The Dark, Scary World of Mr. Whippy – Ice Cream Soup. With or Without Topping

•January 11, 2009 • 3 Comments

this is NOT my aunt gudrun's spa.

Every child knows who Mr Whippy is – or a local equivalent (you know, the guy who drives around in an ice-cream truck playing the depressing Greensleeves melody while selling ice cream to little kids.

Last time I was in Australia, reclining by my Aunt Gudrun’s spa in downtown Wodonga, I heard the disturbing story of an evil Mr Whippy zooming through the streets of Wodonga South.

Mr Whippy evil? Mr Whippy zooming? I, too, was sceptical when my cousin Jackie told me about him. Mr Whippy drives slower than a toddler just learning to ride a tricycle.

But not this one, though. This one speeds along, leaving a trail of kiddies and mothers with prams and babes clutched to breasts running after him, money in one hand and screaming ‘stop’.

He never does.

Upon hearing this tale Susan and I concocted many a theory. Perhaps he’s a malicious, sadistic bastard who wants to see little kids suffer and go without their dairy-type frozen treat. Perhaps he just hates children and realised a little too late he was in the wrong business. Or maybe he’s on the run and it’s his bad disguise.

We had to find out. Grabbing some money, Susan and I took off into the night. We raced down the dark street after him, calling out, waving, with Oliver the dog going crazy around us thinking it was a wonderful treat to be running free in the wilds of the Wodonga streets.

Mr Whippy didn’t stop.

Somehow we managed to cut him off and Oliver bravely threw himself in front of the van. With a squeal of brakes and a plume of smoke he stopped without squishing the old dog.

Mr Whippy scowled as we asked for ice cream.

“No chocolate,” he snarled. “Too runny to dip ice cream in.” Then he charged us the entire debt of some third world country. He had a heavy Eastern European accent. He was gaunt of cheek and sallow of eye and he looked for all the world like a man whose heart lay with the dark arts and evil ways.

He dodged the questions we fired at him — like why was he cavorting in his van at nine pm, when children were in bed. He sped off into the night the moment he flung our change at us. We tried the ice cream and it was terrible. It didn’t melt or change shape. Oliver ate it all.

After much in-depth analysis and discussion, we decided he must be a member of the Russian mafia who perhaps need a secret strong-hold in Albury-Wodonga (hey, you never know). Whatever the reasons for his nefarious activities, I think ice-cream soup made with real ice cream is the perfect food to overcome the horrors of such an evening.

So enjoy, though if your mother is anything like mine, do not let her nearby when making this. She just might stop you. I don’t care how old you are, mothers have this weird power over their offspring in situations like this.

Oh. Oliver survived the ice-cream eating expedition.

Ice Cream Soup. With or Without Topping

clearly neither is this. nor is it her pool.

1 bowl with bunnies or Skippy the Bush Kangaroo on it (or American equivalent)
ice cream, any flavour, but especially chocolate, strawberry or vanilla
topping (optional)
First of all, the bowl is an extremely important ingredient.

For this particular recipe, I’d recommend a Bessemer bowl from the seventies. If you don’t have one lying around in your own cupboard, raid friend and family’s cupboards. If that doesn’t work, go buy one down at your local Salvation Army depot.

Once you are armed with your special bowl, you may proceed.

Scoop your preferred ice cream brand and flavour into the bowl. If you are using topping, put this on, if not, grab your spoon and ice cream laden bowl and take yourself off into a quiet, hidden corner (preferably some place your mum can’t see you). Melt the ice cream by stirring it into soup. Once it resembles soup, you may eat.
Option – some fancy 100s & 1000s are always a good way to ‘swank’ up the soup. You could even get the shiny gold and silver ones for pure class.
Serves 1. 2 if you have a naughty and sneaky cat. Or serves 3 if you’ve met your soul mate. If so, then I shall hate you. Nothing personal, of course.


