Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting by with a little help from The Flavor Bible

My favorite reference for week night recipes is not a cookbook at all, but rather a book containing lists of ingredients. That book is Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg's The Flavor Bible, a guide every ingredient imaginable and the flavors and foods that pair well with those ingredients. With limited time and energy to shop or flip through cookbooks during the week, The Flavor Bible has helped inspire many of my week night meals.

The Flavor Bible came through for me once again this week. On a whim, I went to the store bought Spanish mackerel, a fish I had never prepared before. My only existing knowledge of Spanish mackerel was that it was an incredibly oily fish. Having no idea how to prepare my mackerel or what to serve it with, I turned to The Flavor Bible, which suggested, among many other ingredient combinations, a pairing of mackerel with arugula, chickpeas, and lemon, all of which were ingredients that I had on hand.

Going with The Flavor Bible's suggestion, I drained my can of chickpeas and placed them in a small pan where I had heated a few spoonfuls of olive oil over low heat. I seasoned the chickpeas with salt and pepper. Then, I heated some more olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and seasoned the mackerel with salt and pepper. I cooked the mackerel for two minutes per side. Moving back to the chickpeas, I added a few handfuls of arugula and let them wilt. I then finished the chickpeas with a splash of sherry vinegar, another recommendation from The Flavor Bible. I sprinkled lemon juice over both the mackerel and the chickpeas and enjoyed every bit of each. All thanks to The Flavor Bible.

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