Baked Fish and Chips with a Twist

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I realize that today’s post includes dishes I have posted in the past. And I realize that I haven’t been posting as many new recipes lately. When I first started the blog, I wanted it to reflect a true picture of my life as a cook and baker. And lately it has.

We don’t have a new recipe a week, much less several. And I don’t always have the time or the inclination to bake sweets during the week. These past few weeks I have been concentrating on baking for catering jobs (well, job) and the upcoming vendor fair that I wrote about on Monday. In between, my kitchen projects seem to be of the ho-hum variety.

Thus enters baked fish and chips. I did mix it up with purple potatoes for the oven fries, which made for a pretty plate, with cornbread crusted tilapia and roasted green beans. I have posted most of these recipes before, but maybe this will inspire you to try them. Or to at least branch out in the produce department a bit.

I picked up the potatoes at a local international supermarket. They carry foods from all regions and countries and are a great place to just wander, looking for inspiration. The last time we went Calvin and Rich got distracted in the chocolate section and I wandered the produce aisle until they were done. Purple potatoes were a find – our usual grocery store only has them in a fingerling potato medley. That mix is always heavy on yellow and red potatoes and I never get enough of my favorite purples. I was happy to see a whole bin of purple potatoes, and they were bigger than the ones I get in the medley.

I first had purple potatoes in the form of potato chips and was surprised that they tasted so different from a white potato. If you have never had them, purple potatoes taste a bit sweeter and fuller than white potatoes. Sort of like the difference between a white potato and a Yukon gold, but even more. And the color can’t be beat. I have yet to make mashed purple potatoes, but I have wanted to do that for a long time. I’m not sure if the color would be too startling or not.

We all get stuck in ruts, or into a period when we can only do the necessary. I am working on celebrating the ordinary. And savoring the moment. I know that there will always be brownies tomorrow. Or cupcakes. Or cookies.

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Roasted Green Beans

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I have been roasting green beans all summer, but I realized yesterday I had never shared the recipe. I thought I had better get the recipe posted before green bean season is totally gone.

I am always looking for new ways to make vegetables that my family will eat. They aren’t crazy about boiled or sautéed green beans, but they will eat them roasted. Go figure. It might have something to do with the Parmesan cheese I put on top. I think it also has something to do with the roasting. Roasting vegetables brings out the best in them, I think.

The hardest part about making the beans is snapping off the tops. Really. They take care of themselves in the oven. And then they are ready for the table, in all their caramelized glory, topped with a shower of snowy Parmesan cheese.

The only note I have is to be careful with the oil. The beans don’t absorb the oil like other vegetables, and if you use too much they are greasy. The recipe is correct – you only need a couple of teaspoons of oil to keep the beans from drying out.

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Download or print the recipe here.

Roasted Green Beans
From The Cook’s Life
Serves 4

¾-1 pound green beans
1-2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
salt
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beans and snap off their stem ends. Spread the beans on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle them with the oil and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 12-15 minutes, or until the beans are starting to lightly brown on the bottom. Stir the beans and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, until beans are tender and spotted all over with light and dark brown spots. The beans will shrink and shrivel quite a bit. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve hot. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or a skillet.