Things seem so nuts and my one island of control and sanity is Sunday Supper. I’m lucky enough to have one of my sons and my mother on hand almost every Sunday and often we have friends. The world gives me a royal pain these days but preparing something for those I care about is my revenge.
This particular Sunday, I noticed that my hoja santa plant (Piper auritum, also hierba santa or acuyo) was starting to feel the effects of autumn. I use the slightly anise-flavored leaves a lot so it’s a little sad saying goodbye for the winter. I has some sole and the rest is history.
Brussel sprouts were trimmed, halved and then tossed in olive oil and garlic. I had half an onion on the way towards the compost, so I added that as well. Salt, too.
I used to hate beets, deeply. Now I love them. I think it was from an Italian that I learned to rub them with olive oil and salt and then wrap them in foil before baking for about 50 minutes at 375F. I dislike using foil but it really is the best way to make beets I find.
My son Nico made a paste of about 6 cloves of garlic, salt and some olive oil in the mortar. Kids love to pound things so if you want to get them involved, this is a good choice. We rubbed all the fish with the paste and then wrapped the pieces in cleaned hoja santa leaves, placed them on a cookie sheet and baked them for 7 minutes at 375F.
A dinner without beans? I’ve never heard of such nonsense.
I cheated a bit. I fount these Alubia Blanca in the freezer and defrosted them.
If I may, I will say that this is one of the best ways to cook fish. The leaves keep the fillets moist and add just enough flavor. The garlic ended up being rather intense but the green of the hoja santa, even when cooked, kept things fresh-tasting.
I like this technique for Brussel sprouts.
Supper was a success, there was peace on my mountain and Monday was much more tolerable.