Happy Accident

Before we move on to the spoils of that miraculous broth, here’s what followed the chicken- it sprang Athena-like from my forehead the minute our neighbor brought us a big slab of river trout just before dinner time. It reminded me that I had no plan at all, and that it was in fact time to make dinner. So I did. True story.

First, there was broccoli in the fridge- we’re not quite at the buy-no-vegetables part of the year- and an enticing combination of fresh mozzarella scrap and a couple slices of bacon. I took the leftover nettle polenta and spread it on the bottom of a gratin dish, covered it with broccoli, and in turn covered that with bits of cheese and minced bacon (I only used one slice, saving the other for something else.) Into the oven it went.

And then, once the broccoli was mostly done, the fish, dusted with salt, pepper, pimentón, and panko, went in as well. While rummaging in the fridge, I saw the rest of some mayonnaise that had broken- I had been using it for salad dressings- and grabbed at it alll excited-like. With some capers, some herbs from the garden, and a few pepperoncini from the bottom of a jar all whisked in, it made for a pretty decent tartar-esque sauce type thing. Sometimes falling backwards into dinner is the best way of all.

7 comments to Happy Accident

  • cook eat FRET

    I AM TOTALLY FUCKING FIRST THIS TIME

    because this seems to matter somehow

    the broccoli is my kind of dinner all on it’s very own. but i want that second slice of cheese on it. is that so much to ask? especially since i’m FIRST?

    do you not fix your broken mayo? cause i do. i’m afraid if i leave it in the fridge it will die a senseless death while waiting for its next incarnation.

  • Zoomie

    I’m envious of your source for fresh fish. And just in the nick of time!

  • michelle @ thursday night smackdown

    [witty comment here]

    don’t say i never did anything for you.

  • michelle @ thursday night smackdown

    okay, you had me at over-roasted broccoli, and then you sealed the deal with bacon.

    i’m with claudia on this, though: why no second slice of cheese? the internet demands more cheese.

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    Oh, trust me, the internet has plenty of cheese.

    This looks great. I’m all for less cheese, more nettles.

  • peter

    Claudia: I usually do, but the circumstance surrounding this batch were stressful so I just left it alone. It does make a wicked vinaigrette as is.

    Zoomie: It’s true, but we can’t eat too much of our freshwater fish out here.

    Michelle: I know, and I hate that about the internet. And who said anything about slices? This was the curvy alabaster heel of a gorgeous oblate ball of fresh mozzarella. Not the sliced deli garbage to which you both refer.

    Jen: Amen.

  • cook eat FRET

    the slice referral was yours – except i think upon second reading that you meant bacon.

    like i ever buy sliced mozzarella…

    what do you take me for? i am offended beyond repair…

    ok – i’m over it.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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