I decided to do more cooking this year – especially trying out new recipes, new spices, and new methods. I’ve tried a few things thus far, but just haven’t taken the time to share them with you.
I’m working from two cookbooks right now – The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and the Grit Vegetarian Cookbook. There are limitations to both of these, but they are good places to start I think. Sojo recommended I purchase the All Vegetarian Cookbook, so I’ll be getting that one soon.
This dish comes from BH&G. It’s a recipe for steamed fish and veggies. It called for ginger (of which I’m not a huge fan) and basil as its signature items. I was to find and purchase fresh ginger (which I’d never seen), peel it, and then grate it. I had to make do with a parer. I’m still low on serious cooking utensils until I A) get a bigger kitchen and B) show myself I’m serious about cooking things that need more than the basics I do own.
Anyway, ginger scraped, or whatever, I made bias slices across my filets (I chose salmon, my favorite!), and stuffed each slit with fresh basil.
The next step was to rub the ginger atop the fish. So far so good, but that’s all there was to it! As in, there was nothing else to add. No salt, no pepper, no garlic, no butter. Nothing. Basil and ginger. The end.
Having never cooked with ginger or basil I didn’t know what to expect from them. BH&G seemed pretty sure they were enough to carry this whole meal. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to not add anything, so I did sprinkle a bit of sea salt atop (thank goodness). Basil and ginger are known to be dominant tastes. But ginger and basil aside, barely seasoned fish and veggies are still barely seasoned; and they taste that way.
Thank goodness for post-cooking flavoring!
In addition to the fish, this recipe also called for asparagus and sweet pepers. The veggies on the bottom, the fish on the top, everything went into a steamer basket. I haven’t steamed much – usually preferring to bake or sauté. I have to admit I was shocked it only took 8 minutes (and that was about a minute too long for my tastes).
Will I make it again?
Now that I’ve made a few things from this cookbook, I know they rely on supposedly strong flavorings to carry through. I have learned (finally) to be very heavy handed with my spices. Will I make this recipe again? Not as is, no. I will definitely mix and match parts of this recipe (minus the ginger, plus MORE seasoning for instance). But it was quick and healthful, and with the right flavoring, it’ll be delicious too.