
1) Take care of it – or delegate….or hire someone to take care of it ASAP without wasting time stewing
2) Find something funny in the situation to write and laugh about
3) Remember that it is not a Greek tragedy, it is not cancer, it is not permanent. (This post will appear on 9-11, a reminder of how petty almost all our so-called ‘problems’ really are.)
4) I am not being picked on by God, stuff happens to everybody. Build “yucky interruptions” into weekly expectations
5) Try to think of myself as Molly Brown, and do my best to be that jolly, comforting, brave woman who makes the best of a sinking ship situation.
Or in my case, a sinking sink situation.
I had just a few minutes tonight to prepare dinner after the plumber left and the kitchen was put back in order. (Thank you to my husband and nephew for doing this for me. A gift!) What I wanted to make for supper was four perfectly formed and nicely browned fish fillets. What I got, instead, was a mess, as some of the fish stuck to the pan, and the meat was so fresh and flakey that it began falling apart. Then I remembered something a pro photographer said at the Foodista Blogging convention, “Life is messy. Make some of your photos messy.” Well, then…O-KAY!
Though this “mess o’ fish” dish did not turn out perfectly formed fillets, it tasted amazing. In fact, the broken pieces allowed the lemon-butter-wine sauce to better saturate the fresh white cod, resulting in moistness and flavor in every bite. The family served themselves whatever bits and pieces that looked most tempting to them.
The moral of today’s post is this: When life gives you lemons, slice them and use them to decorate your latest culinary mess. You might find you’ve fouled up your way into a new recipe masterpiece.
“Mess o’ Golden Fish” in Buttery Lemon Sauce
2 T. olive oil and 1 T. butter for browning fish
2 smashed garlic cloves
1.5 lb. white flakey fish fillets (I used cod, but you could use halibut, tilapia, mahi-mahi, catfish or sea bass)
1 large lemon, cut in half
2/3 cup white wine
1 T. butter (for sauce)
1 T. brown sugar
Sea Salt to taste
Few basil leaves or parsley for garnish
Sprinkle fish fillets very lightly with sea salt on both sides.
Put 2 T. olive oil and 1 T. butter and 2 smashed garlic cloves into a large skillet over medium high heat. As soon as it is nice and bubbly, stir to let garlic permeate the oil and butter, then add fish. Turn fish when it is golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes or less. Don’t worry if it comes apart when you turn it: messy is fine. Messy is good.
Brown the other side of the fish. With a wide spatula, remove fish from pan to a large serving platter with about 1 inch high sides, and loosely cover with foil to keep warm. (I used a round Corning Ware tart pan.) In the same skillet, add 2/3 cup white wine, another tablespoon of butter, 1 T. brown sugar and juice from ½ the lemon. Let this mixture simmer and bubble until the sauce is reduced by about a third. Season with salt to taste at this point. Pour the sauce over the “mess o’ golden fish” and garnish with lemon slices (from the other ½ lemon) and a few sprigs of fresh parsley or basil. Serve family style with a spoon for dipping sauce.
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The Title: Mess o’ Golden Fish in Buttery Lemon Sauce
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