I've been working semi-late this week, by which I mean "I leave at 6:30". Yeah, it's not actually that late. I have about an hour's worth of train, though, so I've been walking in the door at 7:30 or 7:45, at which point I have to do things like "write entries" and "apply for jobs". After that the cooking doesn't seem as fun anymore, and we're left at 9 pm dully wondering what to do about food when we have so little energy.
Then the other day John made me delicious dinner. It was very easy, very swift, very good dinner. We sat around in the kitchen talking and laughing, then sat at the table talking and laughing while also eating. It was so nice to have food be a relaxing social event again.
Menu: fish, garlic green beans. This is pretty much my ideal dinner of the "meat and vegetable" structure. Fish is clearly awesome, with super protein awake power in a mild and nicely textured package, and green beans are probably my favorite vegetable if you don't count garlic. Oh hey, we also have garlic.
If you want to make both of these, start the green beans first. Fish cooks very quickly and absolutely has to be eaten hot, so start it when the green beans are about 3/4 done.
Fish is easy.
Heat a frying pan big enough to hold your filets on medium-hot. We had tilapia, but practically any white fish should be fine here. Add a slug of olive oil and tilt the pan to spread it around. Salt and pepper both sides of your fish, then lay them gently in the pan. They'll sizzle a lot.
Fish timing depends on the thickness of the filet. We had pretty thin pieces, so it took about four minutes for each side to cook. When the edge of your fish has turned solid white with golden brown bits, flip it over and cook the other side. The fish is done when it's solid white and flakes easily. Squirt some lemon over it before you eat it.
Green beans are easy.
This method will work for practically any green vegetable that's delicious with garlic. Just adjust cooking time so whatever your vegetable is can be adequately done.
Warm some olive oil on medium-low heat in a saute pan. While it's warming, peel and slice some garlic. John made a lot of long, thin slices, which turned out to be an excellent cut for this business. Other cuts will still be fine, though.
Slowly soften the garlic in the oil. While it's softening, wash, top, and tail some green beans. You can also cut them up if you want bite-size pieces; we left ours whole. When the garlic is soft, but not browned, put the beans into the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are done. This will depend on how you like your beans. Ours took somewhere in the five to eight minutes area.
Salt and pepper the finished beans, then eat with fish.