Monday, July 09, 2007

At least all the lemonade is gone

Yesterday we had 34 people over at the house, with adults (defined in the usual way) barely outnumbering children, 18 to 16. That's a lot of kids, especially considering that our son Timothy, at 9, was the oldest kid in the house. As Jonah (6) said at one point, "It's raining babies!"

The event was, ostensibly, Sams' fourth birthday party. But you invite some family, and then some others, and then a friend or two, and before you know it you've got kids everywhere, lovingly disassembling your DVD collection, changing the incoming voice message on your phone, leaving cans of Sprite and lemonade with only one sip taken from them on every horizontal surface . . .

In a word, utter chaos.

And I loved it. Thanks to all who came.

Here's the recipe for the fish rub, for those who asked. It's from this month's Blueprint magazine:

  • 2 lbs fish fillet. - I used tilapia, but any whitefish will do. The original recipe recommended striped bass or red snapper (very tasty!)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano - I didn't have any dried stuff, so I used about 2 Tbsp of fresh stuff from our "herb garden" (actually a galvanized tub on our front porch
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coarse salt - Shhh. Don't tell, but I used regular salt and nobody died.
  • 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil - Um. I used whatever Olive Oil my wife brought home from the store last time. Again, nobody died.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro - I used less, but I hate too much cilantro
Mix the spices, add the cilantro and olive oil to make a paste, then rub onto both sides of the fish. I didn't rub it in with my hands (fish hands! oh no!) and used a brush instead. If you're grilling the fish, leave the skin on one side. We baked it and used skinless fillets.

Refrigerate for 30 mintues to 2 hours. I didn't time ours yesterday, but we left the fish in the fridge while I put the rub on the chicken, sliced a cabbage, hollered at my kids, started the chimney starter on the grill, drank a Coke, diced 2 or 3 tomatoes, and yelled "Hello!" out the front door as the first guests arrived. Let's call it an hour and a half.

To cook the fish, you can grill it (5 minutes per side) or broil it in the oven. We broiled it, and I have no idea for how long. When I can smell what's in the oven, I check it. I keep checking it until it's done, then I take it out. Sorry, not to be able to help much there.

Let the fish cool, and then flake it off for tacos. I had a good-sized third of a fillet yesterday on its own and it was excellent. Enjoy.


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