Simple Cobia With Herbs

Cobia With Herbs in Carbon Steel Pan, Cooking Single, Hunter Hil

I had no idea what Cobia was but saw the frozen board of a fillet at the fish counter and asked for a quarter-pound portion.

Back at the ranch, which is a small apartment with a cabin kitchen just large enough for a small island, I had a one-planter garden of basic, Rosemary, and oregano and the most basic of basics: a head of garlic and a red onion and a lime.  On the stove, and purchased recently for the experience of using it, an 11-3/4-inch carbon steel frying pan.

What would “Chef” do?

🙂

Wash and sea salt the fish (also added: “Spice Hunter” seafood spice) and let come up to room temperature.

Chop a two or three cloves of garlic and quarter of an onion (a guess before and after).

From the garden: part of a stalk of basil, a sprig of Rosemary, and a small stem of oregano (to be held in reserve as a garnish).

With patience, heat the pan (low-medium) with butter and olive oil.

Sautee the garlic and onion; throw the fish on the pan (skin side down); throw in the basic and Rosemary; and let sear and cook a couple of minutes — and then cover and briefly steam through; whistle a bit; uncover; add lime slice and squeezed lime; plate.

Cobia With Herbs, Plated, Cooking Single, Hunter Hill, Hagerstow

“Chef” would not make such a mess!

However, the deep flavor of the cobia survived (the purchase was really about tasting the fish).

With the herbs — butter+oil, basil, garlic, and lime — there’s a useful package, I think for a rough and rustic treatment of fish.

Fresh Rosemary sauteed and steamed adds always its bit of atmosphere.

Was it a meal?

No way.

There had been a simple Romaine-based salad preceding and leftover restaurant scampi proceeding, but in that confession is the problem with “Cooking Single” — if we’re not on kitchen track but a little bit curious and creative, getting to the cutting board with the full grocery store at hand and “putting on the rice” to simmer into plumpness may not happen — after all, there’s leftovers!

🙂

Nonetheless, I tell myself, don’t worry about the symphony: focus on just one song at a time.

The song was the fish and the accompaniments at hand made for short work — and then the pan, the sizzle, the steam, the hiss of squeezed lime on hot butter and oil: all pleasant; all encouraging.

Let elaboration come naturally.

Photography

It was an afterthought suited to the Panasonic Lumix Lx5 point-and-shoot, a now old unit but with Zeiss  glass on it (and a Circular Polarizing filter before it) and some imagine stabilization making the stove’s light lit snapshots possible and editable.

Cooking Single

“Cooking Single” is today a new category on this catch-all blog while I continue beneath the “Communicating Arts” banner — all the good Nikon gear has been maintained and the greater photography capability remains at market for images taken and potential journalism services although this older fellow is no slowing down.  Naturally.

I would ask visitors to this blog: do you really want to know what’s in this beginner’s spice drawer?

🙂

And given access to Chef and all the other masters online and on the bookshelf, is there something to “work” with the title “Cooking Single”?

I may suggest at the outset that the dimensions of cooking are separable x geography x ingredients x methods and processes x social context of preparation x (ultimately) aesthetic philosophy.

We’re not supposed to dine alone.

But we do.

In that freedom — or sad fact of life — there may be room to think about how to get character into cooked-from-scratch meals with a minimum of expense, fuss, and time but with the intent to maximize the pleasure taken in eating standing up beside the stove.

😉

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Bone-In Chicken Thigh(s) Sauteed and Baked in an Old Farberware Pan

Bone-In Chicken Thigh, Sauteed and Baked, Hunter Hill, Hagerstwo

Bone-in chicken breast with garlic, shallot, red pepper, thyme, spring onion.

Bone-In Chicken Thigh, Sauteed and Baked, Hunter Hill, Hagerstwo

Bone-in chicken breast with garlic, shallot, red pepper, thyme, spring onion. Note phenolic handle on 10-inch Farberware sautee pan.

To the jokes and question related to cooking for one, one might respond, “No, it’s not easy (if you’re working up from scratch) and because  . . . it is easy and much less expensive and logistically easier than dining out with the aim of enjoying similar food and drink (it was a Bloody Mary this Sunday afternoon).

Among the principles: what’s already in the freezer, fridge, cupboard, and pantry?

🙂

Laziness may be the reward of good or improving general shopping skills.

