It’s Been Awhile….

It can be an awkward moment when you try and start a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in awhile. There’s that short uncomfortable exchange of ‘how are you’s?’ and ‘what have you been up to’s?’ – even though  in this age of social networking we all know what really is up. It gets even more awkward when the last time you spoke to that person there wasn’t any suspicion on their behalf that that was most likely going to be the last time you’d be speaking with each other in awhile; that the ‘I’ll see you soon’ coming from your mouth really should have been backed up with a disclaimer of ‘don’t count on it’.

Not being one for confrontation I’d usually just skirt around the issue, act as though we’d only spoken just yesterday and tell of some half amusing anecdote like the one about that time I passed out at a friend’s apartment only to wake up in the morning with a burning need to use the bathroom and then come to the horrible realisation that bathroom access was only through her bedroom which then led me to contemplate doing my business in her kitchen sink instead (it’s ok I went on the balcony).

But alas, perhaps I do owe you my dear readers an explanation for my absence of late. It’s not that I don’t care about you all it’s just that sometimes life gets in the way of a good thing. Lack of motivation, disappointment, excessive alcohol consumption and a questioning of one’s existence had all melded into the perfect storm that was the sorry state I was in until about 20 minutes ago.

A lull can only go on for so long though, so like any good TV hero that’s gone through some major lows in their life I pick myself up as best I can and this is how I found myself in the kitchen on a cold and dreary Thursday night cooking a very soul warming dish of ‘Pan fried fish with a salad of chickpeas and roasted green friends’ (inspired by the awesome heartbreakpie).  

Ingredients  (serves 2)

fish_and_friends_ingredients

  • 2 filets of any white fish of your choice
  • 1 small head of broccoli (my local had no broccoli so I just used broccolini)
  • 5 or so asparagus spears
  • Good handful of spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 400 gm can of chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • 2 small chillis (finely sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely sliced)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

fish_and_friends_method

  • Pat your fish fillets dry and if you suffer a little from OCD like me then trim off any scungy parts just so the fish looks pretty. Season well on both sides.
  • After washing your fresh ingredients (or not if you’re like my workmate) tear off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut them into 5 cm lengths and whack them on a roasting tray along with the broccoli which you would have chopped roughly into the same size.
  • Dress the asparagus and broccoli with the thyme, olive oil, lemon zest, chillis and a little dusting of the smoked paprika, and throw it under the grill for 8-10 minutes turning everything halfway.
  • While the broccoli and asparagus are in the oven, quickly sauté off the spinach in a pan with some olive oil and the finely sliced garlic.
  • Once the greens are cooked combine them all into a bowl with the chickpeas and mix well, seasoning with the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and a little more smoked paprika.
  • Set the salad aside and bring a pan up to heat with some olive oil (Ok if you’re like me you’ll probably whack in a whole load of butter as well). Once the pan is up to heat throw your fish in and watch in pleasure as it swims amongst all the butter. Once it’s done take it off the heat and squeeze in the other half of the lemon.
  • Get a piece of fish onto your plate as well as a reasonable amount of the salad and along with a glass of any white wine you’ll have the makings of a decent evening. It gets even more decent if you have another 1 or 2 glasses after that, although drink anymore than that and it may turn into something indecent.

fish_and_friends_finished

So those of you who are observant enough will notice this is my second post in a row where a bottle of Arrogant Frog wine can be seen in the background. I am in no way loyal to this brand, just its pricing of $10.00 a bottle at woollies liquor, and hey if I can bring a little bit of France into my kitchen then that’s $10.00 well spent I think. Now I’m hoping by this point you’ll have forgotten about the lack of activity on this humble blog of mine and instead remember all those things that you loved coming back here for, but just in case you haven’t I promise I’ll try and make this a more regular thing*.

(Excuse the change in photography direction, I was trying to have new age fun with a vintage feel…. If you’re not a fan let me know, it may or may not effect what I do in the future).

*disclaimer: don’t count on it.  

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18 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Sydney, Western Sydney

18 responses to “It’s Been Awhile….

  1. Yum, I’m all about roasting asparagus and broccoli, so much goodness.

  2. ainslie

    hey hey hey…………i have started washing vegies (well those that I’m eating raw) after watching a recent ACA investigation into brain eating worms that are transfered via snail slime……….in just sayn, thanks Tracey Grimbot, i’m now a lettuce-phobe. Anyway, great to see you are back, and whilst you may not have let me prepare any food for you when u were at my house last…….im sure glad u hung a shit on my balcony.

  3. Tam

    Welcome back. I forgive you for taking away my reading joy during my lunch breaks.
    By the way I didn’t notice anything about the photos until you mentioned it. That could be a good or bad thing I guess.

  4. $10 well spent indeed! lol
    Looks like a healthy (except the butter bit but butter is so good for cooking!) & tasty dish! I wanna try making dish on a week night too!

  5. Welcome back! Glad that the perfect storm has past and you’re cooking yourself a healthy-ish kind of meal, who can blame you butter makes everything taste better.

  6. I’m just glad you’re back! I missed your refreshing cynicism. Love the “vintage feel” photos, especially the last one.

  7. That looks like a great mid-week meal and I guess you could substitute fish for chicken if your fussy eaters insisted. And hey, life gets in the way of posting ALL THE TIME and I struggle with it too. In fact, this week I’m moving and so who knows when I may be next on line. Hopefully I’ll be back to visit between now and Christmas!

  8. Welcome back indeed!

    Such a nice dinner, which is full of some of my favourite things, definitely deserves to be complemented by a bottle of wine 😀

  9. Yum!!! I’ve come to love chickpeas.

  10. oh and for what its worth…since no one else said it.. dont drink *quite* so much, and don’t question your existence 😉

  11. Gen

    Oh hey, photos are getting better!

    So that’s a vote yes to more vintage filters … but that’s me.

  12. yum, love the look of this, that side dish sounds so tasty!

  13. Jen

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m not in the mood to cook lately and I need some quick, healthy meals that I can whip up for one. I can’t eat cheese and wine every night forever!

  14. wB….

    looks nice and healthy yum… need to lose that fat ahhh

  15. Good to see you’re back! A piece of France for $10 is a steal 🙂

  16. I love the name of the wine, Arrogant Frog 🙂
    I think its good for all of us to step back sometimes, take a break. But I do hope to see more posts, your writing keeps me engulfed and able to forget I’m sitting here at work 🙂
    Nice simple meal, actually the sort of thing I was just looking for dinner tonight! 🙂

  17. ” It gets even more decent if you have another 1 or 2 glasses after that, although drink anymore than that and it may turn into something indecent.”
    thanks for giving me the lols 😀 haha

    welcome back .. now you gotta keep it up!

  18. I haven’t been to your site before – I really enjoyed reading this first post!

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