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Monday Mornings in the Kitchen

How was your weekend?

Sometimes I’ll catch up with friends and they’ll want to know what B and I do for our weekends. In truth we do a whole lot of nothing. And we LOVE it.

On Saturdays I might teach a class or two in the morning time whilst B sleeps in. And then we’ll head out for coffee and a bit of lunch. Sometimes yum cha. Don’t be surprised, of course I get into yum cha. It’s been a while so on Saturday afternoon I whipped up some focaccia to have with some cold things for dinner.

Sunday mornings we lounge around in our baggy t-shirts, having brekkie, coffee (me), homemade chocolate milk (him) until one or the other of us decides it really is time to get off the couch. We usually spend Sunday afternoon at the market stocking up and then stop by the car wash before spending the evening at home watching whatever the Powers-That-Be decide to air on tv.

We watched Divergent last night and felt so lost (what’s going on? what mean Divergent? Abne-who? erudite, what it do? why does everyone only wear black? what happened to Jennifer Lawrence? oh, she’s not in this?), I kept expecting to see some zombies for some reason. At certain points in the movie, I’d turn to B and say, “This would be a perfect time for some zombies.” Meanwhile, both of us were googling the plot synopsis to figure out what on earth was happening. Thank you IMDB.

I don’t know if B and I are the kind of couple other people would want to hang out on the couch and watch tv with because of our running commentary.

B: Is his name Four?

Me: Yeah, like the number.

B: I need to look up this Divergent movie.

Me: Make sure you search for ‘synopsis’, plot summary tells you nothing.

B: On it.

Me: (looking up from IMDB) you know he’s from Sydney?

B: No, you don’t say.

Me: Yeah. Says so right here.

B: What website are you reading the story line from?

On the screen, Shailene Woodley asks the man named after a number if she can see his tattoo.

B rolls his eyes at me.

I roll them back and send mine after them.

Me: You know she drinks clay water too?

B: Really? Wow.

Now Shailene is saying to Four she has no idea who she is anymore.

Me: You’re Mrs Four.

B: You’re Divergent.

Both of us: You’re welcome.

B: Do you think I’m a Divergent? (perks eyebrows meaningfully, whilst retrieving his imaginary gun from his imaginary holster)

Me: Definitely. It’s written all over your face. (nods solemnly)

B looks pleased.

Later that night in bed:

B: What does ‘divergent’ mean, by the way?

Me: Um. Away from normal.

B: I thought so.

Et cetera. And that is how we watch tv in this household. Which might not be for everyone.

Also not for everyone is cooking fish. People can be so nervous about cooking fish. I know I was to begin with. It’s really quite simple – so don’t be scurred!, as someone once said to me in a nightclub. I must have looked petrified. And I was. Especially after they said that.

Anyway.

To begin, I’ll help you get started with what I made for B to bring for lunch today. It’s so so so easy, which is always helpful on a Monday morning when I’m stumbling into the kitchen still trying to identify my elbow from my knee.

What you’ll need:

Piece of fish fillet with skin on. We picked up some gorgeous salmon yesterday but white fish is fine too.

Oil of your choice (I went with extra virgin coconut oil)

Bit of butter

Parsley, good quality sea salt and cracked black pepper

Ready? Here we go:

Grab fish out of the fridge.

Heat up the pan.

Whilst the pan heats up, pat dry the fish fillet with a paper towel, sprinkle bit of salt/pepper each side of the fish.

Add a good glug of oil to the pan and let that heat up. If you’re using a nonstick sort of pan, you may use less oil.

Place the fillet, skin side down in the pan. You will hear some very satisfying bubbling sounds as the skin starts to schleeerrrpppp! and crisp up in the pan.

Give that about 5 minutes to do it’s thing, just have the fire around medium to high. This would be a good time to chop the parsley, rinse some tomatoes, tear up some basil. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with cracked pepper/salt and throw the basil on top.

Back to the salmon: very gently, turn the fillet skin side up now. Depending on the thickness of the fillet this could do with just 1 minute or another 2 minutes. Don’t forget though that when you take the fillet off the heat to rest, it will still continue to cook through.

Now, this is a good time to throw in that knob of butter to melt into the pan. Sprinkle of parsley, maybe more pepper and you have a buttery sauce for your salmon. Although, I will just mention here that a good quality mustard (whole grain or Dijon) or just a squeeze of lemon goes very nicely. But I forgot about the lemon this morning because VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING.

Take the salmon out of the pan and let it rest to one side. To know if it is cooked you can do the loving squeeze test – squeeze the fillet gently with thumb and index finger. It should be firm but not rock solid (very cooked) or still squishy (bit raw).

If you find the fish is really overcooked, panic not. You can get two forks and just flake the fish and turn it into a salmon salad. Have no fear!

Anyway, you should be fine! When you’re ready to serve it up or pack it into a lunch box, chuck more parsley up top, drizzle some of that butter sauce over the top. I will admit to spending far longer than I liked trying to navigate how to pack everything in. Finally settled on having the avocado stand in as a makeshift bowl for the tomato and basil. And then I squeezed in a slice of focaccia for B to mop up any juices and smear the avocado onto. Clamped the lid down and took a victorious sip of coffee from a mug the size of my face.

Fait accompli! Just took me a while is all.

Waste not, want not. Remember that basil? After you rip the leaves off the basil stalk, plonk it into a glass of water. You will have the most gorgeous, refreshing infusion of water to drink.

Trophy please?

Never mind! B just texted me to say lunch was good. Awwwwwwww. Fuzzy feelings.

But please do try it, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to get on to, and let me know how you go! You’ll do great, I know it! Have you watched Divergent? What did you think?

Happy Monday! xx

 

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