Monday, February 25, 2013

No cooking required -- Part II

Fresh, wild-caught sea bass with fish masala, ginger and lime juice. The fish was $5.99 a pound at the Englewood H Mart. I rubbed on packaged spices and stuffed ginger into the cavity. The sea bass was ready in 15 minutes at a roast/convection oven setting of 375 degrees. I made two and may have the other one tonight or Tuesday night.

Have you looked over one of those multi-step recipes that appear in newspapers, and said to yourself, Who has the time for this?

Have you wondered why the paper's food editor promotes a new cookbook every week -- a book he or she gets for free?

Have you watched all those cooking shows and TV chef competitions, and wondered how they are relevant to your desire to put healthy, nutritious meals on the table?

Why do newspapers print recipes with artery clogging butter and cream, bacon and other harmful animal fats, and why do those recipes far outnumber those for healthy dishes?  

Recently, my daily newspaper started printing beloved family recipes every week. Two times in a row, the stories reported the husbands developed heart problems or disease.

Was that supposed to be an endorsement of their wives' handiwork? 

I stopped watching the Food Channel a few years ago, but can't recall ever hearing anything about factory farms that raise animals on antibiotics and growth hormones that are harmful to humans.

Ditto for all those morning TV cooking segments, which pedal obscene quantities of drug-filled beef and poultry.

A mixture of whole eggs, egg whites, shredded cheese, low-fat milk and seasoning go into a preheated non-stick pan with oil. Then, slices of fresh tomato, sun-dried tomato and pesto are added. When the bottom is set, the frittata is finished in the oven, below.

I used a low broiler setting and set the timer on 10 minutes.

I ate a wedge of the frittata with steaming whole-wheat spirals and sardines.

I don't cook. I "assemble." I have learned how to boil water, open cans and bottles, turn on an oven and set the timer.

Most of my effort goes into buying quality ingredients, many of them organic, and plenty of wild-caught fish.

I also prepare large quantities, so I can enjoy the leftovers a day or two later.

I once overheard a young woman tell her companions at a Greek restaurant: "I am happiest when I'm eating."

That says it all.

My leftover whole sea bass. I especially love the tender "cheeks."


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