Improvising a Rainy Day Meal
Karen and I were hosting a small group Bible study at our home on Sunday evening. We wanted to provide refreshments for the time, so I went to the local farmers market on Saturday morning.
Here’s what I picked up:
- Peaches and blackberries for a galette Karen was baking. (A French, open faced pie typically baked on a cookie sheet.
- Ingredients for a fresh pico de gallo to go with a variety of chips we had at the house.
- A whitefish filet to grill on Sunday afternoon for our dinner.
Our local farmers market has several vendors that sell fresh caught fish or locally sourced beef, chicken, lamb, etc. We love supporting those vendors. Plus, the great meals that result from these local proteins is something I look forward to.
I had planned to grill the whitefish along with some vegetables. BUT, right about the time I was going to start the grill for cooking the fish, the skies let loose with a “pop up” storm.
I thought about trying to wait out the storm, and grill anyway. Since we had a small group arriving in an hour, I needed to come up with alternate plans. So I pulled out the trusty cast iron skillet and got to work.
Here are the steps I took to adapt a cast iron skillet into my “grill”:
- Cut up a few cherry and Roma tomatoes and washed some string beans we had harvested from a friend's garden.
- Tossed the beans and tomatoes in olive oil and sprinkled them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heated the skillet over medium-high heat (with just a splash of olive oil), then put the vegetables in to scald, turning them occasionally to cook on all sides.
- While the vegetables were cooking, I cut the whitefish filet in half so that it would fit better in the skillet.
- Next, I coated the fish lightly with olive oil and then sprinkled white pepper and sweet Hungarian paprika on the flesh side of the fish.
- After the vegetables were finished, I put the fish in the still hot skillet skin side down and let them cook for about 4 minutes.
- Flipped the fish over and cooked for another 4 minutes.
- Flipped the fish skin side down once again and kept cooking them until the deepest part of the filet registered 130 degrees.
The result? Deliciousness.
Karen and I had a great summer meal on our screened porch and had plenty of time left to finish preparations before our guests arrived.
When circumstances throw you a curve, there are usually alternative paths available that will get you where you want to go. I didn’t have a recipe for the meal we ate, but I was able to adapt my grilled meal to our cast iron easily. When your initial dinner plans go awry, try something new. See it as a challenge, and don’t be afraid to “grill” on your stove.
By Robby Richardson