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December 28, 2011 / beatricebunny

Visiting Old Friends

I’m on vacation!  I spent a lovely Christmas with my family on my mom’s farm in Kentucky, and arrived back in Nashville late Monday night.  I don’t have to go back to work until next Tuesday.  This means that I have the opportunity to cook three meals a day every day.  We will eat out some- I have a cooking class tonight and reservations at a favorite restaurant for NYE, but other than that, I plan to cook at home. 

Currently, I am in the midst of cooking lunch.  I am revisiting an old recipe from my favorite cookbook, Moosewood Cooks at Home.  As previously mentioned, this is the cookbook I learned to cook from, and I like to go back and re-try the recipes I stumbled through back in the day. 

Today’s lunch is Asian-style swordfish.  I am not following the recipe exactly, but it is one of the book’s series of “fish in a packet” recipes.  These recipes saved my life when I was first trying to learn to cook meat.  Other than burgers on a grill, I could not seem to keep from serving half-raw food.  Except these.  Basically, you throw your fish, veggies, and flavorings in a foil packet and cook them in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.  You can add most any veggie and any spice palette.  I make them “Italian” style with olive oil, garlic, and basil.  “Mexican” with cilantro, tomatoes, and a hot pepper, and “Asian” with sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.  In the past, I’ve used tilapia, but swordfish was on sale at the grocery, and since it’s a lighter lunch meal (cooking class tonight = huge dinner) one 6 oz filet is plenty for my husband and me. 

It’s exciting to go back and re-make these old recipes.  It’s kind of like running into an old boyfriend while looking your best.  Hey, there, old recipe – see how far I’ve come.  I can dress you up and do variations that were not imaginable when I first started cooking.  I can add daikon root or chili oil.  Sometimes it’s really satisfying to see how far I’ve come in my cooking.

As I write this, my house is filling up with the smell of sesame oil and onion. My tummy is rumbling.

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