The idea delighted me, after all we have survived grad school and several such quick meals. So I set up the timer and set to cook a 30 minutes lunch today. The timer reminded me to keep going and not fuss over the details, and added to my fun. The secret of such quick meals,I think besides planning ahead, is in multitasking - that ability to catch up with your friend on phone while filing your nails and doing laundry. The fish had a rich buttery taste, and was complimented by the refreshing mint-lime pasta salad, and with hummus and a slice or two of toasted pita bread, it was a meal with a zeal.
Shallow fried whiting
For this dish I altered a pan-sauteed whiting recipe I found in a Fannie Farmer cook book, the original recipe was lighter with the fillets sauteed and served in their own juice.
whiting fillets : 3
Seafood breader (or plain flour will do ) : 1/3cup
Butter : 2t
oil: 2 t
Freshly ground pepper : 1 t
Wash, and pat dry the fish fillets. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and dust the fillets with the flour. Heat oil and 1 t of butter in a pan. Add the fish and brown on both the sides (about two minutes). Cover, and cook on low heat until the fish is done, about 12 minutes.( I turned my attention to the pasta dressing here). Gently remove the fillets from the pan. Add the remaning butter to the pan and once the foam subsides add one teaspoon of flour to the butter, stir for a couple of seconds and pour milk, stirring continuosly to form a creamy sauce. Add juice of one lime after taking the pan off heat and mix well. Pour the sauce on the fillets and serve immediately.
Cilantro-lime pasta salad
Pasta with a tinge of India, you could say. I substituted the regular parsley with cilantro in this salad for a twist, and also because my companion is not very fond of parsley.
Pasta ( any pasta that will hold a very light sauce, I used tri color rotini): 2/3 cup
Olive oil: 1 T
Dry red chilli : 2
Cilantro, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
Cucumber, deseeded, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
Cook the pasta in plenty of water and a dash of salt. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add crushed red chilli, stir fry for a few seconds, add chopped cilantro and remove from heat; adding cilantro to the hot oil brings out its flavor. Squeeze the juice of a lime into the salad bowl, add salt, cucumber, cooked pasta. Pour the oil dressing over this and toss well.
Canned chickpeas: 1
Tahini : 1 to 2 t
Garlic: 1 clove
Half of a lime