Baa Lamb Serenade – Lamb with Spinach, Pumpkin & Fetta

•January 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In the West Village, New York, there’s this little dive bar that you’ll miss if you blink. But this bar has magical properties, all of the dubious kind, which is how they should be, if you ask me. You go in there for what you think is an hour, but when you look at the clock it’s nearly four a.m.

I went there late one eve with a friend. It was us and the bartender and many a drink was imbibed. We left at six in the morning, with a parting goodbye from the bartender. “See you later…hey, you two girls wanna come back to my house and have a threesome?”
For some reason we turned down the offer and when we arrived home we were hungry.

All I had were leftover bits and pieces, which I threw together to create this dish. I received many drunken accolades, which was nice. Of course, the accolades didn’t last long, since we both passed out about three minutes after consuming the last bite. Here’s the recipe. Good any time.
Lamb with Spinach, Pumpkin & Fetta

yes, I'm going with spinach because I don't have a photo of the dish.

125g lamb loin
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
4-6 chunky slices of pumpkin
1 bunch spinach, chopped
100g good quality fetta

Marinate the lamb in the oil and soy sauce for fifteen to twenty minutes (unless very drunk – then simply let sit until ready to use, or when you remember to how to work the oven, whichever comes first). Steam the pumpkin until soft. Steam the spinach. Roast the lamb in a hot oven for ten to fifteen minutes, then slice, it should be rare inside. Serve over the pumpkin and spinach, then crumble the fetta over the top. Drizzle any juices from the lamb over it, too.

Savour every bite. Perhaps with a nice glass of yummy red wine. This is okay, even if it’s six a.m. You probably need the nutrients in the wine to get you to sleep.

Serves 2. But you can eat this all by yourself. I won’t tell anyone. I promise.

Road Rage Antidote – Twice Cooked Pork with Potatoes, Caraway, Cabbage & Sauerkraut

•January 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I don’t mind riding my bike in the snow, or even the rain (not even the time I rode in a torrential downpour because even though I got stood up that night, A- the guy was a weirdo, and B- a hot guy asked me out, so it really was a win-win situation, rain aside), but I do mind the complete morons who are for some unknown reason allowed to drive cars.

Seriously, the people who beep their horn at me or scream obscenities out the window whilst driving in the bike lane or wanting to turn left (but I’m in the way, in my bike lane) really make me want to take to carrying a meat cleaver (for cleavering at their cars) with me. Also, the cleaver might be good as a self-defence or deterrant mechanism.

Anyway sometimes I am so filled with road rage there’s nothing else to do but whip up something delicious to soothe my ruffled soul (well, I don’t have feathers…hmm, perhaps I need a feather boa). And drink something with alcohol in it.

This is what I whipped up last night. It’s my very own Austrian dish. Perfect for those cold, wet, frustrating nights.

Twice Cooked Pork with Potatoes, Caraway, Cabbage & Sauerkraut

porky deliciousness2 yukon gold potatoes, cut into rounds.
A bit o’ butter
A splash of olive oil
1 thick cut boneless pork chops
a few good pinches caraway seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Good handful thinly sliced cabbage
Good handful sauerkraut with juice
Splash or two pear nectar
Pinch chilli flakes
Pinch paprika
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra olive oil
A small handful cherry tomatoes, squashed and finely chopped, for garnish.
Fresh marjoram leaves, for garnish, if you have them.

Now I have to tell you, I love, love caraway seeds, so I tend to put more than a few good pinches in. You’re going to have to live with that if you ever worm your way into my place for a delicious cooked dinner. (Not that I’m saying I use caraway seeds in everything I cook, but if you happen to be here for say, this delicious dinner…)

Turn on your oven to medium-hot. In a small baking dish melt the butter and put a little olive oil in. You can do this however you want. I used the oven… Toss your sliced spuds in the buttery mixture, there should be just enough to coat them lightly. Season. Pop back in the oven and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Heat a frying pan and add a splash of oil, cut your pork chop into two roll in the caraway seeds and a little of the garlic. Sear on all sides until nice and brown, which will only take a few minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. add the sauerkraut to the pan with its liquid, garlic and some more caraway. Saute a few minutes. Add the cabbage and the pear nectar and cook, stirring, about 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle in the chilli and the paprika. Remove from heat.

