...followed by an evening of dance-related activities (watching others, doing it ourselves) with my friend LE, and a family birthday party at our house last night.
While I was joking when I said I gave up shame for Lent (shame has never been a problem for me; it's the lack of it that gets me in trouble), several of my family members are actually not eating desserts or drinking in celebration of Jesus's death. (Or in preparation for it? All those years of catechism and still I don't know how or why those kooky Catholics do what they do.)
So instead of birthday cake we had a platter of birthday pineapple and mango:
The fruit was good and all, but when I turn, um, nineteen next January, I will be eating chocolate cake, preferably made by either the Mister Who Won't Watch Gossip Girl or Q_Monroe (whose cake bl*g is partially responsible for the fact that I didn't get any work done on Friday).
For dinner I made prosciutto-wrapped fish, inspired by the fact that in his video Mark Bittman cooks it with one hand literally tied behind his back. If he can do it with one hand, surely I can do it with two. Right?
But do you think Mark Bittman called his stepmom four times while he was cooking? Because that's how often I called mine while I shopped for and cooked this meal (please note that stalker and stepdaughter almost rhyme), and this isn't even the first time I've made this fish.
Served with garlic mashed purple potatoes and asparagus.
Crawf supplied the fancy salad...
...and the photos are courtesy of my pop, who looks much cooler than I do holding toilet paper over his camera flash. (No, Dad, I swear, it's totally hip. Just like those Jesus sandals you wore in the '70s.)
Roast Prosciutto-Wrapped Fish
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil, more or less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 4- to 6-ounce thick fillets of halibut, cod or other white-fleshed fish
2 or 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons butter, or more oil.
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a small food processor, combine herbs with pine nuts, enough olive oil to make a thick paste, and salt and pepper. (Alternatively, chop everything fine and combine in a bowl.)
2. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Lay two slices of prosciutto on a board, slightly overlapping like fish scales. Smear prosciutto with a layer of herb mixture, then lay fish in center and wrap it up.
3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes; add butter. When foam subsides, cook fish for a minute on each side, then roast until tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness. Fillets are done when a thin-bladed knife will pass through their thickest point with little resistance. Serve.Yield: 4 servings.
That's the recipe as it appeared in the Times; here are a few of my notes (my god, who are we kidding? These are my stepmother's notes): As is, the flavor of the dish is delicate; the pesto doesn't have cheese and the fish (especially if you use cod) is very mild. To make it a little more savory I (or my stepmother) might marinate the fish in lime juice and cilantro; salt and pepper the fish more; use just basil in and perhaps add a little cheese to the pesto; use a black olive tapenade in addition to the pesto. Those of you who've made/eaten this before (CT, CT's mister, Mojie, stepmother...) should feel free to post other ideas in the comments...