If you’re like me, then this is an overwhelming time of the year. Not only is it cold (at least where I live), making being outside and getting fresh air less desirable than usual, but there’s all the stress and preparation related to the holidays.
I’m a very practical cook most of the time, which means that trying for that perfect blend of frugal, easy, healthy and kid friendly meals usually results in a rotating menu of about 10 standards. That’s not too bad; we like all these meals, and they fulfill the above criteria. Lately, however, I’ve been a big fan of this basic, easy meal- it can be turned into either a soup or a sort of casserole/mash, depending on your tastes. And, as with all my recipes, this is very adaptable to your tastes!
I like this dish because it’s rich without being expensive, and manages to sneak some cauliflower into the kids without too much hassle.
- 3 to 4 large-ish potatoes
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1 onion
- 4 cod or other white fish fillets
- chopped green herbs (parsley, dill…)
- 1 cup cream or cream cheese (or both!)
- salt, pepper
Chop the first three ingredients. Cook in a large pot until soft. While they are cooking, bake the fish in a 350° oven (F) until firm, about 10 minutes. Cut the fish into large chunks.
When the vegetables are ready, Make your decision: chowder or mash?
For chowder, drain enough water off until there is only enough to cover. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the vegetable mix until there are large chunks in a consistent base. Add the fish, cream or cream cheese (or both!) and herbs. Salt and pepper to taste, then heat through. Serve with crusty bread.
For mash, drain all the water off the vegetables. In the same casserole dish where you cooked the fish, combine the fish, veggies and remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste, then bake, uncovered, in a 350° oven (F). Serve with crusty bread.