Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu Plan - "The Cod Incident" Ex Post Facto

In the first year that my husband and I were married, by a series of very strange coincidences, we ended up eating some form or another of pork for seven days in a row - and we are not overtly "pork people" (bacon is a different story). Long story short, I made pork on a Friday or Saturday, we went to my parents' place that same weekend (where pork was served), they sent us home with a whole lot of leftovers, and by the next weekend we went to my inlaws' place, where my mother-in-law proudly announced upon our arrival, "I made something that I don't usually make: Pork chops!" My husband and I exchanged knowing glances, yet still managed to eat her lovingly-prepared dinner without telling her and bursting her bubble. (We told her about it a long time after the fact.)

We didn't eat pork for weeks afterward.
ANYWHOO, all this to say, sometimes you just have weeks that are culinary black holes.

And thus: Last week was a bit of a culinary black hole. I had an absolutely disastrous culinary encounter with approximately one metric tonne of cod. I mean - if something seems reasonably tasty to me, I'm prone to photograph/post it as my time allows. But this cod just took over the middle of the week with its own gravitational pull and would not go away.

*Ahem.* Mistakes made in "The Cod Incident":
  • I've never made cod. Experimenting with new tastes is one of my favorite things, but I got cocky and just assumed that it would be more or less like buying and preparing tilapia. Wrong-O! Turns out that cod fillets are a lot bigger than tilapia fillets, which brings me to the next mistake...
  • I bought too much. I didn't realize how big the fresh fillets were until I had them home and unwrapped into the baking pan. Egads! One fillet would have fed me for two meals easily. And I had bought six.
  • My husband and 3-year-old daughter did not like the "non-taste". I'm sure that there are ways to prepare cod (not to mention better-sourced cod) that are way tastier, but this was sooooo bland. Even worse?
  • I had phoned in the seasoning. Normally when I dump some coconut milk and garam masala over chicken to bake, it's really tasty. Not so with this cod! The cod didn't "take" the garam masala the way that chicken does, so it was bland coated in bland sauce.
  • Gross alert: Some cod "juice" leaked into the fridge cooling drawer before I cooked it, so even after my husband cleaned out that drawer our fridge and freezer STILL smell guessed it...cod! So even after the threat of eating it is gone the spectre of its smell is around to remind us of "The Cod Incident". Arrrrrrrgh!
Ugh, and after that first dinner I still had over half of it left! (Normally on fish nights we all scarf tilapia, but this barely-touched and cooling pan of cod accused us from the center of the table.)

The next night, in a bid to not waste food, I actually rinsed the bland coconut sauce off of the cod and tried to start fresh, conjuring up a saltier butter cream sauce. Certainly better, but still the bland blah of the fish itself. (How can such a blah fish have make our fridge and freezer smell so pungently?!?)

See? Aren't you glad that I didn't subject you to the photos and attempted recipe writeups of that?? Needless to say, unless I ever come across a cod recipe that says, "You MUST make this recipe or your quality of life is forfeit!"...cod won't be on the menu again any time soon.

What is on the menu this week:

Breakfast - Warm bananas
Lunch - Leftover spaghetti squash, chicken and Trader Joe's vodka sauce
Dinner - Butter-glazed shrimp, salads, honeydew melon

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs, sliced pear
Lunch - Apple slices with almond butter, Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
Dinner - BLT salad with boiled egg, dark meat chicken, and avocadoes

Breakfast - Whole milk yoghurt with honeydew melon
Lunch - Banamandeln smoothie
Dinner - Bacon spinach gouda quiche, leftover honeydew

Breakfast - Pumpkin custards
Lunch - Joyful Abode's Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Bread
Dinner - Crock pot chicken soup (I know that this was last week, too, but what can I say? It hits the spot with the cold, rainy weather lately!)

Breakfast - Mashed boiled eggs
Lunch - Sauteed kale with bacon and mushrooms
Dinner - Steaks, salads

Preschool Lunch Ideas:
Lunchbox #25: Apple slices and almond butter, Dubliner, boiled eggs
Lunchbox #26: Honeydew with yoghurt, BLT salad
Lunchbox #27: Chocolate banana bread, pumpkin custard

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