Sunday, November 24, 2013

Theme and Variations: Crisp Sesame Fish with Soy Glaze

flounder, sesame seeds (black & white), dark sesame oil, butter, soy sauce, sugar

One of the reasons Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is such an invaluable resource in my house is because I can use it for something I hate: cooking without planning. At this point in the semester, my mind is full of grading, student crises, and just getting through the next few weeks. So getting out to the Farmer's Market and picking up fresh flounder seemed like a huge accomplishment.  And then dinner time rolled around, and I realized I had absolutely no plans for that flounder, beyond consuming it.

Enter Mark Bittman. How to Cook Everything has never failed me.  I went to the section on "Thin White Fish Fillets," which includes his mini-rant regarding why he's not a big fan of tilapia (who knew?). Almost all the recipes in this section had ingredients that I had on hand, but I finally settled on the "Crisp Sesame Fish with Soy Glaze," which was a variation on his "Crisp Sesame Fish Fillets," which in turn was a variation on his "Pan-Cooked Thin Fish Fillets."  Bittman's Theme and Variations approach allows you to simply restate a recipe in another key, or add a countermelody and syncopation, if you are feeling adventurous! ;-)