I love grilled fish any time of season. My grill is the cheapest Weber Smoky Joe. There are no bells or whistles, just you and the elements air (read wind) and fire. I marinated the monkfish briefly in olive and rosemary. I grilled the fish over real charcoal, not the Kingsford variety. When the fish was almost done, I transferred it to a small saute pan. I finished cooking the monk fish in this pan and added home made green olive tapenade and the end of a jar of home made canned tomatoes. I got everything nice and warm to be where it should. That is, the fish is moist, tender and succulent and has absorbed the other flavors of the tapenade and tomato.
I like to make tapenade in small amounts by hand with a knife so all the components look a little chunky. You ought to be able to see and perhaps identtify the ingredients. Also, I use no anchovy in my tapenade.
This gratinee of five different Winter vegetables includes some of my favorites. They are carrot, brussels sprouts, parsnip, turnip and rutabaga. The beauty of this little side dish is that it is composed from left-overs and goes great with everything. For the record, in simple cooking no sugar is ever used to carmelise vegetables, especially onions. My point is that these items are already sweet enough. They are also good enough to enjoy by themselves. They also lend themselves to other methods of cooking or preparation. Other roots that I like eat in the Winter are beets and celery root, also known as celeriac.
Boiling is the simplest and least complicated way to cook these. All you have to do is make sure your boiling or blanching water tastes like the ocean. And don’t overcook either.
So this is supper. Having a set of oven-proof Pyrex dishes are really convenient. They are a great way to re-heat left-over potatoes, as one example. But the real beauty of simple cooking is that clean-up must be as simple as the prep and cooking time.
Simple cooking is largely based around a well-stocked pantry, eating mostly plant food, using good ingredients and treating them appropriately. It is not a diet or a lifestyle. It just is. Because we have to eat well, so that we can be strong. So that we can fight back. Basically, it is respect for good ingredients and where they came from.
Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication and will never go out of style.