I have heard far too many people say “I don’t cook for myself, I’m just one person.” To that, I say “Phooey! You are worth the effort.”
I was a widow from 2006 to 2016 when I married again. It was tremendously difficult after my first husband died to learn new cooking techniques, but as anyone who knows me, I love to eat good food. I made the effort to set a beautiful table, just for me. I had lovely dishes and glassware, and I wanted to use them.
I learned to make an easy, elegant meal for one. I believed in myself — that I was worth the effort, and I enjoyed many delicious meals. I hope you try this recipe by Jodi Squires Fitzgerald — she originally made it for 4 to 6 people. I’ve scaled it down for one hearty meal or two smaller ones. — EH Stafford, Managing Editor
Baked Fish & Sour Cream
by Jodi Squires Fitzgerald
8 oz. Fresh Fish (I used Chilean Sea Bass, but Flounder or Scrod would be delicious as well.)
4 strips of Bacon
Oil or Butter (I used melted butter, 1/2 stick is plenty.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sour Cream (It comes in 16 oz containers. I used 8 oz. and had way too much breading mixture, 4 oz. is probably better.)
Parmesan Cheese, grated (I like less cheese with fish, so I used 1/4 cup. You’ll want some extra for sprinkling on the baked fish and risotto.)
Bread Crumbs (Jodi’s recipe called for buttered crumbs. I couldn’t find any bread crumbs in my grocery store. I did find Garlic Onion & Parsley Croutons. If you whack these in the package with a rolling pin, you get delicious bread crumbs.)
Chopped parsley (I absolutely love fresh parsley and that is what I used, chopped finely. But truly, dried would work as well in this recipe.)
Lemon juice, a splash
Additional meal items
White or Rosé wine
Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto (steam-able, see photo above)
Key Lime Tart (Or your favorite dessert from your local bakery)
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a 9 x 9 baking dish, place the bacon. Put the fish on top of the bacon.
Pour the melted butter over the fish. Salt & pepper to taste.
Make the sour cream mixture with the sour cream, parmesan cheese, crumbs, and lemon juice. My mixture was thicker than I expected, but spread and stayed on top of the fish beautifully.
Make the risotto according to package directions. It takes 4 to 5 minutes depending upon your microwave. I made my risotto when I put the fish under the broiler. The risotto was ready as the fish was cooling.
Note: If you like crispy bacon, don’t put the bacon under the fish. Fry or bake the bacon separately and crumble over the top of the fish and the risotto.
Sprinkle parmesan and parsley over both the fish and the risotto.
The complete meal
A glass of wine, white or rosé is a delicious complement to this elegant meal of flaky Chilean Sea Bass and easy mushroom, green bean risotto. Don’t forget to pick up a little treat for dessert. I chose a key lime tart from my local grocery store. In fact, all of the ingredients are easily found in your favorite grocery.
Photos, preparation and serving notes
EH (Ellen) Stafford, Managing Editor
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