it's a fish party (for one)

You can cook a decent meal for one person. I swear.

I met this person on Monday who said they like to cook but don't because "you know, it's hard to cook for one".  I told this gentleman that I had no idea what he was talking about. This is obviously an exaggeration. Cooking for one without leftovers is not easy folks, but it is totally possible. I know because I did it tonight. I also spilled an entire glass of pinot grigio all over my kitchen because I didn't want to turn on the light, but let's talk about the dinner instead.

Right? Ok.

One of my biggest food regrets is that I said for the first 26 (?) years of my life that I didn't like olives. I'm not sure why, but nobody fought me on this. Go ahead hate olives Jen! I was also permitted to avoid asparagus (which I distinctly remember my grandmother cooking on family holidays). Asparagus just looked so boring and limp (twss). Olives were intimidating and mysterious. Well, tonight I put them together... with artichokes and some lemon ... and some swordfish ... and of course other things ... like love.

This wasn't as quick or pain-free as last Wednesday's dinner (cod with lemon caper vinaigrette) but it was super tasty. Plus, it calls for white wine and I'm really good at drinking white wine. Except for last night that is. Spoiler alert folks, you can't have 4 glasses of pinot grigio coupled with limited dinner and expect to get off scott free. 

Tonight, I took some inspiration from a recipe I had seen on MSNBC of all places. I saw olives, seared fish, and artichokes and knew it was a win. The original recipe called for a whole process of using fresh artichokes, which would be great if you had time. And you had an unlimited budget. And you didn't want to shove cheez-its in your face the minute you got home from yoga. So, as an alternative I went with canned artichokes and they worked like a breeze.

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Get a skillet to medium high heat with a bit of olive oil. Add in about 3 artichoke hearts that you've cut in half. Place them flat side down so they sear up a bit nicely. 

(Step 2) Add in the minced garlic and butter. Watch the heat of the pan so as to not char up the garlic. That would be an obvious negative. After a minute-ish, add in the coriander, asparagus, thin lemon slices (3?) and the white wine.

(Step 3) There isn't a lot of liquid in the pan at this point obviously, but you essentially just want to simmer all the goodness in the pan until the liquid reduces a bit and all the flavors get a chance to mingle. Pretend it's like a middle school dance. If you think you need more wine, add it. Or drink it. This is pretty free form folks. 

Once you are satisfied, remove this business from the skillet and get ready to sear up your fish. You absolutely don't need to clean the skillet, but just make sure you don't have any garlic / artichoke remnants behind since they'll burn and then your kitchen will be smokey and not in a cool way.

(Step 4) Gently pat your fish dry with a paper towel. This seems weird but it helps you get a delightful sear slash crust ... and trust me, it's kinda like the best part. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a high-medium skillet with olive oil. Cook 3 minutes on each side (which means flip in between obviously... unless you know magic). You'll know the fish is done when the skin edge is looking crispy. Need more advice? Google it.

(Step 5) Plate and eat. After you put your amazing fish on the artichoke business, squeeze a bit of lemon on top and toss a smidge of parsley on there as well. 

Now eat by yourself and love it. If you are me, you'll get one of the million magazines you subscribe to flip through and pretend to educate yourself. Set some mood music (think Ingrid Michaelson) and perhaps light a candle. Oh, and I spent some quality time basking in the glory of the flowers I arranged at Floral Class on Tuesday. Yep, I'm going to floral class. More on that another day.


Shopping List (for ONE!)
artichoke-y delight
olive oil
Can of artichoke hearts
1 T of butter
Asparagus (like 3 stems? do we call them stems? I have no idea)
Lemon slices 
3 cloves of garlic minced
4 kalamata olives sans pit, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp Ground coriander
1/4 cup of white wine

fishy business
Salt and Peppper
5-6 oz of swordfish (halibut would also be amazing)
olive oil
parsley
lemon zest / juice

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