A Simple Meal

One of my sons always used to point out that I say that everything I cook is easy. Maybe now that he's on his own he realizes that it’s true. Many of my meals have few ingredients and take thirty minutes or less to prepare. Like anything else, of course, with practice your skills improve and you can turn out a dinner in no time flat. Not only that, you also develop what the French call “le pif” (literally, slang for “the nose”)—a flair, an intuition for what tastes good. In my mind, some of my best dinners have been only loosely based on a given recipe.

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I appreciate a quotation from Chef Paul Bocuse that good cooking does not necessarily imply something complicated and expensive; that the best meals are simple ones. Take last night’s completely oven-cooked dinner as an example. Our local fish store has some good crab cakes which I heated up for about 10 minutes and served as a first course with an impromptu dollop of mayonnaise mixed with fresh lime juice, and a touch sambal (Asian chili sauce) for added spice.

Since I am infamous for serving a combination of cuisines in the same meal, I decided to follow the appetizer with a Greek-inspired menu. To this end, I first visited a friend’s blog, French Fries on Wednesday, which has a huge listing of Greek and other recipes at the bottom of the first page under “Labels.” Lisa’s “Greek Potatoes Patates”—which are peeled, cut into wedges, topped with butter, a little chicken broth, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and onion—were just delicious. You do have to bake them for about an hour in the oven, but they are well worth it if you have the time. (Otherwise, rice, pasta, or bread would do fine as a starch.)

Next, I got out my Treasured Greek Recipes cookbook published years ago by the women at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Albany for its “Haddock Oliviano.” Using the fresh fish I had also purchased yesterday, I put the fillets in a buttered casserole dish and topped them with olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, parsley, and a little oregano. All you have to do is bake the fish for the last 20-25 minutes of the potatoes' cooking time.

To round out the meal I made a modified Greek salad. I nearly always have feta cheese on hand which I crumble over lettuce, along with black olives, a tomato, onion, oregano, garlic salt, olive oil, and vinegar. Served along with a dry white wine, it was a simple, satisfying meal which is basically Mediterranean-based and heart healthy. Try it; you'll like it! Bon appétit!

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http://frenchfriesonwednesday.blogspot.com/ said...

Thank you for the mention in your blog!! I know we could share a nice meal together one day. Greek or French? I think I would choose French. Oh what the heck, let's just dine out in Paris!!

Mme Boisvert said...

LOL...yes, Paris would be best...or we could do a combo Greek/French meal as I tend to do. ;)

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