Add the sauerkraut mix on top of the potatoes and cover in foil. Place in the oven and cook for about ten to fifteen minutes. Take this time to pour another drink (I’m going to assume you were already imbibing) and plot out vengeful tactics for whatever was bothering you today.

Remove the pan from the oven and add the pork. Re-cover with the foil and cook a further 10-15 minutes.

To serve, let the pork rest under foil for about 5 minutes while you serve up the potatoes and sauerkraut. slice the pork and arrange on top. Sprinkle with a little finely chopped tomato and marjoram.

I also made a cucumber and tomato salad – thinly slice cherry tomatoes and cucumber, dress with salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice (fresh) and a splash of your favourite vinegar. Enjoy.

Serves 2, but with the salad can easily be stretched to 3, or even 4, especially if you had some crunchy bread and yummy butter. Watch out for black cats with a love of all things porcine. Because then it may only serve 1 black cat.

soon, soon, that pork will be mine...

Simply Delicious Christmas Shenanigans – Soy Roasted Pork with Roasted Veg

•January 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Okay, so I lied to you all. But I honestly did have the best of intentions to write this up yesterday, but between burying myself deep in a cocoon of blankets and wondering if finishing off the night before’s glass o’ vod would be both incredibly crass and wrong, I simply ran out of time.

This Christmas, I decided to make a a simple dish, one that could be made any time during the year, for guests or just for you and a friend (or you and the cat, if we’re going to be brutally honest).

A few friends came over for dinner, and we of course, started off with some delicious vodka cocktails. Since this was fancy times, we drank Smirnoff. Being a wild and reckless bunch, we played a round of Barrel of Monkeys (or whatever that game is called). Yes, we do know how to live on the edge.

After cocktails we decided to move on to some soothing wine. That was for our dinner.

After dinner, Eartha Kitt music abounded (RIP, Eartha…we didn’t know you had decided to leave us on this very day, but we’re glad for the music.) and the ubiquitous Christmas margaritas (what? You don’t do that? You’re missing out!) swigged by the soft fairy lights of the ghetto Christmas tree (where the elegant and glamorous Moth of Christmas holds the prize position at the very top).

who can resist the holy moth of christmas's hypnotic and glamorous stare?

I mean, seriously, could anyone have had a more exciting Christmas?

Probably not. Not when ours had booze, great conversation, bad dancing, bad singing, games, booze, and the moth of Christmas.

It’s a good idea to start this recipe a day ahead.

Soy Roasted Pork

exquisite moth of christmas once more for your viewing pleasure

1 boneless shoulder of pork, skin on, about 4 1/2 lbs (which is about 1.8 kg…not to be confused with the kgb)
1 glass white wine
a decent splash masala
1 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, or to personal taste
good splash olive oil
white pepper, to taste
pinch fennel seeds
3-4 cloves garlic crushed
4-5 thin slivers of acorn pumpkin

The day before you are going to cook and devour this, mix all the ingredients except for the pumpkin and 2-3 of the garlic cloves. Then pour over the pork. Obviously, the pork should be placed in a big bowl as to keep the marinating juices on it as apposed to the floor. Well, you never know.

Turn the meat a few times over the next 24 hours.

When you are ready to roast, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (do this whilst you preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C.

Score the skin of the roast deeply with a knife (this is going to be your delicious crackling, you may, of course share this when it’s done with your guests, or gobble it up yourself…). Cut the remaining garlic cloves into thin slivers and insert into the roast where the bone used to be (along with the slivers of pumpkin.

Place in a roasting dish that’s been drizzled with olive oil and the marinade.

Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the potato chunks and the pumpkin chunks around the meat. Return to the oven and cook for another hour – hour and a quarter.

When the meat is done remove from the oven and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes.

This is where I like to scoff the crackling with a really nice glass of wine. If wine is not available, then vodka or other plonk is perfectly acceptable.


Roasted Veggies & Steamed Beans

big ball

6-7 potatoes, peeled, and chopped into chunks
rest of acorn squash, seeded, skin on, chopped into chunks

Basically, peel and prepare these while the roast is doing its job and roasting away in the oven for the first 30 minutes. You might wish to sip on something seriously festive right about now.

Once they are done and the roast’s first 30 minutes are up, do what it says up above and place these around the roast.

You’ll want to turn them a few times throughout cooking to get em nice and crispy on all sides.

When you take the roast out of the oven for the last time, I like to up the heat a little and place the spuds and punkin on a oven dish or even a plate and cook em longer. They will be dark from the soy and utterly delicious when it comes to serving time. I also like to test them when they’re just done, simply to make sure they’re on the right track. You should, too.

string beans

While everything is cooking away, top the beans (no need to tail them), and either French cut them or leave them whole (up to you, although I love French cut beans). Just before you carve the meat, put some water on to boil, salt it lightly. When it boils, put the beans in and cover with a lid. Cook for about 7 or so minutes, or until cooked to your liking. You can even steam them if you have a steamer.

Gravy

my beautiful, restrained & elegant ghetto christmas tree

pan drippings
water or chicken stock
salt or chicken stock powder, to taste
plain flour

When the meat comes out of the oven, drain some of the fat from the baking dish and set it on the stove top (please only do this if you’re using a metal dish. Glass ones apparently will break…) and turn on the heat. Add enough flour to make a paste and cook, constantly stirring, for a few minutes, until nicely browned. Pour in the water, a little at a time, stirring constantly. You want enough water so the gravy is fairly thin at this point. Let it simmer for a few minutes, and allow to thicken, and add salt and pepper or some chicken stock powder to taste.

When all is done, slice the meat. Serve with the roasted veggies and beans, and either pour the gravy on the meat or pour it into a gravy boat and allow your guests to exert their own will over the gravy on their plates by serving themselves.

Serves 6 people, or 5 people with one very hungry friend who keeps on going back into the kitchen to pick at the leftover meat until it is all gone.

Winter Salmon Wonderland – Pan fried Salmon with Veggie Medley Mash

•December 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

To be honest, I have absolutely no idea what that title means, except I made it on snow day, and it was really bloody cold and our heat is only on twice a day. It really is enough to drive someone to drink if they weren’t already drinking.

Hey, I’m not stupid. I’m practicing the St. Bernard way of beating the cold. But I have vodka instead of whiskey (or was it brandy they used to so kindly deliver in little barrels around their necks to people stranded in the snow. Actually what a great scam to pretend to be lost just so you could get a little free booze. Yes, I know it’s a tad extreme, but sometimes a person is driven to extreme measures. Basically this is the same as being driven to drink but with more complications.) to keep me warm.

It’s like being the Little Match Girl, but with booze and a roof over your head. And a happier ending.

I wish I had an exciting tale to tell you, but I don’t. While I usually lead a life akin to a glamorous super spy (kind of like James Bond, but prettier, and with boobs), I’ve decided to take some time off from all that international jetsetting and excitement to hang out with the cat at home. It’s the holidays! So you’ll just have to put up with this. But the Christmas dinner we had for, well, Christmas is coming soon. Along with all the thrills and spills of the awesomeness that was the day and night.

Back to fishy things.

I decided to come up with this recipe because A)I had salmon lazing about in my fridge, and B) it was too bloody cold to set foot outside and buy some spinach. Yes, I am a wimp. It’s something you learn to live with.

