I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I love the way he actively goes out and encourages healthy eating, showing people first hand that cooking a fresh meal is easier than you think, and how much better a homemade burger from a local grass-fed cow is than one you’d pick up from a fast-food joint.
When Border’s went out of business, I joined the throngs of folks looking for a bargain and I picked up this:
I proceeded to put it on my shelf, where it sat for months and months. I finally cracked it open and found a couple of recipes that looked delicious, and relatively quick and easy to make. I prepared this meal on a Saturday, but truthfully I could just as easily have done it on a weeknight.
First, I made the broccoli:
BROCCOLI WITH ASIAN DRESSING
Get yourself around 1 1/4 pounds of broccoli or broccolini or broccoli rabe . Heat your steamer pan or put a large pan of water on to boil. Break the broccoli up into little pieces and slice up the stalks. Place the broccoli in your steamer or in a colander placed over the pan of boiling water and cover with a tight-fitting lid or some aluminum foil. Steam for around 6 minutes, until the stalks are tender.
(Sharon’s note: Forget the steamer. I just put the broccoli in a microwave-safe dish, added a little water, and cooked it covered for a few minutes, until it was tender but not mushy.)
Meanwhile, make your dressing. Peel a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger and a clove of garlic and grate into a bowl. Halve, seed, and finely chop a fresh red or green chile and add to the bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce*, and the juice fom 1 lime. Drizzle in a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Whisk the dressing together and have a taste. What you’re looking for is a flavor balance between saltiness from the soy sauce, sweetness from the balsamic vinegar, acid from the lime, and heat from the chile. WHen the broccoli is cooked, place it on a big serving platter. Mix up the dressing one last time before pouring it over. Absolute heaven!
Jamie Oliver: Jamie’s Food Revolution, p. 220
*I substituted gluten free tamari for the soy sauce.
First let me tell you something about this dressing. When I tasted it, I realized that it would be a perfect marinade for chicken, and that I would definitely use it the next time I wanted to make stir-fry. (I also decided then and there that ginger root would be a new staple I would always keep stocked, just like garlic and onion. Never be caught without those two things. Ditto for fresh ginger.) I made everyone in my family try it before I added it to the broccoli just to show them how good it was. Jamie, you ROCK!!
Next, I prepared the fish:
BROILED TROUT TOPPED WITH MUSTARD AND OATS
2 chunky trout filets, skin on, scaled and bones removed (about 7 ounces each)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 handfuls of old-fashioned oats
To prepare your trout
Preheat your broiler to the highest setting. Drizzle a sheet pan with some olive oil and rub all over. Lay the trout filets, skin side down, on the pan and season well with salt and pepper. Smear a teaspoon of mustard over each fillet. Put the oats into a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil over them, and toss around to coat. Sprinkle a handful of oats over each filet and gently pat down. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and give them another pat.
To cook your trout
Put the sheet pan under the preheated broiler for about 10 minutes, until the oats are golden brown and crispy and the fish is cooked through.
Jamie Oliver: Jamie’s Food Revolution, p. 253
I could not find trout, so I picked up some tilapia instead. And of course, I cooked five pieces of fish and adjusted the recipe accordingly. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free rolled oats (I know that many people with gluten sensitivity can’t tolerate oats. I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning without any problems, so I guess I’m one of the fortunate few). I’ve gone ahead and officially called this meal “gluten free;” although I’m not really sure what a good substitute for the oats would be, to be honest.
The Verdict: Our boys are always skeptical when I cook something new, and Larry and Curly don’t like fish anyway so I didn’t expect them to like it. The family wasn’t too sure about the broccoli, only because they’re used to eating it with cheese sauce. Joe, Moe, and I found the fish delicious, and the broccoli was amazing. I happily took some with me to work to eat with my lunch for the next couple of days, because it was clear no one else would eat it. (Their loss. More for me.) This will definitely be put on my “Good Enough For Company” list!