A few days ago, someone said to me that they never cook fish because it takes too much effort. I grant them the inconvenience of freshness: getting to the grocery store the day you intend to use something is not always convenient (or conceivable, for some). But cooking fish requires neither great amounts of time nor extreme kitchen proficiency.
Okay, okay, you’re right. I’m a young buck, and there are no crying children, and I haven’t been feeding a family for howevermany years. So perhaps I’m spoiled when it comes to the whole dinner-cooking venture. But suffering from the dregs of a cold and vulnerable to the claws of procrastination that drag all of us down at some point or another, I’ll admit I was feeling rather lazy myself tonight.
So here’s what I did: I schlepped the four blocks to the store and bought two pieces of fish (yes, I’m lucky there also). I peered into my fridge. I preheated the oven to 425 and threw the second half of a package of pre-washed green beans and some raw cauliflower of a questionable age into a big ovenproof pan. I drizzled it all with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, used a little oil to coat the fish, and nestled the fish right into the veggies. I smeared the fish with some leftover sundried tomato pesto (any tasty schmear would work). Time elapsed: 3.5 minutes. The oven still hadn’t preheated, so I switched over some laundry and called my brother.
Now, the fish is in the oven, and will cook for approximately the same amount of time it takes me to write this and check my email, about 15 or 20 minutes. Okay, I’ll fess up, I also threw some pre-washed salad, gorgonzola, walnuts, and sliced pears into a salad bowl, which added approximately 2.5 minutes to the dinner-making extravaganza. Oh, and 1 minute to slice and toast the latest in my attempts on Mark Bittman’s no-knead bread recipe (whole wheat flour, oat flour, and dill). So, if my math’s correct, we’re at 7 minutes to assemble a delicious, healthy dinner.
My dishes so far: one cutting board, one small knife, one spoon, one bread knife (but who washes those every time?), one pan in the oven.
Oops, dinner’s done. Gotta go.