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)
- 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
- 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.
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.