The major problem I have in cooking for one person is scaling recipes, especially those using unfamiliar spices or those that call for a pinch of something. I have both problems scaling Indian Foods which are new to me yet are well worth my interest when it comes to flavor. I have been inspired by Monica at the Spice Diary and have been a student of hers for almost two years. Some of the things I have noticed about her recipes are: Indian spices are unique and it is difficult to make substitutes; because of this, don’t even try a recipe unless you have all the ingredients; and don’t second guess the amount Monica uses until you are totally comfortable with the genera.
Initially, I decided to make her recipes using the recommended amounts for the spice blends (masala), marinades and sauces and just reduce the amount of meat and potatoes. Even though I hate to waste anything, I figured if I were to never use the spices again, making too much sauce was really not much of a waste. Eventually, I figured out that I was a real fan of Monica’s cooking and beginning to be a fan of her style of Indian cooking, but still, I was not familiar enough with the spices she used to know where I could scale back. I didn’t want to cook a pound of Chicken for three meals instead of 5 ounces of meat so there was always sauce left over.
Eventually the same solution evolved for all of the Italian, Caribbean and Indian Meals I make and that is rebuilding the sauce into an entirely different meal. Over the next few posts, I will present an example of each type of meal being rebuilt into something entirely different without voiding the concept of portion control or being tempted by leftovers.
The Spicy Fish and Garbanzo Beans is a remake of Monica’s Spicy Chicken Previously Published on February 27. Now I know that that meal was prepared about February 10th because of the flowers with this meal pictured above. I had purchased a dozen carnations on February 13, and gave away half to women I knew in semi random acts of kindness. A couple of nights before, I had a grilled fish and ate half. If you check the Spicy Chicken Recipe closely, you will find about 12 ounces of seasoning and sauce for the two small thighs I ate.
Recipe (if you want to call it that):
I saved the sauce left over from Monica’s Spicy Chicken. I added the deboaned half of the fish to the sauce. I cooked a half cup of garbanzo beans (1 drained can) and added that to the fish and the sauce. Warm in the coffeepot for two hours, serve with flowers and enjoy.
The next day was Valentines and I gave away half of the flowers I had left to friends at the Palms Resort and kept the rest.
Take note, the bottle to the left of the wine glass is local West Indian Hot Sauce. Talk about cross cultural confusion? Even though I added hot pepper to the original recipe, I wanted just a little more heat with this meal.