i am assisting/observing a cooking class for inner city kids. every week these kids have to confront some food they have either never seen before, or have seen but “don’t eat.” mushrooms, asparagus, butter (!), fish. it’s thrilling to see a 17 year old guy try cod en papillote for the first time. you can see him experiencing the flavors playing off his tongue. you can see him thinking “if i was wrong about fish, what else am I wrong about…”
when we were 19 or so, my friend adam pointed out my habit of saying "i’m the sort of person who…” he urged me not to use the phrase, not to pigeonhole myself all the time.
i agreed to stop saying it about myself and others, and I found that it really did have the effect of expanding my sense of self. it sounds goofy, but it worked.
every time we try something new, something we thought we could not do, or something we thought we did not like, we are expanding the possibilities of who we can be. in oaxaca i balked at eating a grasshopper, but forced myself (it wasn’t so bad actually), knowing that any limitation i put on myself is the equivalent of saying “i’m the sort of person who…..(doesn’t eat grasshoppers).”
COD EN PAPILLOTE
1 cod filet
1 handful washed and trimmed spinach
¼ cup julienned red pepper
2 thin lemon slices
1 thin pat butter
using parchment paper or tin foil.
preheat oven to 375 degrees
take paper and fold in half. imagine you are filling a beef patty (pile ingredients on one side, in a circle in the middle of the side)
lay down spinach and peppers
lay fish on top
place lemon slices and butter on top.
fold edges of paper tightly, in the manner of a beef patty (c’mon, people, beef patty!)
if using parchment, brush top with melted butter
place in oven on a cookie sheet
cook for 20 minutes
slice open top of parcel, watch the steam pour out.