I spent almost the entire weekend working on the new blog site in one way or another. It’s very time-consuming work, but things necessary to do when you put up a website and start a Food Blog. Had a few household things to do and grocery store run to get a few things. Some the laundry still not done, but that’s ok. But overall I spent a lot of time looking at web tutorials for doing various things relating to setting up and configuring the website. I bought and installed the Genesis Framework & the Foodie Theme (real money) for the site which has a much cleaner look and feel than the default Theme. Then I had to spend a lot of time figuring out how to set it up and configure various settings. Some things I still don’t quite understand yet either, but hopefully in time.
Friends sometimes ask “Hey what you doing?” or “Do you want to go do something” things like that. You honestly try to relay that you’re a bit busy with things important you’re trying to get done. Eventually, you get that funny feeling that they are somehow mad at you even though they didn’t say it because your choosing to do other things. Such is Life.
Since I was a bit busy all weekend, I didn’t really spend much time cooking either. All the while I also kept worried just what I would make for the next blog post and not having a recipe down. I rarely measure anything for cooking. For the weekend I just made quick things to eat being busy. I often have to devote some time to cleaning up the kitchen and the dishes. Still, I enjoy it. It does feel good to know I can cook for myself making my own food and often healthier eating choices as well. If somehow all the restaurants disappeared, I would have absolutely no clue whatsoever. I’m not a Chef, far from it. But I have enough basic cooking skills and a bit beyond that to know how to cook and cook decently well. Yet I’m still learning much as I can’t yet cook everything. Choosing to cook and eat at home gives me the opportunity to practice playing around in the kitchen making whatever I choose to make. I call it my Test Kitchen!
Sometimes I send a few of my friends a picture of what dish I made being proud of my kitchen creations. But I’m often left with the funny feeling that my friends are upset that I somehow didn’t invite them to dinner in sending then the pictures. Sometimes it’s just really obvious. Often I get the response “Why didn’t you invite me to dinner?”. I never complain about not going out to dinner when they go out to eat, wherever they choose to go out to eat. Being a single guy, I often do things when I want to. I don’t always make plans for what I’m going to cook or when. There is the chance I’ll likely make something for a meal, but I have no idea what it will be or at what time I’ll make dinner. I’m often cooking for just myself. Some of my friends need advance notice of things ahead of time.
Deciding to invite some friends over often involve the ritual of planning and at what time going back and forth on the time issue. “I can be there at 7:00 PM”, oh wait “I can’t make it there till about 8:30 PM”. “Will that time be too late?” I really do enjoy having friends over for a meal, it’s more enjoyable. Though I’m just fine alone as well. But the time thing planning can just kill it for me sometimes. When I’m often cooking there isn’t any real plan on what I’m about to make. For sure something often original. I often miss life in the islands where life is much simpler. People and friend can often just drop by, they don’t often call ahead. They drop by or they follow their nose if they live next door or across the street. They just come over and see what you’re doing or cooking. That’s a bit island life when you live in the islands. Not much time scheduling there and that don’t always work here either.
Tonight for dinner, I didn’t really have a plan. That’s the way I tend to cook most the time that’s totally inspirational on the fly. It was already getting late to make dinner also. The only thing that was planned was to use a piece of Sea Bass Fish to make something that I removed from my freezer to refrigerator the day before. I love eating fish and seafood, after all, I was raised on a tiny island. I had some Mushrooms sitting on the kitchen counter than I wasn’t quite sure when I was going to use then. In an instant, I decided to use them all. I imagined something in my mind and decided to go with that for a dish. After all, I’ve seen a billion cooking episodes on the Food Network. There was not set recipe for what I was going to make, just cook. I had all the ingredients I needed around and in the refrigerator.
I used a bit of mix type Mushroom about 1-2 lbs, removing the long woody stems on some of them. Sliced up one big Shallot. Diced up half of a Jalapeño Pepper and 1/4 of a big Red Bell Pepper diced up. Diced 2 big cloves of Garlic and a handful of Cilantro. Had some Coconut Cream on hand in the refrigerator since I some left over from using some yesterday for something else. Had some good low sodium Chicken Stock on hand as well.
Used some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a hot pan and sauté the Mushrooms, Shallots, Peppers all together for several minutes adding a good pinch of salt to sweat the Mushrooms and veggies. When nicely sweated and soft the mix, I added the Garlic, Cilantro and stir for about 1-2 mins. Also added about 1/2 tsp of Hungarian Sweet Paprika to jazz things up just a bit in flavor. Then added about 1/2 cup of Chicken Stock and heat reduce the stock in the pan a bit while stirring. After reducing the Chicken Stock by about half or so I added about 1/4-1/2 cup of Coconut Cream just eyeballing it to make a sauce. Stir on heat for few minutes to thicken up a bit but not too thick and then done.
For the Sea Bass which was a thick piece of fish. Paper towel dried the fish to remove moisture. Season with Salt and Pepper, as well added some No Salt Spice Mix I made up from my pantry onto all sides of fish. Set my oven to heat up a bit. Heated a hot skillet on medium high on the stove till hot and then added some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the Sea Bass to the hot pan for about 3 minutes or so to sear the first side really good. While the fish seared, set the heated up Gas Oven on low Broil. After about 3 minutes searing the fish. Turned the fish over in skillet and then immediately placed it in the oven under the Low Gas Flame Broiler for about 5 mins. Remove from oven. Plate dish.
That was my Sunday Night Dinner. This dish was a winner to me, very tasty. Fish was soft and flaky and deliciously seasoned. Sea Bass has a really nice mild taste and very good texture. The Mushrooms were barely spicy to my surprise, just a slight tingle but likely cooled by the Coconut Cream. I have a high tolerance for spicy heat. I’ll have to make this again for sure. Likely with a cheaper cut of fish as Chilean Sea Bass can be quite expensive and that piece cost over $20 I remember.