It’s actually really delicious. I mashed acorn pumpkin with sweet potato and some buttery goodness. Then I made a simple sauce out of tomato innards (sounds violent, I know.), lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Here it is:

Pan Fried Salmon with Veggie Medley Mash

chock-full of salmony goodness!

Mash
½ acorn squash, skin on
1 small sweet potato
½ cauliflower
butter
1 clove garlic

Go get yourself a nice pot. Peel the sweet potato (they are delicious and really good for you!) and then cut all the veggies into chunks and chuck them into the pot (if I had another word for pot, one that starts with ‘ch’, then I’d have used it and turned the previous part of the sentence into a lame tongue twister.) along with the garlic and then top up with water (just enough to cover them). Add a good pinch of salt (salty goodness, it’s like the sea but without bits in it!) and set the pot to boil. If you have special powers, use those, if not, turn it on like everyone else.

When done, mash with a good chunk of butter (the amount you put in is up to you and your thighs). Season to taste and mash it up.

Salmon
1 fillet salmon, cut into two, or two small fillets
olive oil
good pinch fresh chopped parsley

When the veggies are getting all soft and cooked (while you’re waiting for this stage, you probably should sip something warming, and by warming I mean a really good Scotch, whiskey, or bourbon. Those are my snowy day tipples of choice.), cook your salmon. Again you could use your special powers, but if you happen to be one of us normal folk (and by that I don’t mean me, I mean you!), heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the salmon. I usually cook it for about 4 minutes each side, but it’s up to you, depending on how cooked you like it.

Sauce
3 small very ripe tomatoes
Juice 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh pepper

It’s probably best to make this whilst you have just put the veggies on to boil. Of course, if you need a warming beverage to do this, you go straight ahead. No one will be judging you round these here parts. Warming beverages are much needed (of course, you realise I mean booze when I say beverage, right? Good.) in cold weather, or pretty much whenever you feel the urge (unless you are driving. Do not drink and drive.).

Smoosh the innards of your tomatoes into a shallow dish. Keep the outer parts and either use them for another dish tomorrow, or freeze them for future use (pop them in a salad if just keeping for tomorrow, or use in a pasta sauce or a stew or soup if you freeze them. Perfect!)

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over them and squish in the juice from one lemon. If you like stuff lemony, then add more, I know I do. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.Oh, and mix it together, of course.

To serve, pile some of the mashed veggies on a plate, pop a piece of salmon on top and drizzle over the sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Of course, you could do this with another piece of fish if you wish.

Oh – I’ve been enjoying the holidays so have been lax in posting. But! I promise in my hungover misery tomorrow (it’s good to have goals in life.) I will post this Christmas’s dinner recipes tomorrow and probably the dinner I had last night, which is versatile AND delicious.

Happy New Year! Make 2009 a memorable and fantastic one!

Serves 2, or 1 plus cat with leftover veggie mash and sauce if you have a persistent feline like I have, that sits over you, staring intently at the fish on the plate. Sometimes it’s just easier to feed them some salmon than put up with that. Hmm, could this be why he has become a mini four-legged dictator?

The Great Christmas Cheat – Roast Cornish Game Hens, Caramalised Caraway Root Vegetables & Green Beans

•December 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Happy AND Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas is about boozing, fighting, eating, boozing and opening presents. I love presents. People should send me some gifts asap.

Wait, where was I? Oh, yes… Christmas.

This is not your family Christmas feast that makes people roll about on the floor clutching their bellies (or maybe that’s just my family, I’ll have to investigate it and get back to you.), but it will make you happy. As will all the booze I recommend you drink.

Booze is like happy pills, but without the prescription.

While this is the perfect meal for two people, it can easily be stretched to four. Six needs a bit of creativity, and eight, well, you can do it, just make sure you have some extras on hand. If there are more than eight people that rudely turn up on your doorstep as though they weren’t able to find room at the inn, then I suggest ply them with copious amounts of the hooch (slipping them roofies if there is not enough food is always acceptable) before you feed them. If nothing I suggest here works, then there’s nothing for it but running away and joining the circus.

