Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Day The Blog Stood Still - Pan Fried Cod with Sofrito Verde

Friday - So let me tell you about Thursday, the Day The Blog Stood Still.  Because I overdid on Wednesday, the Great God of Invisible Pain punished me severely. I could hear him in my head, cackling with evil joy. Or maybe that was the dog snoring. My head hurt, my eyes hurts, that part of my digestive system that used to be my stomach hurt with those stabbing pains I really dread.
I collect memes about fibromyalgia and chronic pain, and got a good laugh when I found these:

(Well, maybe "good laugh" is too cheerful a description of my reaction. "Wryly bitter" might be more accurate. At least I now understood why I've been dressing in size 12 pants when I normally wear size 6, my favorite denim shirt which happens to be size 22, and a 40DDD bra from the bad old days when my bustline commanded its own zip code. Sometimes it really hurts to wear clothing, and while some people do shop in Walmart less than appropriately covered, I'm not one of them.)

When I finally stumbled downstairs, I could not eat nor drink coffee. If not for the fact that I had to return books to the library, I would have crawled back upstairs and cried. But I did have to go out, so I pulled my big straw hat low so no one would recognize me and headed first to Wawa. Being able to gas up my car for $23 cheered me up somewhat, and I headed across the street to the Walmart garden department to try to find the parsley, lavender and habanero peppers I needed to finish my porch planting. No parsley - what the hell is that about? - and no lavender, but the peppers were there and best of all, okra plants, nice ones.  I grabbed four. Paid for them too. Although it is getting late in the season for okra and the Home Depot in St. Cloud had been okra-less the day before (which worried me, I cannot lie) here in Zone 9a or 9b or wherever I live, okra can be planted in the fall.  If you can find it.

I never did get the lavender, but one quick stop at the Home Depot in Kissimmee, and I scored parsley - two flat leaf, two curly - plus a spearmint and a globe basil.  By now, I was wearing down so I dropped off the books without going into the library and went straight home to where Rob was waiting to unload my car, bless him.  No transplanting.  I watered my new acquisitions, killed a few aphids, and called it a day.  No cooking.

Can I just show off the fabulous job James and Linda have been doing, creating the raised garden? The pictures don't do it justice. Besides looking great and creating a more user-friendly planting bed, it solved the problem of the excess rain water dripping off the edge of the roof.  Last season, the constant pounding from the water damaged almost all of the plants in the front row, except for okra and tomato. This set-up prevents that by absorbing the force of the water, and also stops the soil from being washed away. I had the basic idea, but it was James who figured out how to do it. I am really looking forward to putting in my garden.

Today I received the news that the State of Florida has officially declined my application for disability retirement.  No surprise there - both of my doctors were frankly terrified to state in writing that I was permanently disabled. My therapist stated quite strongly that I could not go back to work, now or ever, and one of my doctors went so far as to say I might be able to return to work in a year or two, but that wasn't enough. I will be spending some time deciding how to deal with this newest development, but at least I'm not freaking out. I am more concerned about the chest pains I woke up with.  I took my Inderal and I took a Zantac. One or the other will do the job.

Rob and Cory are headed to Bradenton for a special martial arts event, and will be staying over one night while I keep an eye on the furry kids. I know you're not supposed to put such things out there on social media, but there is always a day delay in publication, which means by the time anyone reads this, my boys will be wrapping up and getting ready to head home. Besides, I've got a nifty new security system and if I walk one short block, I can see the Kissimmee Police Department.

Because the house is virtually empty, I ran around like a lunatic doing Stuff. Went to Lowe's, went to Publix, pushed a mop around certain parts of my dining room floor, organized my fridge, packed up food for Mom and Dad, threw some lamb neck in the oven (literally), and made my Amazing Corn Muffins.

For one brief, crazy moment I considered doing the dishes, but I got over that pretty quickly. I've stood on my feet too long as is, and I'm feeling the burn. I hope I don't pay for this spurt of energy tomorrow, but that is the usual pattern, damn it all to hell.

It's been a little while since I gave you a straightforward recipe; if you like fish, you will enjoy this. I made it the other day, took nice photos, and then promptly forgot  about it.  Fibro Chef does it again.

Pan- Fried Cod with Sofrito Verde

4 pieces of cod fillet (if frozen, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator) 1/2 to 1 inch thick
Crystal hot sauce
Goya Masarepa (precooked yellow cornmeal)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Canola oil for cooking
Sofrito Dona Lola (green sofrito from the refrigerated case)
Cotija Cheese

Rinse the fillet pieces under cool water and pat dry.  In a baking dish, mix about 1/2 cup milk with a small amount of the hot sauce.  Place the fish into the milk and soak about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Using a dinner plate, or whatever you like to use for a breading station, combine the cornmeal with the spice rub, salt, and pepper.

Heat about a half inch of oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Coat one of the fillets with the cornmeal, turning for all sides, then place it, top side down, in the hot oil.  Repeat with the remaining fillets.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown, then carefully turn all of the fillets. Cook this side as before.

Depending on the thickness of the fillet, it may be done, but chances are it will need another minute or two, which you can do in a 350 degree oven. Spoon some of the sofrito on each fillet, and sprinkle the cheese over that.  Place in the oven just for a minute or two. Do not overcook the fish.  Serve immediately.

The fish was delicious, but I didn't care for the sofrito and cotija.  Everyone else liked it that way, however, so use your own judgment.

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