The Cookbook Nook
How often do you find yourself buying the same foods over and over, and then creating somewhat similar meals on repeat week after week? Well, that certainly happens in our house too! And it's time to change that for the better. This past weekend we decided to take a little trip (OK, I walked across the room) over to the bookcase near our couch and perused the vast number of cookbooks I've collected since my Celiac diagnosis. I'll sweetly call it the Cookbook Nook. It's not exactly a nook, but a small space between the couch and dining area. Just ask if you need photo proof.
While the majority feature only GF recipes, I've also purchased several books that are not specifically for my dietary needs, but the photos are too lovely to resist. I advocate working with your favorite foods and recipes to make them gluten free. It's not hard at all and often requires minimal adjustments! Now, that's not exactly the case with baking, but that's another story for another day. I crave cheesecake. Or rather, most cake. In moderation, of course. ;-)
I tend to digress... such is life sometimes. Back to the dinner! Since it's summer, we have been making a big effort to buy two kinds of fresh seafood on Sundays and make it for two nights in a row before our usual chicken or turkey options come into play. I love seafood at restaurants, but making it at home is a real treat. It's guaranteed to be Celiac safe and we can pick whatever recipe and fish we desire!
Field note: I've said this before and I'll mention again if you (maybe??) forgot. I used to only eat fried fish. Thin, white, unexciting fish. It's delightful and savory and checks the box of seafood. However, it took me a long time to realize that other forms of seafood were even more enjoyable and that when it's not fried the true flavor really shines. Surprise, surprise! ;-)
For this meal, we broke out a great GF cookbook: Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free by Kristine Kidd. I got it a few years ago and have flipped through leisurely many times noticing how great and easy the recipes tend to be. Perhaps that's because it focuses on weeknight cooking? :)
The recipe we chose was the Roasted Fish with Lemon-Almond Bread Crumbs. We just had to buy the fish and a couple other items on the ingredient list. Simple!
We opted for wild caught Atlantic cod from Wegman's as we have had great luck purchasing fresh seafood from there recently. We got a little over one pound for the meal since we always want seconds and planned to pair it with asparagus. If you haven't noticed, we usually make dinner in the following form: mostly protein with a side of vegetable, rarely adding in a starch or "true" carb. Just our preference! But as you can see on Instagram, pasta Tuesday is alive and well. We're only human! And yes, breadcrumbs are carbs. Obviously. But topped on fish or chicken basically makes them a little healthy, right? Just go with it.
For the crumb topping, we opted to mix the crushed almonds with GF breadcrumbs instead of the recommended GF bread. Essentially, we already had breadcrumbs at home and thought it would work just as well if we had bought the bread. Thankfully, we were right! Crumb topping is a phrase that dots my dreams. Delicious every time.
A standout aspect of the dish was the Dijon mustard that went on the fish before topping with the crumb mixture. It added a wonderful flavor once done and we even thought that next time we'll add a little extra! Yum.
The side! Mustn't forget the vegetable! We paired this awesome baked cod with grilled asparagus using our Staub grill pan that works wonders. We cannot have a grill in our apartment (on the balcony, to be exact) so this pan comes in handy constantly. Grilled asparagus is just drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper and voilà! Done. It makes the kitchen a bit (a lot) smoky, but it's temporary and worth it for the delicious veggie result.
As we inhaled the wonderful dinner, we were already deciding when to make it next, and that it would be a great dinner party dish! Except for those with nut allergies. Please, stay away. Not literally, but just maybe wait for an invite when our home won't be covered in crushed almonds. Ha. No, seriously, I don't want to endanger anyone, ever, especially in regard to food.
We can't wait to explore other recipes in this gluten free cookbook, and honestly, what took us so long? The internet has recipes aplenty, but nothing can replace holding a book, gazing at the photos, and knowing that the same meal can be yours, just a few ingredients away. Now, excuse me while I walk back over to my nook, it's almost (but not really) dinner time. :)