Grilled chilli & basil pesto pomfret with salad… a no sweat dinner with some good food karma on the side

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What would you do if you had no idea on what to make for dinner?

Reach for the recipe book? Order in? Call mummy?

I prefer to look around the kitchen. Walk down to the market. Play around with possibilities. Cook up ideas on the way.

After my walk at Fort this afternoon I came home and went to Carter Road for a walk. As I sweated it out by the sea my thoughts turned to the blank canvas that was dinner.

I knew that there was some pomfret at home. Bottles of African Mama’s chilli sauces too.

Marinated fish grills seemed like a good idea. Maybe some salad on the side.

A trip Lalu’s at Pali Market to pick the needful. And then Sante’s for the cream feta that I so like. Finally a stop at Candies for bread. Garlic bread with the post 8 pm discount.

Came back home and saw that there was some basil too. A slight change in plans as there was an opportunity to make the fish flavours a bit more diverse.

Rinse. Chop. Tear. Cut. Pound. Mix. Marinate. Refrigerate. Shower. Preheat.

Pour out some Absolut. Open a can of ice tea and add to it. Switch on the TV.

Put fish into the oven. Take fish out of the oven.

Get the salad out.

Consider plating options. Swear at Masterchef Australia for opening your eyes to plating.

Photograph. Serve. Bite.

Upload photos on the net through the phone.

Finish dinner.

Simple.

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Here’s the marinade for the fish. Works for four small pomfrets. Serves 2.

Pound 6,7 peeled garlic cloves. Add 6,7 fresh basil leaves. Pound till coarsely shredded. Add 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 1 teaspoon salt and about 2 tablespoons of African Mama’s habanera pepper sauce. Mix with a spoon. If you are too lazy for the mortar and pestle then use the food processor.

Apply on fish and let it marinate for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven for ten minutes at 200 C.

Take out wire rack and place fish on it. Spoon on remaining marinade on top of fish. Put into the oven.

Grill for 200 C for 15 minutes and you are done.

And here’s the salad.

Rinse lettuce and rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes in loads of drinking water. Tear the lettuce with your hands and slice the tomatoes into two.

Take a salad bowl. Add the greens and tomatoes into it. Some raisin. Add feta about 50 g. I buy a cream feta.

Gently mix. Add some balsamic on top and put it in the fridge to chill for a bit.

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Guess you can have a pretty looking dinner without working too hard and get some intricate flavours too.

So you had the fresh minty flavours of basil combining with the heat of habanera and the sharpness of garlic. All complementing the fish. I am not a big fan of grilled fish and yet the flavours were intense enough and the meat firm and juicy enough even for me.

Which was a relief.

The salad was about the salt of feta, sweetness of raisins, the juicy tart of tomatoes, crunch of greens and of course the majesty of balsamic.

Sounds fancy.

And yet no sweat.

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