On this session it may helped to have had too much thyme on my hands (  . . . sorry) plus, in the cupboard, a shrinking shallot (proven speckled when cut and for that cause cut in half with the good portion kept).

As deduced from the early flock of YouTube videos, the basic past preparation steps: season and sear the skin; remove the thighs and throw down a layer of onion or whatever (I had the red pepper and had chopped a few cloves of garlic in prep); place the chicken skin up in the pan; and bake, and here in deference to the limits of the old phenolic handle, 350-deg. / 35 minutes seemed good.  At removal, the chicken registered 155-deg.F.+ by a little bit.

Possibly too much too much: oil and butter for the saute.

Cool: rubbing butter in between the skin and meat of each thigh; adding to each for the oven: finely chopped garlic and a few shakes of smoked paprika; and the very simple cool spring onion and parsley on top.

For next time: rustic bread for sopping or rice, perhaps as a base.

Off-stage: Romaine-based salad.

Photography after-the-fact.  Half the meal is missing — I was hungry.

Camera: Lumix Lx5, hand held with a circular polarizing filter on the adapter barrel; light sources: indirect window and overhead hood bulb.

I may have overdone it with the whole thyme sprig, but the little package has been ageing two weeks or so in the fridge, which gets at the problem with “cooking for one” — most of what’s on the market has been packaged for families.

Workarounds: shop daily or repackage for the freezer.

As part of apartment ecology, two thighs were packed together and thrown into the freeze as winter conditions descended on the mid-Atlantic and yesterday removed as part of clearing ALL food remaining from that time or later.

Plan averted: purchasing a package of tagine-style marinade and leaving to simmer — I had wanted to see what I might do from raw ingredients.

It was awesome good.

Posted in Food, Home Cooking, Hunter Hill, Lumix Lx5, Photography, Snapshots, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Paella, Detail from Home Cookin’

Paella, Home Cooking, Hunter Hill, Hagerstown, Maryland, April 2

It was my first paella project.

Scary.

Seafood’s expensive.

Saffron too — I estimate the dish took a $5 pinch.

Having watched at least a dozen YouTube how-to videos, here’s how I broke it down:

–There is no wrong way to create a Paella except to borrow too much from New Orleans and turn it out a Jambalaya;
–There is no ideal pan IF one does not have an ideal broad-bottomed pan;
–There are stages:
—-Create stock
—-Sauté meat
——chicken
——rabbit
——sausage
—-Saute vegetables
——chopped garlic and onion
—-Add saffron
—-Stir in and coat rice and add stock and cook
—-Steam shellfish

My largest pan turned out to be a non-stick 12-inch “Kitchen Essentials” by Calphalon (purchased while camping at a friend’s place after a fire — the one pan served all needs, scrambled eggs to soup, with an aftermarket $20 tempered glass lid with silicon rings fit to the 9-11-or-12-inch range).

Critique

Things could always be done better, yes?

–Too much olive oil, a big “glug”, at the start that once done goes all the way through the cooking process;
–forgotten: strips of red pepper place in after the shellfish had been arranged — visual disaster!
–forgotten: the peas.

Cool borrowing and invention:

–salting the pan before cooking;
–adding anchovies at the saute stage — next time, I’ll add the same to the top of the dish;
–adding smoked paprika worked out well.

Could be more ideal:

–yes, a steel or stainless steel paella pan may have helped get a crisped bottom on the dish.  The largest the apartment stove may allow appears to be 13 or 14 inches.  That’s life.

With personal interpretation, “rustic home style” suits what equipment one has to work with and how one prefers to work.  Probably, this coming from the rankest of bachelor beginners in the kitchen, ingredients first & methods to suit make the meal

 

Cooking for one: there will be leftovers, but the reheating of smaller portions may be cool with such a dish because the finished ingredients may be laid out flat and given a little more character over the heat.

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Toya Marie and Her Mountain Dulcimer, Spring 2016

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Tourista! A Visit to Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring, Maryland, May 2, 2016

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Originally posted on Communicating Arts – The Journal:
______ I had driven into Montgomery County to visit a friend who had made a hobby shooting in the butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens, so call it a social occasion, not work,…

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Speakeasy Boys, Cambridge Schooner Festival, October 24, 2015

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Surreybrooke, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

Communicating Arts - The Journal

Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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Surreybrooke Gardens, Middletown, Maryland, June 22, 2015

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