Here is the straight forward way to do things. If you have last minute people turning up, read on and find how to stretch things. Even if this is not what you’re making, you should be able to pick up some cunning tricks to apply to your own food. I believe in you.

Cornish game hens

oooh, cask wine! yum!

2 hens
1 lemon
I orange
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, halved
4 sprigs thyme
butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

First of all, set your oven to preheat on 425 F/220 C. Go have yourself a drink. You know you deserve it.

Anyway, I have put a very soothing picture for you in times of stress. And it’s not only pretty with candlelight and moody things, but it’s also very practical. It has a cask of wine and it’s a very good idea for such endeavours. You know, the feeding of people.

So I suggest getting yourself a nice cask of wine. Four or five litres of wine? You cannot ever go wrong with that. Very good for giving to unexpected guests. And that is the spirit of Christmas: getting plastered.

Jesus would approve.

Anyway, so get your little hens, remove the giblets and the necks and put aside. Rinse and pat them dry. It’s probably around now you help yourself to a little restorative vodka (this is for you. The wine is for everyone else. AKA, the peasants. It’s Christmas. You should share with the peons.) or two.

Place in the hen cavities (there is just no polite way of saying that, you know) a clove of garlic, a few sprigs of thyme, half an onion, a slice of lemon and a slice of orange as well as a little orange and lemon zest.

Put the hens on a rack in a baking dish and brush with oil and a little melted butter (or just rub the butter over the breasts (again! dirty!). If you are feeling really adventurous, slip slivers of butter under the breast skin and smoosh it down a little, being careful not to rip the skin. Season the skin.

Pop into the oven. Cook, basting occasionally for about 45 minutes to an hour. You may wish to turn, but I never get around to it.

When the hens are done and golden and crispy, remove and cover loosely with foil for 15 minutes.

gravy

whiskey is also very good
giblets & neck
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
water
olive oil
pan drippings
plain flour

when you get your hens in the oven and after you’ve taken a much needed lubrication break, put the gravy on. And by that I mean pop the neck and giblets in a pan of cold water along with the onion and the garlic. Hell, if you have a bit of celery and carrot lying around, chuck it in, too. It’s not going to hurt.

Let this simmer while you’re doing everything else. Just keep a bit of an eye on it. Top up with water as needed.

When you have hens out and have removed them from the baking dish, set it (as long as it’s metal and NOT glass) over the burner and heat it medium. There should be lots of drippings and fat in the pan. If not, if you happened to buy dieting hens, then add a little oil. Seriously, add flour. A little at a time, and stir it in. You want it to form a bubbling paste (not gluggy, though, you want it to be smooth and browning). After a few minutes, start stirring in the water from the  giblet pot. Keep doing this, constantly stirring, until you reach your desired consistency. You may also want to use a whisk.

Remember, slow and steady helps you not get lumpy gravy. But if you do end up with lumpy gravy, well, that’s what booze is for! Addle their brains so they don’t notice…

Where was I? Oh, yes, get it to your favoured consistency and season. You may even want to add a little chicken stock powder to sweeten the pot, so to speak. Cover and keep warm (although, this and the beans should be the last two things…hens, veggies, beans, gravy).

caraway root veggies

oh, so delicious!
1-2 tsp caraway seeds
butter
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp or so dark muscavado sugar
black pepper & salt
2 parsnips
1 carrot
1 potato
1 sweet potato

This is so simple you should celebrate by pouring yourself a little of your favourite drink.

Basically, with your parsnips and carrots, don’t peel, just cut length wise and then into quarters. And cut into chunky batons your potato and sweet potato. Melt the butter and toss with the caraway seeds, the sugar, pepper and salt and a drop or two of the olive oil.

You can bake this on a lower level than the hens, but I tend to bake for 30 minutes before I put the hens in, then I let the veggies rest. Then I put them back in when the hens come out to finish for the next 15 or so minutes.

