21DSD – A Day of Cooking

Oh my goodness, ya’ll won’t believe how much I got done today.  I guess you could say my energy is back!…well, almost.  I cooked so much today and I loved every minute of it.  I was off from work today, and I figured it is best to be prepared for the rest of the week.  Here’s a recap of what I ate, with lots of nonsense in between.

Breakfast was pretty special, not because of what I ate.  I broke in my new cast iron skillet this morning!  I am so very in love with it and I want to treat it right.  I did buy it pre-seasoned (most of them come that way now)…and I took some extra special care in preparing it before cooking with it for the first time.  My friend, Kyle, purchased a cast iron skillet as well.  He wants to do every thing I do.  Okay, the truth is that he bought his first…but I’ve been wanting one for such a long time that it doesn’t even count.  Anyway, he decided to christen his pan by making a steak.  Solid choice.  I agreed.  But his experience turned into huge puffs of smoke that nearly choked him to death.  …so I was scared!  I’m too much of a perfectionist to let that happen!  I opted to go the safe route — good ol’ eggs and bacon.  I figured if this is a pan meant to be for constant everyday usage…it might as well be used where it counts!  The bacon of course fried beautifully…the eggs; however, stuck.  I was somewhat expecting that.  I managed to salvage them — and luckily the pan wiped clean.  I re-seasoned it and yes, used it AGAIN today.  I love my new pan.  Someday, after lots of tender loving care…its bottom will be as smooth as a baby’s bum and shiny.  All in time.

Breakfast was three strips of bacon, two fried eggs, and a small mound of sauerkraut.

breakfast day 3

After breakfast we went grocery shopping, which of course I love.  This list was zero nonsense…nothing but the good stuff — meat, veggies, and cat litter.  We definitely limited the “extras” and stocked up on good whole foods.

We came home from shopping and I decided to give my pan another try.  I whipped up some tuna cakes for lunch, which not much to my surprise were fantastic!  I combined 3 cans of tuna, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp. dijon mustard, 1 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme, 1/2 tsp. dried dill, 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika and a sprinkle of almond meal.   This mixture yielded about 8 cakes.  I fried them in a few tbsp. of coconut oil for ~5 minutes a side.  Tuna cakes were served with some salad greens and a lemon wedge.

tuna cakes

In between laundry and cleaning I decided to make a bunch of chicken thighs.  I rubbed them with coconut oil and sprinkled on some spices…but now we have lots of chicken thighs to grab throughout the week if we run low on any food.  My main concern is that sometimes dinner doesn’t stretch as far as I hope it will, and that leaves me lunch-less.  Lots of chicken thighs will put a stop to that.

I also put on a big pot of collards.  I cooked them for around an hour with some bacon, onion, and garlic.  This was another attempt to have something quick on hand to go with the chicken.  Heck, I will gladly eat collards in the morning with eggs or make them into a frittata of some sort.  Lots of choices here.   I had a bowl of them tonight…I mean it’s cold outside…who wouldn’t do that?

collards

And for the star of the day – din din.  There’s a bit of a back story to this one.  I mentioned in a previous post that part of my weekend bday surprise was an awesome sushi restaurant.  Well, they served up this one dish that was magnificent in its simplicity.  Fish in a bowl is what we have been calling it, because obviously we don’t remember the actual Japanese name of the dish.  It was simply a portion of fish swimming in a bowl of very flavorful broth.  Here’s my take on that dish…with a bit more added to make a full meal out of it.  For the record, Kyle Worley was invited to try this fish (as we had talked about it before)…and the jerk didn’t show.  Just thought I’d let ya’ll know.  In fact, if this dish looks pleasing to you — try it out so that we can all talk about it and leave Kyle out of the conversation.

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless cod fillets, ~4-6 oz. each
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice used
  • 2 tsp. olive oil + 2 tbsp.
  • 2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 c. chicken broth (homemade if you have it)
  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

Process

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
  2. Smother mixture over the top of each fillet and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced leeks and saute until tender.
  4. Pour in chicken broth and lemon juice.  Cover and turn heat to high.  Wait for a rolling boil.
  5. Layer fish, seasoned side up, on top of the leeks.
  6. Cover and reduce heat to medium.  Continue cooking another 6-8 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  7. Remove fish from pan and set aside.  Turn heat to low and add spinach, scallions, and mint to your pan.
  8. Stir for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  9. Serve fish in bowls and ladle in lots of broth and spinach.

poached fish

They had cod on sale at my grocery store…so I ended up with some left.  I decided to fry up the reaminder of my fillets and add them to my stockpile of food for the week!  Yes!  Having lots of food around makes Jennifer very very happy.

Day 3 — great success.

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6 Responses to “21DSD – A Day of Cooking”

  1. Cod is one of my favorite types of fish. I’ll definitely be trying this one out! Nice work on the massive food prep – I didn’t do so well with that this week and have been stuck making food every night – no fun!

  2. Nice! I will definitely have to try those tuna fish cakes. I’ve made a version with salmon but I’ve never thought to just use plain tuna. Also, I’ve heard that eggs never really go well in cast iron. I LOVE my cast iron, use it for practically everything, but have stuck to my one tiny non-stick for eggs.

    • jennifer says:

      Really!? I DID NOT know that. Very good to know! Bacon works so well in it…and then I’ll have to dirty ANOTHER pan for the eggs!? Aye! I wonder if I can get over this for the love of cast iron? lol And yes, please try the tuna cakes — they’re great!

      • I make sweet potato hash in the left over bacon grease 🙂 Then put the fried eggs on top when I plate it. Soooo good.

        • jennifer says:

          Haha yeah you kinda just made my mouth water a bit lol! …I’m missing sweet potatoes most of all on this 21DSD. I’ve been wanting to make a hash with turnips, shredded pork, fried eggs and avocado. That’s on my list of many things to do.

  3. jennifer says:

    Yeah I like cod a lot too. The real reason for all the food prep was simply because I live with two hungry men. They usually eat me out of house and home so in order for me to have anything to eat I have to cook constantly!! They love it though 😉

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