Some assembly required

Dinner:  May 8, 2008

Sometimes dinner is more about putting together a few items from the fridge and pantry and less about actual cooking. Last night was one of those times – I had something planned for dinner, but as the morning’s rains moved out, leaving us with a beautiful, warm evening, the meal I originally had in mind seemed too heavy. I needed a Plan B.

In addition to my outline of meals for the week, I keep a running list of ideas for quick pantry dinners in my menu planning notebook. Often this list is nothing more than combinations of ingredients that I think would work well together, and I often turn to the list when I need to come up with dinner on the fly.

We’re big fans of canned and tinned fish of all types, so we’ve always got some in the pantry. I thought of the two tins of Cole’s Petite Rainbow Trout we had on hand, and decided to go with one of the combinations listed in my little red book: trout+potatoes+mustard. I whisked together a couple of tablespoons each of mayo, creme fraiche and Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, a minced shallot, salt, pepper and a teaspoon or so of brown mustard seeds to make a tangy and lightly creamy dressing. I added a good handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley for color and an herbal kick, and then gently tossed the potatoes and trout in the dressing until coated. I mounded the salad over a big bed of baby lettuces, added a little more freshly ground pepper, and that was that – dinner in minutes, with a minimum of time, effort or fuss.

7 thoughts on “Some assembly required

  1. I’ve never saw tinned trout before, but I’m a big fan of the idea. Though this reminds me of a very similar dish that I had that used *smoked* trout. I bet that would be tasty, too!

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    We love the Cole’s tinned fishes. Their mackerel and sardines are excellent too – highly recommended if you can get your hands on them.

    Melissa – smoked trout would be awesome in this, too!

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