Just this last week I had one of those days where I really wished that I had a wife. One that would have dinner cooked for me when I got home; one that would have remembered to buy bread and milk; one that would have thought to pack in a much needed swimming towel for swimming lessons; and most definitely one that would take sweaty, unruly kiddos with stinky hair and magically turn them into kissable and sweet smelling little angels in soft pajamas by 7 pm.
With a giant Le Sigh, I have accepted that employing a wife of my own is rather unlikely. What I have realized though is that if I intend to keep order on this family train and make it through the gazillion birthday parties, multiple end of year what nots and the looming Christmas mayhem, I may need to revisit that old organizational habit of keeping…now what is that thing called again? Ah yes a diary!
My Most-Improved-Homemaker self hereby undertakes to a) buy a notebook; b) write things down in notebook; c) refer to actual notebook and/ or d) regard said notebook as a useful tool and remember to take it along on errands. (I have also promised Pretty Girl that I will in future try desperately hard to remember to bring along a towel to swimming lessons, and I did rather reluctantly agree that running around really fast is not in fact exactly the same as drying yourself off really quickly with a towel.)
I am also simplifying our dinner situation by revisiting some old family favourites that can be whipped up in no time, and which can, without too much effort on the part of the cook, sooth the after effects of even the craziest and meanest of days.
There is nothing remotely grand about my Cheesy Hake Bake, known simply as Cheesy Fish around here. It is homey and simple and together with brown rice and salad falls right into the middle of everyday cooking. Perhaps the very reason it may find itself on your dinner table this week?
I took Pretty Girl with me to buy the fish, and she watched enthralled as the fish monger scaled, beheaded and filleted our hake. She was very proud to announce over dinner that she saw this fish’s “gory guts”! I suspect that my lesson on fish sustainability may have fallen on deaf ears. That being said, please remember to ONLY buy sustainable fish, ONLY that which is on the green list. You can visit SASSI for more information or to see what else is on the green list, click here.
This dish is a fabulous way to enjoy fresh sustainable hake; think of it as my take on the old classic Fish Mornay.
- 6 portions fresh Hake Fillet (±150 – 180g each)
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 Tbsps. butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- 3 Tbsps. flour
- 2 cups milk, warm
- 1 cup grated Gouda cheese
- ¼ cup snipped chives
- Salt, Pepper Nutmeg
- 6 portions cooked brown rice
- Fresh salad
- Place the fish fillets in a baking dish.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Squeeze over the lemon juice.
- Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the garlic, lemon zest and Dijon mustard and toss for a few minutes without burning or colouring the garlic.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour.
- Whisk in the milk and continue whisking till smooth and thick.
- Cook over low heat for a few minutes to cook out the flour.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese.
- Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth stir in the snipped chives.
- Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Pour the warm sauce over the fish.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 20 – 30 minutes until the fish is firm to the touch.
- Serve over the brown rice with a fresh salad.