Friday, October 27, 2006
I am beginning to find my groove, such as it is, for now. I won't bore you with it here (if you're really interested you can always visit my other non-foodie blog) but I am finally learning that nourishing one's self - one's emotions, self-esteem, home and ultimately, one's appetite - is a recipe for contentment and one which should be encouraged rather than one in which to find guilt.
And so, in order to guard off a threatening cold (hence the ginger, garlic and chili) and to celebrate the opportunity for a candle-lit dinner for one I concocted the following simple, but soul-warming dish.
(yes, you guessed it, serves one gorgeous blonde)
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
'thumb' of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, washed and finely sliced
150g crimini mushrooms, wiped clean (halve or even quarter the large ones)
nam pla (fish sauce)
tamari (or soy sauce - tamari has a meatier taste and just loves fungi - but then don't we all love a chap with a sense of humour?!)
handful of baby spinach leaves
1 cod fillet
Heat a good slug of sesame oil in a large frying pan to which you have the lid. Once warmed add the garlic, chili and ginger and muddle about for a few minutes.
Add the leek, cover and sweat, check occasionally that the leeks are not sticking to the pan. Trickle sherry in as and when necessary to avoid this and to create a shallow pool of liquor. Throw in a few petals of dried star anis.
After around 10 minutes when the leeks have lost their rubbery quality and softened to a baby's breath, add the mushrooms, a good shaking of both the nam pla and tamari and pop the lid back on the pan.
After around five to ten minutes throw in a handful of spinach leaves, another glug of sherry and replace the lid.
Sit the cod fillet on top of the vegetable tangle, replace the pan lid and allow the fish to gently steam for approx. five to ten minutes (depending on thickness of fillet and how well done you like your fish to be).
Remove the fish and serve the vegetable melange on a plate and then pop the fish on top.
I am aware the portion in the photo looks enormous and quite frankly, it was rather large! However as I don't tend to eat carbs (for no other reason than my odd stomach doesn't like them and that this morning I succumbed to the hi-tech weighing machine at the gym and am apparently a bit of a light weight with a BMI of just 19), I really don't care! As I said, it's about nourishing one's soul. Lemony or otherwise.