The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

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!)


at 6:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea where to find good fish that isn't coming from China or Thailand? I've done a little research and now find myself not even able to eat fish, unless I know it came from Alaska or the Gulf, which is costing $15+ per lb.

Do you buy overseas seafood, and if not, where at?

Did you know only wild salmon is pink? The farm raised China variety is dyed pink and has little to no Omegas. Scary...

at 10:02 AM Blogger Stepf said...

Scary, isn't it? I did know that. I rely on the Monterey Bay guides to decide which seafood species to eat:
I like the fish seller at Findlay Market and Wild Oats. Trader Joe's sells Wild Alaskan salmon, but it is frozen. Honestly, I mostly eat fish at restaurants unless it's anchovies or mackerel. We splurge on the $15-$20 a pound seafood when we do eat fish. The cost keeps us from eating it often.
Buying fish is a tricky business. For example, tilapia is a whitefish that is atop the "safe to eat" list. But only U.S. farmed tilapia. Foreign farmed tilapia is not listed, nor is wild-caught tilapia.
I'm reading Marion Nestle's "What to Eat" right now -- got it from library last night -- and it seems to clear up a lot of questions. I'll blog about it later this week.

at 12:26 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

To find fish that was caught/raised in the States, Get thee to the market:

Heist Fish and Poultry
I just talked with Barb Heist and she gave me the rundown on all her fish. The only thing that is farm-raised is the tilapia (not sure where), the catfish (some southern state) and the trout (in Idaho). Her walleye and whitefish comes from the Great Lakes. Lots of her other fish is caught in the Chesapeake Bay. Cool... http://www.findlaymarket.org/heist.htm

Luken's Fish, Poultry and Seafood
I also talked with someone there who told me they also get lots of their fish from within the states. Obviously the Chilean sea bass isn't one of them. http://www.findlaymarket.org/luken.htm

Be worth a call, a walk or a drive to check out both of them.

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