One dinner. One friend. One offer to pay for groceries (Thanks, Matt). One missing ingredient. One replacement. One mistake and 60 dollars later you realize you have a really good friend.
Last week, my friend Matt made the long drive (25 minutes- whoa) down to Jeff City to have dinner with me. I always appreciate it when people drive down to see me; since I live in the less exciting city, it seems like I never get to host. Plus, I love to cook with friends!
I wanted to make a salad with arugula since it’s in season right now, but I didn’t know what we should have to go with it. So, I asked Matt what he’d like to have (he’s an adventurous eater) and we decided on arugula salad and pecan crusted tilapia.
Well, it was a good plan, but then something always happens…
Upon request, I waited to go grocery shopping until he arrived. I waited. He arrived. We left to go get GROCERIES!
Everything was going great…. until the something happened. The grocery store had no tilapia. How does that happen?!? Tilapia is the most basic fish.
As I am a natural-born-problem-solver, I suggested that we might get halibut instead because I’ve had them before and they’re somewhat similar to tilapia. We agreed and when I got to the checkout I was informed that I would not be paying. As the check out boy was ringing us up, I got distracted with the friendly banter between him and Matt… before I knew it the total rang up – $60.00! How did that happen? I figured it had something to do with the wine Matt picked out and said a quick prayer of thanks in my head that I’m not much of a drinker – wine can get expensive!
We were walking out of the store when I mentioned that 60 dollars seemed a little high for groceries. I asked Matt what kind of wine he picked up. He looked at me with this funny look on his face and said he thought the wine was only about seven dollars (we’re so classy). After a quick scan of the reciept i realized why I don’t eat ocean fish that often (despite the omega 3 benefits) as a Mid-Missouri resident…
Two 4 ounce servings of Halibut – $26.95
Well, that’s just a little bit ridiculous. I pointed this out to Matt and he looked at me like I was crazy – obviously he was aware of the price during the check out. If I would have known it was those two little pieces of fish wrenching up the cost of our groceries I would have told that grocery store to keep their fish. We’d go find CHEAP tilapia somewhere else!
As it turned out, we had already bought them. (Score: 1 Grocery Store, 0 Sarah)
Luckily, the 60 dollar fiasco was quickly forgotten as the night progressed to a fantastic dinner with excellent company.
I officially owe Matt. :)
Watermelon Arugula Salad
This was my contribution to the dinner. Matt had never tried arugula and it’s a personal favorite of mine. IF you’ve never tried arugula, picture spinach, but then imagine that it tastes peppery. That’s arugula!
My friend Anna made this salad for me about a year ago and I still think about it. That’s how you know it was a good dish. ;)
Here’s the ingredients:
Basically you just chop and mix everything up until it looks a bit like this…
But for all of you that need a recipe. I have one. :)
Recipe: Watermelon Arugula Salad
- Baby Arugula
- Watermelon, cut into bite sized cubes, preferably seedless
- Red Onion, a few thin slivers
- Feta Cheese, crumbled over the top
- Olive Oil, drizzle
- Raspberry Blush Vinegar, healthy splash
- Toss all the ingredients together in preferred ratios.
- Drizzle olive oil so that all the ingredients are lightly coated.
- Splash 3-4 Tbsp vinegar over the top. Don’t worry about overdoing the vinegar – it’s impossible. If you have too much, it’ll just settle down at the bottom of the salad (no harm done).
- Sprinkle feta over the top.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Here’s a picture of our sneaky little fish. It turned out absolutely delicious, so I’m not sure I’m so sorry we got him. He definitely makes for a good story. And a pretty nice dinner.
Sidenote: Matt was in charge of cooking the sneaky fish. He assures me he’s not much of a cook (although everytime I’ve cooked with him, he’s seemed very adept)… so, assuming he’s not lying about his lack of cooking skills – this recipe was so easy anyone could make it!
Pecan Encrusted Halibut
- Two 4-ounce Halibut or Tilapia (if you prefer not to pay 26 dollars) filets
- 1 Egg, mixed
- 3/4 Cup Crushed Pecans
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Olive Oil
- Crush pecans in food processor until finely chopped.
- Empty into a shallow dish and mix in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Mix egg and put into another shallow dish.
- After fish is thawed completely, dry filet and dip into egg mixture. Directly after dipping into egg mixture, dip fish into pecan mixture until well coated on both sides.
- Place fish in a hot skillet with olive oil. Keep temperature low enough to prevent olive oil from smoking (Medium/high) and sear fish on both sides until inside is white and flaking apart.
Thanks again to my sous chef for a memorable dinner and even better company!