While S and I love nothing more than spending a full day working on prepping an amazing meal, the reality of our lives is that on most weekdays, we get home late, grab a quick dinner and then spend another couple of hours working before finally turning in. And I don’t think we’re alone. I think for many couples like us — couples who work together and who work for themselves — time becomes our most precious commodity. Simple, and once regular, pleasures like cooking a meal together or taking the day off to hang out become special events.
It’s become important then to learn to cook amazing meals in as little time as possible. When I was in university, one of my very first and still favourite cookbooks was Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food. This amazing little cookbook offers 350 recipes for great dishes, all of which can be made in under 30 minutes. But these days, even 30 minutes is a pretty long time.
One of our current favourite dishes is grilled Sanma. Sanma, for those of you unlucky enough not to have had one, is also known as Pacific Saury or mackeral pike. It is a long skinny fish with delicious flesh and skin. The great thing about Sanma is when fresh, you don’t need to do much to it. Just sprinkle a little salt, drizzle a little olive oil and cook it under a hot grill for a few minutes. It’s done when the skin starts to blister, the eyes turn white and pop out a little and your kitchen starts to fill with a lovely, cooked fish aroma (well, I like the smell… you might not).
The best thing is that the whole meal takes just 5-10 minutes to prep and cook. And while one person is looking after the fish, the other can throw together a quick salad or pop open a bottle of wine.
So what’s your favourite ultra-quick meal?