It is so often said that it is almost a cliché: after a long day’s work, favoured recipes are those that are fast but flavourful. But I suppose that’s why it is a cliché – because it is true! Below are two weeknight suppers we made recently; one that worked out well, and one that didn’t.
Pan-fried Crumbed Fish and Fries
I had photocopied a recipe for pan-fried crumbed fish and fries from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food quite some time ago, but for whatever reason, didn’t pull it out again until last week. We had two haddock fillets from Ocean Odyssey and some potatoes from Eat Local First ready to use.
The fish turned out really nice, and seared on the hot pan, the panko-breading turned into a satisfyingly crispy crust. I definitely preferred this to Mark Bittman’s cornmeal crusted fish.
Pan-fried fish and “fries”, served with Greens, Eggs and Ham mixed heritage greens
The potatoes, on the other hand, taught us two lessons:
1) to make good fries, one must have patience. The second batch we left in the oven for nearly double the time specified on the recipe actually resembled fries instead of just starchy white, parboiled potatoes.
2) don’t use old potatoes. Or at least, know when a potato is past its prime and should be thrown out. I had let the potatoes sit in my pantry for too long before moving them to the fridge, and the taste was definitely off. You learn from experience, right?
Curried Tomato Soup with Eggs
Most of Mark Bittman’s recipes have been written for those looking for a quick fix. As a result, it’s easy to flip through The Food Matters Cookbook to find a dinner idea almost instantly, and last week the curried tomato soup with eggs (his play on makhani, a spicy Indian tomato sauce that’s used for braising hard-boiled eggs) caught my eye.
With the use of some punchy Malaysian curry powder, balanced with the creamy sweetness of coconut milk, the soup was flavourful and packed with vegetables. I particularly liked the inclusion of a boiled egg garnish (we used Greens, Eggs and Ham duck eggs), for an added richness and texture.
Curried tomato soup with eggs
Best of all, the pot yielded several servings of leftovers…perhaps the best reward to be reaped from home cooking!