Here is a brief follow-up to our first day’s culinary adventures.
On Sunday afternoon, we went to Whole Foods, where we bought approximately 3 Lbs. of a halibut frame. For those who may not know that term, it’s merely the carcass, left over after the fish has been filleted. Whole Foods will be happy to sell you all or part of a fish frame (also known as a rack) for $1.99 per pound.
Sometimes, a seemingly inedible foodstuff can serve as the catalyst for several meals. In the case of our fish frame, we’ll make at least three and possibly four quarts of fish broth. From there, we can make a Mediterranean fish soup, seafood risotto, or perhaps a seafood couscous. With options like these, $1.99 per pound struck us as a bargain. And when we saw how much meat was left on this fish frame, we had no problem parting with $6.11.
Total food stamp funds remaining: $17.87.
We simply removed our Wal*Mart rotisserie chicken from the fridge and allowed it to come to room temperature. For this meal, we served the leg and thigh quarters along with boiled potatoes and sliced plum tomatoes dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley.
We cut the boiled potatoes into bite-sized pieces and tossed them—skin on—with two minced scallions, a couple of Tbs. each of flat-leaf Italian parsley and spearmint ( we keep ours growing a pot on our porch). A scant Tbs. of olive oil and approximately two Tbs. of citrus vinegar, salt, black pepper and a dash of chili sauce finished the potatoes.
On Tuesday, we’ll very likely finish the chicken, although we’ll still have the remainder of the carcass. Cooked chicken bones may not make a great stock, but they still have a lot of flavor to contribute. We haven’t thought that far ahead, but we’ll surely figure out something to do with them.
We put together a salad of avocado and tomatoes that, although the essence of simplicity, was entirely satisfying. Along with some rolls from the day-old shelf at BJ’s —sliced and toasted as crostini—we had a delicious lunch.
Avocado & Tomato Salad
1/2 Large Florida Avocado, cut into small cubes
1 Med. tomato, coarsely chopped
1 Pickled jalapeno, minced
1/2 tsp. grated lime rind
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
3 or 4 grinds from the pepper mill
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt
2 – 3 tsp. lime juice (the juice from approximately 1/2 lime)
1 Tbs. onion, finely chopped
Combine the avocado, tomato, jalapeno, lime rind, ginger, and mint leaves in a non-reactive bowl. Stir gently to mix. Add the pepper, taste for salt and add up to 1/2 tsp. as necessary. Add the juice of 1/2 lime and the onion.
Allow to sit at room temperature for approximately 1/2 hour before serving. Serve with toasted baguette, or, as we did, with sliced and toasted day-old rolls from BJ’s.
We were able to dissect nearly one pound of usable meat from the fish frame. (Here again, we have a couple of advantages: a very sharp multi-purpose carbon steel knife and the skills to use it.) While the meat we rescued was not pretty and would have been of no value to Whole Foods, it was ideal for our purposes; we marinated it in citrus and olive oil and made a delicious, elegant supper of ceviche.
Again, we served the ceviche with boiled red-skinned potatoes and a salad of Romaine and tomatoes.
1 Lb. firm-fleshed white fish (again, we used halibut, but you’d do fine with cod or ocean perch)
1 Red bell pepper, julienned
1 Small white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 Cup Flat-leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 Small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbs. Olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 Bay leaves
Lettuce for serving (optional)
Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and place in a non-reactive bowl. Grate the zest of the lemon over the fish, then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Toss to coat all the fish pieces. This begins the process of “cooking” the fish.
Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour ( and up to 24 hrs.) before serving.
Stir again before serving and plate atop coarsely torn Romaine.
Serves four as a starter, two as an main course.
Links to the other posts in our series:
Living on $42.00 Per Week—the Challenge
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Day 1
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Day 3
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Day 4
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Day 5
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Day 6
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Day 7
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Summary
Living on $42.00 Per Week—Redux