Or: what to eat when you've been out of town for 5 days and haven't been to the store yet. Happily, we had some trader joe's cod fillets in the freezer, along with some chicken stock, goat cheese, and half a bag of spinach salad I knew would go bad if I didn't stash it on ice. Carrots, a few celery stalks, lemons, and half a purple onion in the fridge. Rice in the pantry. Sounds like supper to me.
Vegetable "risotto" (because it isn't quite, nor is it really pilaf) with crispy cod
1 small purple onion (or half a large onion), chopped
1 large lump of butter
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 c chopped carrot tops (because they taste like parsley and I had them in the freezer for a tuscan carrot risotto, which this is not)
2 c brown basmati rice
4 c frozen chicken/vegetable stock, brought to a boil
1/4 c crumbled goat cheese
large handful/small salad bowl fresh spinach
1.5 lb cod fillets
2 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a cast iron grill pan or skillet, put it in the oven to heat up.
Heat butter in a large skillet. Cook onions, carrots, and celery in the skillet. Add rice after a few minutes. Salt and pepper (just a little). Ladle in 1/2-1 c hot stock, stirring until evaporated.
salt and pepper. Keep doing this until you've used most of the stock and the rice is fairly plumped up. I turn the heat down and cover the skillet and don't worry about stirring constantly. When the rice is nearly cooked, I added thyme, the juice of a lemon, more salt and pepper, the spinach (because I'd just noticed it in the freezer), the carrot tops, and the rest of the stock.
Now rub the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You only need to cook the fish for about 8 minutes. While it is cooking, add the goat cheese to the rice and give it a stir. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice if you like. Dish up the rice, put a piece of flaky crispy cod next to it, and serve with bread and a lemon wedge.
Yum yum. And the boys liked it.