Family Style Dinner
Let’s face it for most of us with a family "working from home" really means "working from the kitchen". It is where we do our laps- sink to counter, repeat. Lunges- put the dishes away; get them back out. Drawer pulls, refrigerator pulls, dishwasher pulls- throw the Fitbits away- you are getting your steps in!
The one workout that you can leave up to someone else in the family is setting the table. It is one of the nicest gestures someone can make for the cook. If you can’t hold your own in the kitchen you likely have eaten out plenty so know how a table should be set! Right?
Because I have young children, on most nights, their contribution to dinner is to set the table and they relish in the task. Setting it to their liking and determining the seating arrangement. From drawing the place cards to picking the placemats, napkins and napkin holders- it is a reflection of their personal style. And more importantly which dishes to use is always a consideration. Stripes, Lucy, the eight-armed wonder, pretty florals- the surprise keeps us on our toes.
The good news is if you teach them young, they will always know how to set the table if they don’t end up being a great cook first! For the budding chef here is an easy dish they can help with because mandolins are fun to use (always use the finger guard!). We hope you find comfort in this true New England coastal-style dinner.
I like to serve this rich fish with arugula dressed with lemon olive oil which has a nice clean peppery taste and a hit of citrus next to all the creamy goodness. For the kids- some bright spring peas.
New England Baked Fish (serves 5)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the warm milk continuing to stir as the sauce thickens (don’t forget to warm your milk first or you will get lumps). Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Add cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Grease bottom of oven-proof casserole dish with butter, layer potatoes, onions, fish that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Pour cream sauce over entire dish. Cover with foil.
- Bake for about an hour until bubbling on top.
- Remove foil and cook another ten minutes.