Hurricane Dinner

There is nothing like waiting for a hurricane.  I hope you don’t ever have to!  Listening to the weather reports can be so off-putting.  It’s coming this way, no it’s not, now it’s going this way. So we continue to wait and it is raining from some other system in the atmosphere.  My husband and I are not complacent, just listening and waiting, like everyone else around us.

Last night we invited friends over to share the waiting and pass the time together – the hurricane wait dinner. I chose to make a fish en papillote (though I used tin foil instead of parchment paper) using a Pacific rockfish, thanks to Aldi. By the way, the new Trader Joe’s down the street put up their new hurricane barricades (like several other local businesses and the theater where I usher) and closed til the all-clear is sounded next week.  Better to be prudent and prepared in this season than sorry.

All ready for the oven
Ready to close up

The fish was pretty simple. Preheat the oven to 350F. I put one filet in each packet, topped with several slices of zucchini, yellow squash, and lemon and drizzled with a very little lemon olive oil with aromatic fennel fronds tucked on either side.  Close up tightly, put on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.  And, voila, a nice main course. Our friends contributed a tasty chicken and pineapple dish.

Ready to eat!

Accompanying dishes were a kale salad (from COSTCO) and pan fried little potatoes. I sliced them in half, boiled til soft, then threw then into a pan with a little olive oil and  a sprinkling of salt. In the potato water, I blanched some lovely string beans and hard boiled an egg  to top the beans along with an aioli. 

No aioli, read below …

But something went wrong and my aioli. This morning, I pulled out my stick blender and transformed it into mayonnaise:

20 second mayo (care of Food & Wine, I think) – add 1.5 tsp. white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg, and 2 cups of oil in a tall, slender container. Lower the immersion blender into the container to the bottom. Puree for 3 minutes, then slowly pull the blender to the top until totally emulsified – quick and tasty mayo.

I realized I had no dessert and remembered having seen recipes for olive oil cake. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe – it has no dairy (remember, my husband shies away from most dairy, and I don’t keep milk in the house). The batter was kind of thick, but nonetheless, into the oven it went.  Not bad for a first try.  I topped the cake with pan-toasted and chopped pistachios nuts and served it with beautiful, seasonal berries and some crème fraiche from a previous dinner – Give it a try.

No better way to wait out the coming storm than with friends and good food. The latest word from our fearless mayor is to expect rains and winds the force of a tropic storm, maybe starting tonight. Maybe I’ll keep my hands busy  with a craft or two tomorrow.


    • Thanks for telling me, Annette. I use both and foil is easier. I love cod and salmon and find I eat less and less meat. For example a bag of pre-cooked shrimp on a big salad is 300 calories and 0 carbohydrates. This is marvelous for me as you know I am involved in this huge weight loss scheme—down 54 pounds from March and I sally forth. Ordered a scale from Amazon today. I gave up my good one because this place is too small but I have to have one. Keep up the good work and your photographs really are super. All the best, Judith


  1. Annette, your web has a lot of interesting subjects to read , I enjoyed looking the different themes , I will make some f your wonderful and easy recipes ,Happy Holidays!!!! 💕


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