Sometimes my friends and I play the game “If I was rich, I’d …” you know, sail around the world on a yacht, hire a live-in chef or masseuse. Me? The first person on my payroll (after the masseuse) would be a live-in dishwasher.
Given the chance I’d spend all day in the kitchen just cooking, baking, and creating whatever the heck I want. I just really, really don’t want to clean up after myself.
But since I’m a working mom of two, not a millionaire, I have neither the luxury of time nor kitchen staff for such daily cooking adventures. Instead, I have words to write, kids to schlep and homework to help with, and, as a result, very little time to devote to the evening meal. So, although I’m an avid cook, I’m always on the lookout for dinners that fit the fast, cheap and relatively healthful trifecta, like this simple but flavorful Roasted Cod With Lemony Orzo.
The recipe comes from “The 8×8 Cookbook,” a soon-to-publish cookbook by Kathy Strahs devoted to putting that versatile kitchen staple, the 8×8 pan, to good use. The idea is every recipe is perfectly portioned to feed a family of four — without cluttering the fridge with paltry leftovers and without requiring a ton of time or sink full of pots, pans and other equipment.
There’s an entire chapter appropriately titled “Weeknights Won,” which includes things like mac and cheese and enchiladas, of course, but also dishes like Pan-Roasted Pork Chops and Apples Over Couscous, and Honey Glazed Chicken Over Root Vegetables. I certainly won the Tuesday night dinner scramble with this fish dish. The gremolata is a cinch to make, and as the fish roasts on the orzo, the pasta gets infused with its flavor. Even better, it gave me plenty of hands-off time to get some loose ends tied up, and very few dishes to wash when I was done.
It’s no surprise the recipe was winner. Strahs is a veteran cookbook author, but this is her first foray into self-publishing. She has even created her own imprint and plans to publish works from other authors. If you want to get your hands on this book for just $23 and free shipping, you have just six more days to pre-order it from Kickstarter.