The perfect foil to a hectic day...
The next night you get home from work and you're starving but you can't stand to think about doing anything but parking yourself on the couch, remember this post. Follow these steps (or a variation of them) for an easy dinner and a relaxing evening...
1. Kick off your shoes. (It's been a long day - let 'em breathe.)
2. Go to the kitchen and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grab a pound of tilapia, roughy, perch, salmon, etc... from the freezer. Unwrap the fillets and rinse under cool water. Season both sides of the fish with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
3. Get a large baking sheet or dish. Tear off two good-sized pieces of foil (large enough to hold the fish with room for vegetables to go on top.
4. Speaking of which, get your vegetables. My favorite combination? Yellow and green zucchini, onion and red bell pepper. And grab a lemon (or lime), too. If you can find Meyer lemons, rejoice and use it. The sweet, tart flavor adds amazing dimension. (FYI, I bought some at Wild Oats/Whole Foods last week. Get 'em while they last...) But you can use whatever you have on hand. Give everything a good scrub and a course chop. (Cut the vegetables too big and they might not cook fast enough; too small and you'l have a veritable vegetable puree.) Spread the chopped vegetables over the fish, making an even layer, but stay a couple inches away from the edge of the foil. Pour the juice from your lemon over everything. Season liberally with salt and pepper. (You might be surprised by how much you need... Lots of water in those veggies.) Pour a little (like 2-3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil over everything. Or, to make it just about fat-free, go without. Adding a little cilantro over the veggies is delicious, but optional. Again, go with whatever you have on hand.
5. Take the other piece of foil and place it over the fish and veggies. Fold the edges of the two pieces of foil into one another, creating a tight seal all the way around, but leaving room over the fish and veggies.
6. Put the whole thing in the oven. Take off your stuffy work clothes, throw on your sweat pants and an old T-shirt with holes on it. Go through your mail... Mmm, already smells good, huh?
After less than 10 minutes of prep time and about 25 minutes of cook time, dinner is ready. I often have Near East couscous with it. I love it and it takes all of an additional 8 minutes to make. I put a little lemon juice in the couscous as well...
Enjoy... (And you don't have a million pots to clean after you eat!)