perhaps I’m in the wrong field…

Saturday evening after a morning of errands and accomplishments, after an afternoon of Semi Pro and a few beers. . .I whipped up a little dinner for moosebraying and myself. . .nothing special, just a little salmon. . .
I have this knack for quickly thinking about the ingredients I have on hand and just throwing stuff together in such a way that it not only tastes good, but also looks good. You eat first with your eyes. . .lord knows I should probably take a few more photos of said food but I’m usually too busy enjoying it to stop and either a)photograph it or b)write about it. . .although I should really make more of an effort to do either or both.

So I picked up this lovely piece of salmon at the store on Saturday morning.
Dinner time rolls around and I cut it in half, season it with a little salt and pepper. . .
heat up the skillet medium high and coat it with a little bit of olive oil
throw the salmon in there skin side down and let it cook for a bit until it starts to get opaque about 1/2 way up.
meanwhile, mix together lemon juice, dill, dijon mustard (not grainy) and just a touch of honey. . .no clue on the measurements on this. . .consistency was rather liquidy
meanwhile (also) cook up a pot of couscous grande (aka israeli couscous)
meanwhile (the third) throw some frozen steam-fresh veggies in the microwave.
flip the salmon, let it cook for a few more minutes. . .flip it back over on to the skin side, pour the sauce in and simmer for a few/reducing sauce slightly. turn off heat and throw in a scant amount of butter (about 1/2 tbsp) to make the sauce a little richer.

Plate over couscous, top with sauce, veggies on side.
seriously good. seriously easy. seriously stuff I had on hand (aside from the salmon).
seriously.

I don’t have any idea where I picked up this skill . .. this ability to just whip up a meal, no measuring, no recipe necessary. . .just go. Sometimes I do a little research with the internet on a recipe/idea just to get an approximation of cooking times or what the consistency of something should be like. . .but for the most part, I just open the refrigerator and go. . .using up what’s available. . .its’ things like this that make me really happy. . .like finding an ingredient on sale/clearance and making something from it. Case and point, the zucchini pie I whipped up Saturday morning from a bag of “clearance” zucchini. . .sometimes the grocery store bags up veggies that are just past their prime and sells them at a deep discount. I picked up 6 zucchini for 97 cents. . .had the other ingredients (pie crust, onion, mustard, mozzerella, eggs) at home.
ingeniuity in the kitchen and a nose for home economics.
I must be in the wrong field.

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4 thoughts on “perhaps I’m in the wrong field…

  1. I’ve been pretty good at this for the past couple of years. I blame it on actually needing to cook every night, as opposed to before, when I only cooked a couple of nights a week and we ate out the rest of the time or we ate leftovers the rest of the time. It helps if the ingredient set is limited and predictable. I mean, traditionally ingredients are seasonal, so at certain times of the year you’re thinking about cooking certain things, whereas other times of the year you’re cooking different things.

    In the past, this would have been called “knowing how to cook.” If you have to consult a recipe and get out the measuring spoons every time you cook, you don’t know how to cook. In my mother’s generation, or more likely in her mother’s generation, they would tend to have just one recipe book on the shelf and a book of cards, and the rest was pure skill.

  2. What blows my mind is how much this “knowing how to cook” amazes my coworkers. . .I suppose necessity is the mother of invention, as you say and cooking nightly, planning weekly menus and such, really aid in that situation. I recall when I first got married trying adventurous meals on a weeknight and being frustrated with how long they’d take. . .now I just have a repetoire of quick, delicious meals and ingredients on hand, a mental library of preparation styles. . .nice thing is, my husband appreciates the food and knows how lucky he is not to be eating mac and cheese and frozen pizza every night (not that there isn’t a time and place for both of those items)

  3. I wish you would document it all more often, and write about it more too 🙂 You inspire me. Seriously, I’ve been cooking more and planning my weekly meals because of inspiration I’ve gained from you! 🙂 Even this post inspires me 🙂

    Truthfully though, I really find it to be a meditative thing to go home and chop vegetables. Not raw meat, or anything else, but veggies. I love chopping up veggies…not such a big fan of cutting up raw meat. But I do like me some bite-size food 🙂

  4. Yeah, that’s why Morgan and I started having Food Porn Sunday. I was making the mistake of trying adventurous meals (not feeding us until 10p.m.) during the week, so eventually I clued into the idea of doing it on weekends instead, typically Sunday when less was going on. Now I do less elaborate meals during the week or if I feel motivated I try a proven adventurous meal.

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