One Prep, Two Meals: Fish

 A bit of extra prep one night means you can have a second meal ready to grab and go. Get fish recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Photograph by Brenda Ahearn Photography

If we’re lucky, Monday nights are free nights in summer: we are home and can prepare and enjoy a meal without other obligations or projects. It’s the one night of the week that I might make a more labor-intensive meal, like fish cakes. But I always know Tuesday will be a picnic before racing sailboats, and a bit of extra prep Monday night means I have a second meal ready to grab and go.

These fish cakes call for some chopping and mincing and two stages of cooking, but they’re worth the effort. The first time I served batches at a house concert, the host said I could have made three times the amount and the platter would be emptied. They’re less greasy than fried fish cakes and more flavorful than potato-based ones. The recipe here easily serves 4, which means I can reheat the leftovers later in the week. To avoid eating the same meal two nights in a row, I set some fish aside and prep a marinade and the extra vegetables while the fish cakes are cooking. On Tuesday, grilled skewers require minimal effort.
Learn to make Mediterranean Fish Cakes and Grilled Fish Skewers

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One Prep, Two Meals

One of my busy summer tricks is to prep once and eat twice. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
In my corner of northwest Montana, July 4 is the unofficial start to tourist season. The University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research reported that more than 2.4 million people visited Montana last July—more than double the state’s population—and that half of those visitors entered Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and a long list of other stops. Those numbers downshift quickly: By October, there are again more residents than visitors in the state.

Like these tourists, I try to cram as much as possible into this short summer season, both in the garden and on a sailboat. I’m harvesting and processing at least 3 times a week and sailing just as often. This requires some intensive scheduling and as many shortcuts in the kitchen as possible.

One of my key tricks is to prep once and eat twice. I’m not just talking leftovers, although I make plenty of oversize meals to reheat later in the week. Instead, my “one prep, two meals” plan creates two separate meals from similar base ingredients and freshens them with new flavors. It’s the easiest way I know of to avoid feeling like you’re eating the same meal day after day yet speed up later-meal processes.
Read more about one prep for two meals

Scallions and Radishes

These scallion pancakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, easy, and tasty. Get savory pancake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When the summer harvest hits its peak, one of my favorite meals is a batch of Zucchini Pancakes with Fresh Asian Salad. I enjoy these so much that a freeze grated zucchini so that I can make them all year. But the salad, with its freshy harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil, is really a summer thing. So I’ve been craving a combination I could enjoy earlier in the season, while my tomato plants are still seedlings.

For a quick spring variation, I hit upon the pairing of scallions and radishes. You can easily find scallions, or green onions, at the grocery store year-round, but if you grow a garden you can harvest scallions or young perennial walking onions in spring, the tops portions of full bulb onions in summer, leeks in fall, and chives from pots all year. Each can be used in this pancake recipe. To make this recipe even more accessible, I decided to keep the pancakes gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.
Learn to make Scallion Pancakes with Chickpea Flour and Lemony Radish Salad

Chive Blossoms

Chive Blossom Vinegar taught me to love infusions beautifully dress salads. Get vinegar and salad recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
We recently had a friend over for dinner and somehow ended up talking about vinegar. Well, not just talking—I was soon pulling an array of vinegars from a shelf in my tiny kitchen and explaining why I have so many, how this is just the daily stash, where I store gallon jugs for pickling and canning, and how we had unexpectedly found a mother in one jug that I was using to start my own vinegar. I may have been a little excited.

You could say that the tang of vinegar is my jam. My pantry collection typically numbers 7 bottles, which I put into everything from drinks to mac and cheese to pie crust. But because I like to mix and match flavors and keep many herbs and spices on hand, I only saw the point of infusing vinegars after I discovered a chive blossom infusion in Harry Rosenblum’s Vinegar Revival. It’s so easy to make that my recipe varies little from his instructions, but my first attempt, and probably favorite flavor, used garlic chives. The resulting flavored vinegar beautifully dresses a salad featuring fresh spring herbs.
Learn to make Chive Blossom Vinegar and Herbed Bean Salad with Fresh Mozzarella