This is rather unsexy dinner. But you know what? You don’t have to leave the house to make it, and you don’t have to have prepped anything in advance. Nothing. And it only takes 20 minutes! It doesn’t ask for much of you. It is steady, calm, and comfortable. It is there for you when you need it most. It will never let you down. It’s the Colonel Brandon of dinners.
I get frozen tilapia filets and frozen Normandy vegetables from Costco. They sit in my chest freezer downstairs until I realize that it’s 6:30 and I haven’t thawed any meat, I don’t have any leftovers or food prepped from a cook up, and I really don’t feel like running to the store. You could use any frozen fish or vegetables you like. Salmon filets would also be nice (esp with the rosemary/lemon juice/capers option below).
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Thaw the fish. Put however many fish fillets you want to eat in the sink and cover with hot water.
- Get out two sheet pans. One is for the fish, one is for the veg. The fish pan should have a baking mat or parchment – this is optional for the veg pan. Personally, I store my pans with silicone baking mats in them, so they’re always there.
- Make the veg. Melt down a couple tablespoons of ghee. While that’s microwaving, spread out your frozen veggies on the baking sheet. Drizzle the ghee as best you can over the veg (it’ll harden again on contact), and pop it in the oven. If you really want to maximize coverage, you could brush the veggies with the ghee.
- Another option: you could microwave the veg in an appropriate dish. When I do this, the broccoli defies the laws of thermodynamics and still isn’t warm after 10 minutes in there. You may have better luck. Just put a cover on the dish, microwave the shit out of it, and when it’s done, toss in the ghee (can be solid).
- Make the fish. Melt some more ghee. When the fish is thawed, arrange them on the baking pan with the mat or parchment. Brush the ghee onto the fish, and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.
- Another flavor option: instead of Old Bay, sprinkle with rosemary, capers, and lemon juice for a more Mediterranan flavor profile.
- Yet another flavor option: instead of ghee or any other spices, use a couple glugs of Tessamae’s Chesapeake dressing. Brush it on to get better coverage. I don’t love using olive oil in high heat scenarios, but I tried it and it worked just fine.
- Another method option: you could broil the fish instead of bake it. This is a good option if you are microwaving the veg. Make sure you are using a broil-safe vessel on the top rack of your oven. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get charred.
- The fish will take about 15 minutes. Stir up the veg to get that ghee all over it. Fish is done when it hits 145F or you are comfortable eating it. The veg is done when the broccoli is warm.
What about starch!? If you eat rice, have some rice (with ghee- yum). Or pop a sweet potato in the microwave to quick bake it (with ghee).