Too hot for this

Don’t want to read this? Just here for the asparagus (and snapper)? Here you go: What I made

This is an old draft. We still lived in Lansing and this greenery is the backyard – that lighter green is the “pond” that Josie used to lie down in when it was hot and mostly dried up. On this day it was completely covered in algae.  It was mucky and always meant a bath. Sometimes she’d get 3 baths in one day. The frogs also loved the pond. They’d make so much noise at night that we’d have to turn up the tv volume. 

It’s lush and beautiful in this picture, taken in late May of 2010 but you can also kind of see the haze. There is no movement. It was hot and humid. A day for cold salads or light sandwiches, maybe a cheese plate.

But, Chris is from Florida where you just run the air conditioner at meat locker temps to overpower the heat and humidity outside. I’d learn this myself in another couple years, when we spent part of my maternity leave in central Florida, in August. I’m still scarred by this experience and there wasn’t even a hurricane while we were there! Someone just asked me this week if we’d consider moving down there since Chris’s company is there and I’m practically a full-time remote worker so it might be easier.


We’ve been places I would move to although for now I’m content to stay in Michigan. 

Original Post

It really was too hot for this. I toyed with the idea of a ceviche but upon coming home to a house where the a/c has been blowing all day, I chose to go forward with cooking.

Yesterday, I had Chris stop at Whole Foods on his way home from an appointment in Southfield. We try to find something different for a protein when paying the big bucks at Whole Foods so this week I had him checking out the fish. He came home with 3/4 pound of snapper filet plus some raw milk Parmesan and really fresh asparagus.

I had the last 24 hours to think about what to do with but really I didn’t start brainstorming until about 4pm. I did a Google search but realized that most fish recipes, not fried, have lemon, garlic, almonds, various seasonings . A bunch of snapper recipes also used tomatoes.

Here’s what I wrote down on my sticky note: 

  • Parmesan
  • snapper
  • garlic
  • olive oil/butter
  • parsleybaked
  • lemon/lime
  • asparagus
  • rice (black rice?)
  • tomato
  • caramelized onions (made in a batch)

Somewhere in here is when I started thinking about this tomato marmalade I had while in Puerto Rico last year. It was not served with fish but I could see it working as a counterpoint to a garlicky fish.

Sweet n’ salty snapper
What I used

red snapper, about 12 ounces
2 tablespoons butter
olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed or minced fine
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped fine plus assorted herbs of your choice
lemon juice

panko bread crumbs
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water/chicken broth
maple sugar garlic pepper – seasoning blend from Highland Foods, a family favorite
1 tomato, diced
caramelized onions, about 1/2 cup or more.

Color me delicious

What I did

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Prepare quinoa according to package directions: Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water or broth (or half and half which is what I did). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff before serving.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, pepper, salt, herbs and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Heat to allow flavors to combine and garlic is fragrant; stir in parsley.
  4. Toss asparagus with salt and olive oil. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on size of your stalks (ours were pretty thick).
  5. Coat fish in butter, garlic, parsley mixture and place in a roasting dish. Stir a handful of panko crumbs in to remaining butter then top each fillet with some crumbs.
  6. Cook fish in oven, uncovered, until cooked through about 15 minutes.
  7. While fish is cooking, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove and cook about 15 seconds. Then add tomato and let soften. Use the back of a fork to smash the tomato down a bit. Add caramelized onions and stir to combine.
And healthy too!


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