RECIPE. May 30, 2011

Coconut Parchment Cod Focus

I was recently listening to a podcast my husband enjoys. They were discussing the importance of priorities in life. The point the host made that stuck with me most was that you can only have as many priorities as you have hands. If you think you have more you are either crazy or lying. His point was that you can only have two priorities in each area of your life. Business, family, friendship, etc. Then today was Memorial Day, a day of respect and remembrance. It also happens to be a day off for a majority of people. It happened to be sunny outside, an anomaly lately where we live, so I took my son and the dog for a walk.

While walking I noticed people on walks, in their garages sanding, sawing, building or just sitting. People were at the park, on their way to a friends house with food in hand and smiling.This got me thinking. I bet these are the things these people wish they could do everyday.

Yet if you asked then what their priorities in life were, I bet they wouldn’t list off anything in that list. Why is it that we wait for a day off, a bonus day, a day with no expectations or commitments to do what we really love? Why do we wait?

There are so many very understandable and responsible answers to that question. In fact, I’m just as guilty. Yet today got me really thinking about my reasons, my excuses for why I don’t just do what I love more often.

When I get to the core of my reasons they are all wrapped up in fear. Fear that something won’t get done, bills won’t get paid, others will be disappointed in me or it is a waste of time. So I’m looking at that fear, weighing my responsibilities and re-evaluating my priorities. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

This recipe is a perfect example of overcoming fear and setting priorities. I have been wanting to tackle fish for a long while, always putting it off even though it was incredible important for me to learn.

I am absolutely terrified of cooking the stuff but I enjoy eating it. When I saw this recipe in the latest Sunset magazine I thought it looked less intimidating and I felt somewhat capable. Plus, lets be honest, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, whisk curry paste, gradually adding coconut milk. Transfer 1/2 cup sauce to another bowl. Set bowls aside. Toast almonds in small saucepan over medium heat until golden. Stir in rice, reserved 1/2 cup sauce, 1/2 cup water, coconut and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender about 35-45 minutes.

Season cod with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper while rice cooks. Cut 4 pieces of parchment, each 12x14 inches. Set fillet in center and mound asparagus and peas on top. For each packet, bring to opposite sides over ingredients and fold several times to seal.

I had some trouble getting a good seal but it didn’t need to be air tight. Bring other sides up and fold. Place packets, folded sides up, on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until fish is just opaque, 15-30 minutes.

Microwave remaining 1/4 cup sauce to warm. Divide rice among 4 plates and top each with fish and vegetables from packet, discarding extra liquid. Drizzle sauce over dishes and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.