What’s Going on Today: Family morning on the beach, shell-collecting, walk to town for lunch.
Naptime Goals: Finish “The Girl Who Played with Fire” (so good!), pick up fish for dinner while Daddy stays at home with napping daughter.
Tonight’s Meal: Grouper with Artichoke Mustard Sauce, Green Beans with Toasted Almonds
We spent our first 24 hours in the Sunshine State without much sun, but now it is out in all its glory and it is fantastic! I’ve always been a beach person. Ever since I was little I have loved jumping around in the waves, collecting shells and, these days, building endless castles and moats with my daughter.
In the spirit of vacation mode I am making the posts this week short and sweet. I am sure lots of families are getting ready for spring break and I hope you don’t even bring your computers with you. I did, of course, lest you doubt being a Naptime Chef ever gets put on hold. Because, after all, as long as I’m with my family, I’m cooking!
One of our favorite parts about beach vacation is fresh seafood. Luckily, we have access to good fish year-round, but it always seems particularly appropriate and healthy to eat it when we are actually enjoying ocean views. Last night I whipped up Grouper with this delicious Artichoke-Mustard Sauce. Since I tend not to cook a lot during my daughter’s afternoon naptime while on vacation, I usually rely on some of my fabulous dinners that are easy to make right before we want to eat. (However, it is worth noting, this sauce can easily be made-ahead of time and kept in the fridge until serving.)
Making the sauce is a snap and requires four basic ingredients that can be procured almost anywhere. After I make it I drizzle it on top of broiled fish seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon. Then, I like to serve it with a green vegetable like I did here - green beans with fresh toasted almonds and a dash of olive oil with salt. The flavors in this meal are highlighted nicely by the Artichoke Mustard sauce which has a wonderful balance of tangy with a hint of sweet, and is perfect for dressing fish, chicken or pork. In fact, I bet it would excellent tossed with pasta or orzo, too. I hope this recipe treats you well on your next family vacation. Or, if you can't wait that long, made right in the comfort of your own home.
Adapted from The Uncommon Gourmet
Yields 2 cups
14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into bite size pieces
¼ c. Dijon mustard
6 T. boiling water
1/3 c. olive oil
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1. Place the mustard in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water in a slow, steady stream and whisk constantly until the water is completely incorporated.
2. Next, pour in the oil, whisking until the mixture is completely incorporated and there are no bubbles of oil left. Then, whisk in the pepper and lemon juice.
3. Finally, add the artichokes and give them a quick stir to mix it all together.
4. Serve as is, over fish, chicken or pork. Or, this sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to 10 hours before being served.
Naptime Recipe Ideas & Variations: This sauce would taste great with almost any kind of fish, consider trying it on halibut, cod, scrod or even salmon. It also works well on chicken or pork cutlets.
Naptime Stopwatch: Making this sauce takes about 8 minutes total, a perfectly reasonable amount of time for the key ingredient to your meal. Also, if you are really in a pinch you can make the sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge before you want to serve it.
Naptime Notes: This is a great sauce for children if they like mustard. I saved some for my daughter to use for dipping her chicken fingers for lunch today!