I started making salsa fish more than ten years ago, when at a friend’s prompting I decided to pay a little more attention to what I was feeding myself for dinner. She was (rightly) appalled at the frequency with which I mentioned eating Lipton noodles and/or cereal for dinner. One of the first things I decided I needed to learn to cook was fish. I asked a co-worker, whose healthy diet I admired, how one goes about doing so and she shared her simple recipe.
Flash forward a few years and I decided to try out my culinary skills on a long-weekend beach trip with my then boyfriend, now husband. The first thing he ever cooked for me were these amazing Dijon marinated pork skewers. He had also relayed various stories to me about things like making a king cake for a Mardi Gras themed party or creating a champagne themed meal to use up leftovers from a New Year’s celebration. Needless to say, we were nowhere near culinary equals. But I made the fish. Some broccoli. Probably some cous cous or something. And he loved it. Really, genuinely loved it. He still requests it today.
Which is how I ended up making it for dinner last night. Last night, which will go down in history as the night the salsa fish failed, for the first time ever. Somehow when ordering groceries (yes, ordering . .. at some point I will devote a whole post to this awesomeness), I failed to closely read the package of fish. What we had was SALTED fish. So, after consulting the true chef in my house, a decision was made to rinse and proceed as normal. Twenty minutes later we bit into what literally tasted like a block of salt. My mouth felt as if it had immediately puckered in to some otherworldly state of dryness I didn’t know was possible.
We had a nice laugh. Then promptly whisked our main course out to the trashcan on the street. I opened the door with trepidation this morning fearing that I would find the neighborhood cat dead in front of the trash can; having suffered a coronary from eating salty meat. Luckily even he must have been unable to tolerate it.
We’ll keep laughing about this for quite some time. And I’ll make the fish again soon. Because, like a good relationship; a good recipe isn’t fazed at all by a bad day.
Ingredients: fillets of any mild (unsalted) white fish (Orange Roughy is my favorite), salsa, grated cheese (sharp cheddar is my preference)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place fish in ungreased baking dish
- Cover the fish with salsa
- Bake, covered for 15 minutes (or until fish is mostly flaky)
- Remove from oven and cover with grated cheese
- Return to oven for about 5 minutes