We needed a quick (and preferably healthy) dinner last night, and I could not stand the thought of eating chicken for another meal in a row… We decided on Mahi Mahi (purchased on sale at Harris Teeter) with multicolored fingerling potatoes and Asparagus. I love this menu because all the items can roast together (you just put them in the oven at different times!).
To make this delicious and easy dinner – start with whatever kind of starch and veggie combo you like. Think parsnips or sun-chokes instead of potatoes, tomatoes or cauliflower instead of asparagus, chicken or pork instead of fish. The starch can be substituted for rice or pasta of course…
Prep the starch (potatoes in this case) in such a way that it will cook quickly and evenly. This means roughly cutting it into similar size pieces. Then, marinate the starch and the veggie with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever herbs/spices tie the theme of the dinner together. The spices can be tailored to any cuisine… adding an Asian flair to dinner? Add soy, ginger, and sesame oil (hot pepper would be good too!) . Southwestern? Cumin, cilantro, chile powder or paprika would do nicely…
Last night, I added garlic and thyme to the potatoes and a squeeze of lemon to the asparagus, then let them sit for a few minutes as the oven pre-heated.
When roasting more than one dish, you want to put the longest cooking item in the oven first, the shortest cooking item last… For me the longest cooking item was the potatoes. 10-15 minutes later I added the asparagus, and a few minutes after that I added the fish to the broiler. (I broiled the fish in the toaster oven, but you can place the potatoes and veggies on the lowest rack in the oven to keep them warm while the fish – or other protein – sits on the top rack to broil)
If you have done it right, all three components will be finished at the same time 🙂 It may take a little practice to get the timing right, but it is well worth the effort. If anything is done early, just pull it out of the oven!
To finish, I added another squeeze of lemon to the fish and asparagus to add a little brightness to the plate.
This type of roast dinner is infinity customizable and works with a wide variety of ingredients. I love the idea of using a few really fresh ingredients and some simple techniques to create a wonderful meal. I hope you give the easy roast dinner a try!