Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day two: My cookie crumbles... or does it?

It began when I forgot to buy bread. I had Planned for bread buying on Monday night, but scheduled bread eating for Monday lunch. A Major Fail that set the tone for my day.

Beet and orange salad with no crusty sidekick was not enough for my lunch, and I left work hungry and ready to get crackalacking on dinner.  But, wait—what’s this? Pastoral, Planned place of purchasing cheese and baguette, is closed early for inventory? Seriously? Couldn’t they have tweeted this? Is that not how people get news? Hungry and hindered I marched onwards, unprepared for my next disappointment.

It seems no amount of Planning could predict the Cod Crisis of 2011—yes, Mom, it was worse than the Raisin Crisis of 1974... Because it happened to me.  Monday’s dinner schedule went south when I visited every two grocery stores in HP last night and did not find a single codfish. I was stuck with the dreaded tilapia, fish of weight watchers who still insist on eating at Chili’s. Fail part two means Double Fail. Time for the lightning round.
Why is this happening to me? Is it because I prefer Faux-livia? Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

I pondered these questions and more as I shoved together my despicable ingredients and waited for my supper to be cooked.  And then, prosecco poured, lackluster photos taken, we sat down to eat and I was astounded. Last night was easily the best dinner we’ve had all week. Besides the store-oriented mayhem, it was a breeze to prepare, and it was fracking delicious. 
The tilapia was tender, flaky and flavorful in a salty tomato-caper sauce, perfect with warm garlic bread. We dipped and sipped and ate (and ate). If you want no-fuss comfort food, this is the dish for you. 

Tilapia in tomato-caper sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small jar of big capers, drained (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tilapia filets
1 bunch of fresh basil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add tomatoes and capers.  Cook together for five minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper (I didn’t find salt necessary because of the nature of capers and the particular brand of tomatoes I used).  Pour half of the tomato mixture into a baking dish. Add the fish. Cover the fish with the other half of the sauce. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.  Finish with a chiffonade of basil.

4 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ olive oil
3 tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter
½ of a real big ciabatta loaf

Mince the garlic and chop the parsley.  Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and parsley to the oil and remove from heat, letting the garlic cook, parsley wilt, and the oil absorb the flavor. Salt and pepper to taste. Butter the bottom half of the ciabatta and spread the garlic oil over the top half. Cook bread in 400-degree oven for 10 minutes for crispy crust and melty stuffing.


  1. Yay! I could totally make the fish and adjust the garlic bread a little. I think I might try to tomorrow. Glad it succeeded despite planning gone bad!

  2. You know what I thought of when I saw the title of this post? Peanut butter kind-of-cookies. The fish looks delish (ha). But really, it does.


  3. Mer, you could totally skip the butter on the bread.

    Tobs, I was worried it didn't look as good as it tasted. ...Those cookies were the worst.

  4. Ah, yes, the raisin crisis of 1974; almost as bad as the Scottish sugar crisis of 1975.