Last week, I had a box of Moose Munch and a handful of Haribo gummy colas for dinner. I’d had a long day at work and delivery pizza was out of the question (I’m pretty sure all of the delivery dudes know me by now and this is a problem), and there was very little in my kitchen that could make a square meal. As I watched The Bachelor and wondered just how many people Tierra almost murdered before she was cast as this season’s villain, I made a belated New Year’s resolution: cook more.
I love to cook. My kitchen is filled with encyclopedic cookbooks, I have a stand mixer, a deep fat fryer, a crock pot, and a small army of Le Creuset cookware. But between the holidays and travel, I got out of the habit of buying actual groceries and fell back into some bad culinary ways. The simple act of cooking usually makes my days a bit brighter–as a child, I wasn’t allowed to watch any Saturday morning cartoons (this is a topic for another post), so I subsisted on a steady diet of Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, with the occasional episode of “Yan Can Cook” thrown in. From my first disastrous attempt at cooking rice (I was 8, my mom was sick, and I decided to throw rice in a pot with some water and turn it on high. Guess how that turned out.) to my very successful chocolate souffles, I find solace in the fact that unlike many areas of life, if I stick to a recipe, I’ll get an amazing result in the end.
But if work is busy, I easily fall into a not so great habit of not cooking, and relying heavily upon takeout and delivery. This isn’t great for my waistline or my pocketbook, nor is it great for the spirit. Cooking is a great creative outlet that also yields immediate results…and I know that’s the kind of thing we all need after a tough day at work. So, as I try to get back to cooking regularly, I’ve been leaning heavily on a series of recipes that require minimal prep time or that feature ingredients easily picked up on your way home from work.
My first is a quick and easy adaptation of sole meuniere. Sole meuniere, oyster, and a good wine were the first things Julia Child consumed upon arrival in France, and in a New York Times interview, she described that meal as “an opening up of the soul and spirit for me.” It may sound silly, and a little trite, but this brightly flavored, easily prepared, and slightly decadent dish might just do a little opening of the soul and spirit in your kitchen.