They are delicious.

NB: Drop the heat in the last part of the cooking, or if they start to get too browned, then drop the heat.

Beans

he loves plastic!
Beans, French cut
Salt
Water

If you want to French the beans, cut them on an angle, thinly. Remember to top them. Usually you can leave the tail on, but if you want to tail them, go ahead.

Heat the water, add a little salt, and when it boils, add the beans and cover.

Let them simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until done to your liking. Drain and set aside.

If there is just you and your one guest, serve a whole hen each (remove the aromatics from the cavity), with the veggies next to it and the gravy either poured on top or on the side.

NOTES!

Extra guests???

  • 2 more guests – halve the hens, and add a little more of the beans and the veg
  • more than 4? suggestions are – start with a  salad. You have potatoes, make mashed potatoes. Make some rice, saute onion in butter and toss the rice through. More alcohol. The circus. The circus is always a good plan.

Remedial Food for Hangovers – Tilapia with Spinach Salad

•December 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have been in a fishy mood lately. Well, it is brain food. And after a hedonistic weekend, my brain definitely needed food. So would yours, if you’d been partying like me and my friends.

There were no boys involved. Not even a sexy fireman, which is unfair, if you ask me. This is something I’m going to have to remedy.

Somehow.

But this is really the ultimate in both fast food and easy to make food. If I could be bothered to remove myself from the warmth of my bed (it’s like being on the moon, it’s so cold in here, and my space heater blew up a week ago.) I would go and find a coin to toss, but since that’s not going to be happening, I’ve made an executive decision and this recipe is going in fast food.

Sometimes simplicity really is the best. Make sure you have the freshest ingredients available.

Also, this is something that can be made all year around, even in the depths of winter.

Tilapia with Spinach Salad

1 tilapia or other white fish fillet of your choice, cut into two
1 container baby spinach leaves
Best quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
2 lemons
black pepper
plain flour
olive oil, for cooking

Okay, if you do have a hangover, I strongly recommend breaking into the emergency booze rations you have in the house. If you’ve already drunk it, DON’T PANIC! Remember booze is often available in the form of roommates. If this is not the case, brave the cruel world and head out the door and pick up something from your local bottle shop. Unless, of course you can’t go in there for nefarious reasons. Just be soothed that A)there are other booze barns, B)there is always beer and finally, C)the local bar is also your good friend.

Once you have partaken in some hair of the dog, you will be fine for the cooking.

Carefully pour a little oil in a frying pan. Be especially careful if you have the post-partying shakes. You may need to rest for a minute and let the alcohol you’ve just imbibed take affect. If this doesn’t work, go have some more. This is a health and safety thing. The shakes may inadvertently cause you to start a fire, and no one wants that. Once you are under control, heat the oil over medium high heat

Season the flour with the pepper, and dredge the fish, shaking off the excess.

Place the fish in the pan (if it’s just you, of course you may only want one piece of fish. Although hangover appetite can differ vastly from normal everyday appetite, so you’re going to have to make the call.) and cook both sides for a few minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

While the fish is cooking, put one or two big handfuls of spinach into each bowl (or just one bowl, see above). Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, and then squeeze a liberal amount of lemon juice over the top. Season with salt and toss.

Place fish on top and season the fish if you so wish, then squeeze lemon juice on top.

Enjoy.

Serves 2 technically, but you can eat this all by your little self. Your brain may need it.

Variations:

I know this seems deathly simple, but it’s amazingly good just as is. You can spruce it up in a few ways, if you wish.

  • add cherry tomatoes to the spinach
  • add cherry tomatoes, kalamata (or favourite olive), cucumber and/or finely sliced scallions to the spinach
  • add thin slices of fresh lemon to the spinach
  • add thin slices of preserved lemon, lime or orange to the spinach
  • try letting the fish cool to warm, flake and toss with any of the above combinations for a ‘proper’ salad
  • any fish will go with this. Exeriment.