Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dinner For One, Quickly Done

Catfish Filet's and Stir Fried Cabbage

When I had my annual checkup a while back, I had to fast after 8 o'clock, so I came home from work determined to eat early and healthy. Last ditch effort to skew the results, I suppose. But along with that resolve to whip up something quickly, I wanted it to be tasty. There are some things I love that I rarely cook and cabbage is one of them. I love my Mama's boiled cabbage. She doesn't cook the dickens out of it for one thing and the other, it's down right perfectly seasoned. But over the last few years I've adopted another way to cook this cruciferous veggie for two reasons. Number one, I'm always disappointed in my boiled cabbage compared to Mama's and I really want the crunchiness and flavor of stir frying. So that's typically how I cook it now.

Fish is always good to me. It's light, appetizing and versatile. I found a couple of catfish filets in the freezer, so after a quick thaw I seasoned them, did a little bit of cabbage slicing and dinner was on its way. And so it goes... 

Catfish filet's (or any fish you like)
Cabbage (any cabbage - Chinese, Savoy or Bok Choy) 
Extra virgin olive oil
Nub of unsalted butter
Celery seeds
Crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Coarse black pepper
Fresh lemon juice

Season the fish with salt and black pepper and set aside. Cut a small portion of cabbage and julienne it into ribbony strips. Heat a skillet and add a splash of olive oil and bit of butter. Slightly brown the butter, but be careful not to go too far. Sear the fish on both sides, remove to a sheet pan and place into the oven on medium heat to finish while you cook the cabbage. The pan has flavor now from the fish so add more oil and butter if needed to the pan and throw in the cabbage. Stir fry the cabbage until it's just al dente. Add a pinch of celery seeds, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Mix together and salt to your taste. Toss again and mound onto a plate. Remove the filets from the oven and nestle over the cabbage. Squeeze at least half a lemon over all (I probably used the whole thing). Done...quickly!

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