Sunday, June 27, 2010

Broiled Halibut with Hashed Potatoes

I realize there are those of you who probably think my cooking posts are just my way of showing off; a mean spirited version of "ha...look what I can do." Well, maybe you have a point. After all, those who know me know I can come across (at first) as being aloof without intending it. So for those who believe that is my intention - to taunt you mercilessly - you either won't finish reading this post or maybe you've already stopped reading my blog altogether, in which case, I don't care what you think.

I hope perhaps someone out there has viewed these posts and instead of being miffed, thought to themselves, " here's a guy like me who can do this - and if he can do it, then so can I." I think maybe this is my hope simply because that is my exact thought process concerning most new things I want to learn. My heart (not my brain) says to me, I can do it if they can - and you know something, I generally do. Now I'm not suggesting everyone employ this sort of positive thinking in a foolish or brash sort of way. We can't all be rocket scientists, as the saying goes. But even so, I think within reason, you should never be afraid to give something the ol' college try. In my own little sheltered world, I like to think that because I can put gourmet meals together working within a single income budget and with little time to spare, others will be inspired to ditch the microwavable meals and roll up their sleeves a little more in the kitchen.

Food can be more than fuel; it can be inspiring. Try looking at cooking as less of a chore and more of a creative outlet. Cooking is a chance for you to experiment, discover, and be an artist. If you screw up, so what. Who is going to know? If you do, I guarantee you'll not make the same mistakes often. When you start learning to cook, don't grab a complicated recipe and go all in. It would be like someone sitting at the piano for the first time and saying, "teach me to play flight of the bumble bee, please." It would be foolish. Start with the basics. Learn to use a knife properly, how to make sauces, how to properly employ various cooking methods like broiling, roasting, poaching, steaming, etc. It is the same as any other art, you must have a firm foundation to build on. If you think you don't have the time, then that is what we call an excuse. The truth is, you do not have the time because you do not make the time. It is all a matter of priority. Once you learn to cook and cook well, it becomes as fast as you need it to be.

For example, the dish above took me a grand total of 30 minutes to make. The fish only took 8 minutes in the toaster oven on broil.  Yes, that's right.  The toaster oven. The potatoes only took 15 minutes and the burre blanc (butter sauce) was about 20-25 minutes. Obviously knowing how long each part will take allows you to start multiple elements of the meal in parallel, insuring everything will finish at the exact same time so the completed meal is served piping hot.

So there you have it. Now decide if I am a pompous show-off or a guy who is just passionate about sharing the things he loves in hopes of inspiring someone else.  Whatever you decide, you should keep reading my blog if for no other reason, the entertainment.

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