My dishwasher broke last week. This is clearly a first-world problem, but it encouraged me to use fewer kitchen items for meal prep.
Every bowl, spoon, pot and pan meant more work for the cook, and that was not appealing. I had read something somewhere about sheet pan meals — the concept that the entire meal, or the bulk of it, is prepped and cooked on one rimmed pan.
With this in mind, I created these two meals, and both were quite good. The Lemon Olive Chicken did double duty as a dinner salad the following night.
If you are not rationing calories or dishes, both of these dishes would work well with rice, potatoes, quinoa or the carb of your choice. We served simple green salads both nights and were quite sated.
Jalapeno Fluke with Cumin-Roasted Green Beans
My fishmonger told me the fluke was particularly good last week, but any fillet or steak works with this recipe. I used a version of jalapeno-garlic “pickle” that I pureed. ‘Twas good, flavorful and just the right texture for this dish.
- ¾ pound fluke fillet or your favorite fish
- 2 tablespoons pureed jalapeno “pickle” (see note)
- 1 pound green beans, stems removed
- 1½ tablespoons neutral cooking oil, such as canola or vegetable
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ lime
On a rimmed sheet pan, place the fish on one side and the green beans on the other. Heat your oven to 375 degree.
Drizzle the oil over the beans and fish. Sprinkle both with salt and pepper.
Spread the jalapeno puree over the fish. Sprinkle the cumin seeds over the string beans and toss to distribute evenly.
Bake 15-20 minutes until the fish is done (flaky and opaque throughout) and the beans are cooked. When the pan is removed from the oven, squeeze the lime juice over the fish and serve.
Note: If you do not have jalapeno pickle on hand, you can make a small batch as follows: Cut the stem off a small jalapeno; remove the seeds if less heat is desired — or leave them in for more kick. Place it in a mini Cuisinart or blender with 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil. Puree until well mixed.
Lemon Olive Chicken with Roasted Carrots
I started this dish early in the morning, but don’t be impressed. It was not some long, involved, mess-making prep. I threw the marinade ingredients into a Ziploc bag, banged them with a meat tenderizer (look mom, no dirty dishes) and left them in the fridge to soak with the chicken while I worked all day. I came home, dumped the contents on the sheet pan and I was 85 percent to dinner.
The leftovers were wonderful atop a bed of green leaf lettuce lightly dressed with lemon vinaigrette. I cut up the chicken and carrots, heated them in the microwave with the pan drippings/marinade and poured it all over the salad. The hot/cold juxtaposition worked well, and the salad was flavorful and satiating. It’s also a good way to avoid using too many dishes.
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally across to create thin cutlets. (Each breast generally makes three slices.)
- ½ cup pitted black olives
- 1 teaspoon capers, with juice
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 pound long carrots, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to sprinkle on carrots
In a large Ziploc bag, place the olives, the juice and rinds of lemon, capers, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil. Bang the ingredients with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to break up the olives and garlic cloves.
Add the chicken, shake the bag to coat it thoroughly, and place in it in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Dump the contents of the Ziploc onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and spread them to make a single layer, distributing the olives and marinade evenly. Push the chicken to one side of pan.
Place the carrots in a single layer on the opposite side of the pan and toss with oil, salt and pepper.
Bake for about 45 minutes until done.