California Dreamin'


Nothing about today’s lunch is local, with the exception that all the groceries came from less than a block’s walk of our house. That’s what the walkable feast is all about.

Today’s salad starts with a couple of good handfuls of spinach, tossed with lime juice and olive oil. Then for the topping, two pink grapefruit, peeled and diced, an avocado, about 15 dry roasted un salted almonds, chopped, half a shallot, minced, and a can of albacore tuna in water, drained and broken into chunks.

Even if the spring weather isn’t cooperating, it makes us feel like it’s a sunny California day.

Albacore Tuna Marinara

A couple of weeks ago we were down at Hooked and they had a delicious-looking slab of sustainably-caught albacore tuna. It was just the thing we were looking for, to be tossed with some homemade marinara and whole-wheat spaghettini. Tasty, fast, and healthy – the perfect Friday night supper.

You Can't Beat This Drum!

Friday we popped into Hooked on Queen Street to see what they had on offer. As usual there was a tremendous selection, making it difficult to choose.

The photo doesn’t do it justice – I’m no expert with phone photography, but we settled on these tasty Red Drum fillets from Nova Scotia. Pan-fried in a little butter, we then swirled a little chardonnay in the butter and pan drippings to make a sauce. On the side, we served steamed beans with carrot dice, and a boiled potato – all from the farmer’s market. Dee-lish!

Fish of a Certain Stripe

Mackerel. Slightly mineraly. Beautifully striped. A paradox to those who only know what to do with the pinky, meaty salmon, or the large-flaked cod. But mackerel is such a beautiful, special fish, it’s hard to resist.

The husband bought these beautiful fillets at Hooked. It wasn’t the most pleasant day, so grilling was out of the question. It was cool enough for the oven, though, so a plot was hatched. Pair the oily,mineraly flavour with some Mediterranean influences – olive oil, tomatoes, olives, capers, and oregano.

Everything went in the oven at about 400, for 20 or 30 minutes, just until done. We couldn’t have asked for a better end to the day.

Pickerel your Favourite Friday Fish

So on Friday (last Friday) I planned to go to Hooked for some fish. But I was foiled. By being lazy and taking my car, the environmental angels punished me: no parking!

It worked out fine. On Saturday, I got this great pickerel. And some purple carrots. I cooked up the fish in a cornmeal crust and served with a carrot salad.

To make it, steam the carrots. Toss in a mixture of  one tablespoon each (15ml each) olive oil, Dijon mustard, wine vinegar, and about a teaspoon (5ml) maple syrup. Sprinkle with some green onions.

(Over on the side is some awesome Lundberg rice. You can get it at Better Bulk, on our blogroll).

Risotto Helps You Slow Down the Madness

Ah, Friday. I went down to Hooked to get some fish. But it was a complete madhouse. Yes, I admit it. I had worked four overtime type days and I wimped out and took the car (to be fair, I had more work waiting at home). Problem was, that was a stupid idea. I got down to Queen and there were no parking spots to be had.

What to do? Save Hooked for Saturday when I had more time, and make a nice barley and brown rice risotto. (I know, time consuming. But VERY therapeutic).

We opened a bottle of wine, and stirred away our stress. De-lish!

Good Friday Fish: Poached Salmon

Salmon Salad and Boiled PotatoFor some folks, Good Friday is just another day off work. But for us, it’s a busy day, filled with opportunities to come together with our community at St. Brigid’s.

Fortunately fresh ingredients are easy to find in our neighbourhood. Red peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce from Ontario hothouses are available at Kelly’s, or Plank Road, or Jerry’s Supermarket now. We had the salmon in our freezer, but we can usually get a great selection of fish at the supermarkets on our walking route, like Sobey’s or Valu-Mart.

This dinner starts with boiling the potatoes. While they’re cooking, we’ll bring the water up to a boil for the salmon, and then turn it down to a low simmer, flavouring it with a little citrus pepper and a few slices of lemon. (On another day, white wine would also work nicely). Then we’ll pop in the fish and keep it just gently simmering along while we make the salad.

All that’s left is to give thanks for good food and the latest steps in our Lenten journey, and eat.

Oven Baked Fish and Chips

Oven baked fish and chipsWe had some frozen fish in the freezer, and there were some great red potatoes on sale down the street. What better than oven baked fish and chips. Now agreed, if you like that fried, delicious batter, these fish fillets are different. But they’re good. And they’re healthy. And they are way faster to prepare than it takes me to walk to the fish and chip place! (Bonus, I can watch t.v. or read a couple of chapters or knit or talk on the phone while they cook).

Delicious Artichoke Pizza

So we had good intentions of posting last night’s dinner, Black-eyed Peas with Pasta, but we got wrapped up in Earth Hour, playing SCRABBLE by candlelight, and other goings-on, and we forgot. Usually we spend the Hour on a walk around our neighbourhood, with candle lanterns. When we get home, we sit on the porch and make some (acoustic!) music. But this year it was unseasonably cold…not good for the guitars or the people. Hence the SCRABBLE!

So in lieu of that, today we’ll share the recipe for Megann’s Artichoke Pizza, featured on our first post. It’s a classic “Weekend Special” around our house.

Friday Fish Chowder

Whether you’re abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, or just looking for an easy fish recipe for a busy night, this chowder is simple to make. Whenever we cook a large whole fish we use the bones to make a batch of fish broth, but if you don’t have fish broth on hand, use vegetable broth, it’ll still taste great.

This soup is a family staple for us – it’s great on a cold night, and it’s a go-to recipe made from ingredients that we always have around the house.