Reality Bites


Y’all know that Mr. and I rarely eat red meat. Occasionally, we’ll make good ol’ cheeseburgers instead of turkey burgers. But, that’s about it. Yesterday, around 5:00, I had a sudden craving for a Philly cheesesteak. Thin slices of tender beef, topped with caramelized peppers and onions (just say NO to mushrooms.) A roll that is soft in the center, with a crunchy, chewy crust. All topped off with a waterfall of ooey, gooey, salty cheesy deliciousness! Doesn’t that sound amazing? So, guess what I made for dinner? Fish.

It’s what I was planning on making; I had already gone to the grocery store for everything to make this recipe. And, as I started putting things together, I completely forgot about that cheesesteak. I just knew it was going to be delicious. Guys, this recipe is actually pretty effortless. It may seem like a lot at first, because everything cooks in “stages,” but it’s one of those recipes that, once you make it as written, you can make it on your own easily the next time. You may not think you like fennel, but trust me, you will love it in this dish. It cooks down with the onions, and they become sweet and caramelized. The tomatoes break down to perfect juiciness. And, those kalamata olives provide the perfect pop of salty, briny goodness. I didn’t add the orange zest because the store didn’t have any oranges—seriously, we live in Southern California, how is it possible that a chain grocery store has. No. Oranges?!?!?!!—but I can see how the brightness of that zest really would have enhanced this meal. Oh, another thing I unintentionally “changed” about the recipe was that I accidentally spilled some of the juice from the olives into the pot as I was scooping them out. I’ll be sure to do that next time, too. We had it with a bold bottle of cabernet sauvignon, which really rounded out this Mediterranean Diet meal. The author suggests serving it over rice or a grain, but I recommend getting some good, crusty bread, and just tearing off chunks to sop up all of that succulent sauce. It’s a great dish for summer because it all cooks on the stovetop (I used my Dutch oven,) and it’s hearty, yet light at the same time. Oh, and if you’re wondering how Mr. liked it, he said it was restaurant-quality…


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