Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Simple Feast--Baked fish, baked potatoes, and brussel sprouts

This picture probably would have been prettier if I remembered to take the picture before I cut up the baked potato, but I was just too excited to eat this yummy meal!
The primary point of this post is to show how easy it is to make a meal consisting of a variety of dishes to come together at the same time to make a good meal, even in a small home kitchen.  This seems to be an obstacle for some people to overcome before they are comfortable cooking meals from scratch.  (A secondary purpose is to share a simple way to prepare fish!  So moist and delicious!)

It was a simple feast, to be sure, but a feast none the less.  And it was good!  Okay, the brussel sprouts weren't amazing--they tasted like cabbage, which we aren't to fond of by itself (next time, if there is a next time, I have some, I'll probably chop them up and slip them into egg rolls)--but they weren't bad.  If you like cabbage, they probably would be amazing though!

One thing that made this meal nice to make is that it didn't require a lot of effort.  Another is that the potatoes and fish could be baked at the same temperature.  Here's what I made, how I made it, and how easy it is to put together a meal like this, even on a busy night.

Start with the baked potatoes:
Baked Potatoes
desired number of baking potatoes, like Russets
shortening, butter, or oil (optional)

Scrub potatoes.  Poke a few holes in each potato.  Rub with shortening, butter, or oil, if desired, for a softer skin.  Bake at 350 for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (can also be baked at 375 for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or at 325 for about 1 1/2 hours, if desired).  Serve with butter and/or sour cream, as desired.

Once the potatoes had been in the oven for about an hour, I got the fish ready.  Because the kids aren't big fish eaters, and my husband and I tend to just want moderate amounts of meat, I was able to make just one fillet, about 1/2 pound of fish (which in this case, was $3.50 worth of fish), be enough for all of us, making the entire meal fit in my $5 a meal for the family budget.

Baked Whitefish
whitefish fillets
softened butter
lemon juice

Lay fish fillets out on a baking dish.  Brush with softened butter and lightly sprinkle with lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Once the fish was in the oven, I started on the brussel sprouts.  Like I said before, these weren't the best things in the world--but probably only because we don't care for cabbage flavor by itself.  If we did, I'm sure everyone would have gobbled them up.  Even as it was, they were pretty good.

Brussel sprouts
brussel sprouts

Remove outer leaves of brussel sprouts and rinse.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from water and submerse in cold water until almost tine to serve.  A few minutes before serving, halve or quarter brussel sprouts.  Melt butter in a skillet.  Saute brussel sprouts until crisp tender.
Then it was just a matter of plating the food and sitting down and eating it:  the best part!


  1. That sounds pretty good. I'm not a big fish eater but I don't think I've found the right one yet. As for the brussel sprouts next try roasting them in the oven with a little oil or butter and salt. Also I've found a squeeze of lemon juice does them a world of good as well.

  2. We had fish last night, too! My sis *hates* fish, but even she agreed this was pretty good. We go to a "bump and dent" store and they had "panko coated swai" (which is a lightly breaded tilapia type fish) which I bought for the grand total of 2 packages for $5. I thought that was not bad, and they sat in the freezer for a few weeks. Last night I pulled them out.

    They cook from frozen and are ready in about 16 minutes in the oven. I also made a package of frozen veg with pasta (a splurge on our part), which also took 16 minutes. The fish was so good that our kids had thirds! Even sis thought it was pretty good (ie didn't taste at all like fish lol).

    For brussel sprouts (which are my favorite and which everyone else hates), I steam them. Cut them in half after cleaning off the outer leaves, pop into a steamer, and steam until the desired consistency. If you want to "hide" them in other things, though, I suggest either cooking them in a root veg soup and pureeing or shredding for use in other recipes. :)