Am I losing my touch? It was Friday. I had planned the ‘Family Dinner’ that we have pretty well every Sunday. I let the diners know that we would be having Roast Leg of Wicklow Lamb Studded With Garlic and Rosemary, served with a Wine Gravy, Parsnips, Carrots and Potatoes. This is a crowd pleaser. However, things were not to go according to plan. First to drop out was my mother. In fairness, a viral infection having led to a week in bed qualified as a half reasonable excuse. Eldest daughter and boyfriend did a double diss, preferring dinner at his over the magnificence on offer in these parts. The most crushing blow was delivered by youngest daughter, favoring some late teenage party with friends over my culinary exploits. Only the Wife remained loyal, saving me from my feelings of total rejection.
We quickly agreed that splitting a leg of lamb between two was possibly a bit over the top. This led to a postponement and replacement with a hurriedly prepared Halibut Steak with Ratatouille and Fettuccini.
The drop-outs could stay dropped-out. Wife and I would dine in style. I would park my feelings of rejection and resentment. If you would like to do likewise, here’s what you will need. There were 2 of us so I used 2 of everything (almost):
- 2 nice halibut steaks
- 2 onions
- 2 courgettes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Baby vine 2matoes (sorry)
- Tinned 2matoes (OK, I am pushing it)
- Fet2chini (that’s the last one, I promise)
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
Here’s what you need to do:
Chop and salt the courgettes. This stops them getting very soggy when they cook. Leave them to do their thing. Then fry them in a little olive oil until they go a nice brown colour.
Chop the onions. Sweat them in a large lidded pan. Chop and add the garlic to the onions.
When the onions are translucent, add the tin of tomatoes and the courgettes. Add the paprika.
Throw in a glass of wine. Preferably the same wine as you will be drinking with it. We had a nice Chianti (one bottle between the two of us). And, yes, we committed the gastronomic crime and had red wine with fish. Halibut is quite meaty and stands up well to the fruity Italian. (I resist the temptation to put in a joke about standing up to fruity Italians. Some of my best friends are fruits).
Fry the fish in oil and butter. Heat the oil to medium hot first then add the butter to the pan. This prevents the butter burning. Don’t over-cook the fish. Never over cook fish. If it is fresh, it doesn’t matter. If not, you should not be eating it anyway.
Cook the Fettuccini to the instructions (unless you are making your own). Decorate with the baby tomatoes. Serve it up to the Wife, or whoever is your significant other, and enjoy.
The meal left the two of us very happy. We might encourage them to cancel more often. My ego can stand the insult. Though, as I write this, the lamb is in the oven and we have seven, yes seven showing up. One of them, my long-lost son. More of that in a later post….