The Joys of Minimalism

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A new space, a new place, a new time in my life – I’ve moved. Again. That is why this blog has not seen much action lately.

Relocating is fun. And stress. Stepping out of your comfort zone, leaving behind all that is known and understood, discovering the new and strange, starting to form relationships all over again…it’s familiar and new, all at the same time.

But until I start my new life, there’s an intervening step – transit. Living in a small 2 bedroom serviced apartment until the house is ready for us. It’s got all the essentials – but just. 4 plates, 4 sets of cutlery, 2 cook pots…you get the drift.

My cooking nowadays therefore, is minimalistic. A little bit like playing `house’ . I don’t want to run out and buy a whole bunch of ingredients, spices and sauces …and when your kitchen is multi-cuisine, you need loads of those! So I make do with the basics. Simple ingredients that deliver fresh, healthy yet enjoyable ( I think!) meals that satisfy my family as they return `home’ each evening, having spent the day dealing with the strangeness of their office/school and looking forward to the wafting aromas that make them believe, if only for a while, that life is normal again.

`Friendless’ in the city,  thinking of good friends and good times spent together is food for the soul. Here then, is a quick n easy  fish recipe – something I learned from a dear friend of mine, Marian. It’s a favourite in my house and I cook it often, especially when I have a busy day and only a little time to spend in the kitchen. Try it, enjoy it and savour the joys of simplicity.

FISH A LA MARIAN (Serves 4. Cooking time 30 mins, of  which kitchen time is 5 mins)

* Salmon fillets – approx 800 gms (or any fish, I’m guessing. If you try it with another variety, do let me know how it turned out)

* Stock cubes – 2 (I used chicken stock, but I think vegetable or fish would also work well)

* Olive oil – 1 tbsp

* Lemon – 1, juiced

* Black pepper powder – to taste

* Fresh parsley (or coriander) – 1 big bunch, chopped roughly

* Water – 2 tbsps

* Salt – optional (the stock cubes would usually provide all the salt you need, and you can always add salt at the table)

Getting all the ingredients together...

Getting all the ingredients together…

- Crush the stock cubes and mix all the ingredients together, except the fish (save some of the parsley for later – that’s one thing I forgot to do)

- Arrange the fish in an oven dish, pour the marinade over, and cover tightly with foil. Let it marinate in the fridge for 30 mins upwards (as much time as you have…).

Easy peasy. Don't worry if your stock cubes look a bit grainy...they'll be okay in the end

Easy peasy. Don’t worry if your stock cubes look a bit grainy…they’ll be okay in the end

-  Take the fish out of the fridge for atleast 30 mins before you pop it in the oven – otherwise you might crack your baking dish (Cold dish, hot oven…Apologies if you know this already -I am sure you do. This is for the benefit of some of my young readers who are just starting off  on their culinary experiements).

- Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Pop the fish (with the foil cover on) in the oven and bake for 25-30 mins.

- Scatter over the fresh parsley,  and serve hot with some warm bread, cous cous or rice. Enjoy!

Ok - this would have looked a lot prettier if I'd  a. Kept some fresh parsley aside for the garnish b. Had better lighting in the apartment c. Not been so hungry as to not take take the time to wipe out the baking splashes before photographing and serving

Ok – this would have looked a lot prettier if I’d
a. Kept some fresh parsley aside for the garnish
b. Had better lighting in the apartment
c. Not been so hungry as to not take take the time to wipe out the baking splashes before photographing and serving. But I know you’ll forgive me…

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