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Cooking: Snapper in a Snap

August 5, 2010

Once upon a time, I used to cook.

I’m not sure how working moms do it.   I typically get home around 5:15-5:30.  Kien and I play a bit, then I get his dinner together.  By the time he’s done with dinner, it’s time to bathe him and put him to bed.  This process can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, depending on whether I’m putting down my sweet angel or the spawn of satan.  By the time he’s sound asleep [or screaming bloody hell until he’s sound asleep] the house looks like  the aftermath of a toddler frat party: random pieces of clothing strewn about, overturned sippy cups, puddles of milk, toy bits everywhere, food smeared on tabletops and Wasabi looking dejected and hazed.  How can one 23 pound ball of blubber create so much chaos?  Anyway, making dinner for grown-ups is way, way, way low on the priority list (well below ramen and bad reality tv).  That is, unless I catch a second wind.

Last week, my second wind came in the form of Flyboy and a craving for fish.  I had a dozen dishes floating around in my head, but I ended up with the one that would create the fewest number of pots to wash.  If I’ve cooked for you before, you would know that I do the cooking and the Good Doctor does the washing.  He’s a good sport about the dishes, but he does raise his eyebrows when I use more than one pot, or multiple containers for cooking.  I’m not a fan of doing dishes either so I support his strategies to reduce the number of dishes to wash.  So it’s not unusual for us to share beverage glasses, utensils, or even plates.  We’re so accustomed to it that we find ourselves drinking from the same cup when we go over to friends’ homes.  We consider it a public service – fewer dishes to wash.  You’re welcome.

Photo courtesy of Flyboy's iPhone, otherwise known as his miracle worker.

But I digress.  I got a whole red snapper and a random assortment of other ingredients.  I stuffed the fish with dill, lemon slices, tomatoes and green onions and planned to pouch it up in parchment paper to throw in the oven.  I planned to make some couscous on the stove as a side dish, but my second wind was dwindling down to a soft breeze.  I decided to throw the couscous around the fish, drizzle in some white wine and butter, throw all of it in the oven and hope for the best.  And it came out…pretty good!  This is my favorite way to cook fish because it’s easy and locks in the flavors, but the couscous was the star of this show.  It soaked up all the juices and was cooked perfectly.  The best part:  the Good Doctor didn’t have any pots to wash and I got dinner on the table before my sail deflated.

Snapper in a Snap Recipe (I use the term ‘recipe’ loosely because I don’t follow recipes and I don’t measure when I cook)

Ingredients:
1 lemon, sliced
1 bunch dill
1 tomato sliced
2 spigs green onions, roughly chopped
1 cup cous cous (or 1 package flavored instant couscous, but only use half the seasoning packet)
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 whole red snapper
1/2 – 2/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place fish on parchment paper (big enough to fold over the fish and seal the edges to form a pouch).  Season inside of fish with salt and pepper.  Stuff the fish with dill, green onions, tomatoes and lemon slices.  Place a few lemon slices on top of fish.  Pour couscous around the fish.  Use bell pepper slices to form a dam around the couscous.  Season couscous with salt and pepper.  Pour wine over fish and couscous.  Dot with butter.  Fold over parchment and seal edges (you may need to stable the edges if the pouch won’t hold).  Bake for 30 minutes.  Open pouch at the table for shock and awe.  Eat directly out of the pouch to reduce number of dishes to wash.

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From → Food

3 Comments
  1. the parchment paper trick is the best one in the book. and it’s healthy! love it, it reminds me that i need to do this soon. parchment paper isn’t sold in guatemala though so i use foil, and it’s not bad either.

    and i applaud the sharing utensils, plates and cups trick too. i do that with mowgli the kitten.

  2. and kien’s still a baby! he’s having baby frat parties…i’d like to see one for real.

  3. flyboy takes good pics with his miracle worker.

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