Monday, July 24, 2006

How About Some Fast Slow Food?
The slow food movement is gaining momentum as more and more people realize cooking whole foods is not only fast and easy but great for both health and weight loss as well as being kind to the pocketbook. Rushing home after a hectic day at work and facing putting a meal on the table can be daunting. But with a little planning, a few minutes of preparation and a desire to eat well, putting a nutritious, tasty meal on the table can be done in a matter of minutes.

Tilapia with Jerk Seasoning

This quick meal for one is easily multiplied to fit your needs. I've used one tilapia filet but any mild white fish will work equally well. Notice it's in two pieces. Invariably tilapia filets are thicker on one side. By cutting the filet in half, the smaller side can be removed from the pan sooner than the thicker side, preventing it from being overcooked and dried out. The filets are dusted with a delicious Jamaican style BBQ blend of jerk seasoning for chicken and fish from Penzeys Spices and slipped into a little hot olive oil along with a wedge of lemon. The lemon is not squeezed at this point, it just rests in the pan allowing the heat to carmelize it. When the filets are plated, the warm juice from the wedge is squeezed onto the fish using a pair of tongs. Two minutes cooking on each side was all that was needed for this little filet. Some romaine hearts with sliced red onion and diced tomato drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice made a simple salad and I heated up a serving of frozen petite peas with a handful of frozen shoe peg corn (cooked together). Once the salad greens were washed and spun dry, the onion sliced, the tomato diced, and the veggies were at the boil, I put the fish in the pan, dressed the salad and within 15 minutes from start to finish, I was pouring a glass of wine to accompany this fine plate of food. Talk about fast food ! This is simple, wholesome, economical and mighty good!

Fast meals leave lots of time to read. I'm really making a dent in Peter Abrahams' entire ouevre. This week I was thoroughly entertained with Oblivion. It's easy to understand why Stephen King said Abrahams was his favorite American suspense novelist. Each tale I've read has a distinctive voice as well as a unique plot and cast of characters. Nick Petrov, Oblivion's brilliant private investigator accepts a case to find a missing daughter. Fast on the trail with many clues in hand, tragedy strikes and Nick experiences oblivion when he is stricken with a stroke brought on by a brain tumor. Waking with a memory lapse, and the uncertainty of his prognosis, he nevertheless prevails in pursuing the case. This bright author weaves a marvelous tale with twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of his seat.
Susan Richards' memoir, Chosen by a Horse was a departure from my usual bill of fare, and a wonderful respite from the tense drama of the wagonload of psychological thrillers I've been delving into lately. I'm a sucker for a good animal tale and while I usually gravitate toward dog stories such as Marley and Me and all of Jon Katz' wonderful tales of his border collies, Richards' story about taking in an abused horse named Lay Me Down, and how the bond that developed between horse and woman helped her find direction for her life is a good short fast read. A story not just for animal lovers.
Until next time . . . keep on cooking!

1 comment:

Greg said...

Gratz on the picture! =]