Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Menu ideas and recipes for catfish, triggerfish, rigatoni with pork ragu, asparagus, donuts and growing spring onions from scraps

Catfish and triggerfish

I’ve been making this Thai Style Catfish recipe for years. However, instead of using regular granulated sugar like the recipe suggests, I use brown or palm sugar, and I sprinkle chopped cilantro all over the fish when it comes out of the oven. I’m not a big fan of the farmed catfish you find in supermarkets—it tastes mushy and musty to me. Find yourself a good source of local wild catfish or premium farmed catfish, you’ll taste the difference.

One of our favorite dishes growing up was Mummy Lorraine cod, even more so than Mummy Lorraine macaroni aka American chop suey—the school lunch name. My mum’s cod is still a favorite but I make it with local fish. Last week, I topped triggerfish (one of my favorites) with a mix of crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter, lemon zest and garlic salt—that’s the recipe. Bake until done, sooo good—and easy.

Menu ideas and recipes for catfish, triggerfish, rigatoni with pork ragu, asparagus, donuts and growing spring onions from scraps

Ragu and rigatoni

It’s hard to pick a highlight this week because everything was so good. Our Sunday meal took more time so maybe it deserves the crown: rigatoni with spicy Calabrese style pork ragù. I’ve made this a few times before but this week, instead of Italian sausage, I used Portuguese chourico. I forgot it was supposed to simmer for four hours, whoops. According to my notes, this wasn’t the first time I forgot. I simmered it for an hour or so and it was fantastic.


It’s asparagus season here. The asparagus in the farmers market is usually triple the price of asparagus on sale in the supermarket, but it tastes so much better, so I always treat myself to a few bunches during the season.

But this year, I’ve noticed the prices in the farmers market are much lower than years past, probably because they have more on their hands than usual because they’re not selling to restaurants. I’m not doing anything outlandish with asparagus. I simply steam the spears and served them with melted lemon butter.

Menu ideas and recipes for catfish, triggerfish, rigatoni with pork ragu, asparagus, donuts and growing spring onions from scraps


I had a hankering for donuts on Sunday morning so I made a recipe I’d been saving for a while: Ina Garten’s cinnamon baked doughnuts. You probably have everything you need to make them, except maybe two donut pans, but Amazon can quickly help you there. The recipe made more batter than I needed—not a problem since I baked the remainder in a small dish—and took longer than the prescribed 17 minutes to bake. But talk about easy!

Spring onions

Did you know you can bring spring/green onions (scallions) back to life? I’ve been doing this for years but apparently it’s now a quarantine thing. When chopping spring onions, leave about an inch or two of the white part above the root. Put them (root down) in a glass of water with the cut stem above the water. After a while, a new green stem will sprout from the cut stem.

Until next week, stay safe, stay well, take care.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Amazon affiliate links allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “In The Kitchen: 4.18.20

  1. Patrick Littel says:

    Love the topping for the fish. I will use that one, perhaps with a little pecorino. I made spare ribs for the first time in years on Sunday. I baked them at 250 for about 5 hours. They were so tender. I will make them again. Your post reminded me that sometimes cooking longer enhances the flavor as well as the tenderness of the meat.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I haven’t made ribs since the first time I used my Instant Pot — they were surprisingly good. Can’t remember if I finished them in the oven or not. Low and slow, the way to go. That’s what I always miss about cold weather — the coziness and the comfort food meals that take hours but smell so good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: