Monday, October 13, 2008

Goldfish Goodbye

My nephew IV recently got three goldfish that he named Tri, Sin and Cherrie. In order to try and cut his devastation off at the pass, his mom explained to him several times that they would most certainly not live long because stereotypically that is what gold fish do. Well true to form, one if his new buddies didn't even make it through the first night. My brother informed his wife that Tri, Sin or Cherrie had kicked the bucket as the family slept. IV's mom, Allison, was sure that IV would handle the news well since she had already explained to him (with much drama) that this was going to happen. When IV awoke his mom reminded him that he needed to say goodbye to his goldfish for the day. As IV peered his pale blue eyes over the edge of his fish bowl he said, "Bye Bye, see ya - wait a minute, something is wrong here, that fish is just lying on the bottom! Ohhh I know what happened, it got dead!!!" His mom explained to him that he needed to get the net and remove the deceased fish and flush him down the toilet. IV did so and Allison was fully expecting a big ceremonious farewell somewhat similar to the Cosby episode when their pet goldfish died. Much to her surprise, IV dumped the fish in the toilet bowl, dropped his pants and relieved himself as he does every morning before school. I guess you can say that the child was less than disturbed by the passing of his new pet.

As I told Forrest this story as it had been relayed to me, he couldn't stop laughing. From what I hear Forrest was quite the mischievous youngster and he has a special place in is heart for my nephews when they do things that remind him of his early years. In order to keep Forrest's spirits up after his daily dose of family stories, I made him one of his favorite meals that he could eat all week long.

Zucchini, Sausage, and Feta Casserole
Modified from Cooking Light 2007

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
8 ounces chicken sausage ( I used Chicken Andouille)
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (I used 4 oz)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 slices of toasted wheat bread

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook until browned.

Remove from pan. Heat oil in pan. Add zucchini, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and zucchini begins to brown, stirring occasionally.

Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute.

Combine zucchini mixture, sausage,

pasta and feta cheese in a large bowl; toss well.

Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. I also put two pieces of toasted wheat bread in the food processor to make bread crumbs and added them on top with the cheese for some extra texture.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

This meal is amazing. I have made it several times and the flavor is great. It doesn't hurt that it is somewhat of a light pasta dish. I strongly suggest using andouille sausage as I did. The robust flavor of the sausage add a whole layer of flavor and the feta cheese rounds it out perfectly. Besides the great taste this is also an easy meal to throw together on a weeknight.

5 comments:

Allison aka Fish Killer said...

Bizzy, I am so honored that you wrote about Iv's short lived pet!! I almost cried (surprise, surprise)! Iv looked on while I read the blog and when asked what he thought about your story he said "Bizzy cooked my fish??". I had to explain to him that the food in the pictures were not fish!
BTW: We are down to only one fish! Give ya one guess who is still kickin'!!

Gabriela said...

Awww.....Kudoes to Allison for properly anticipating the early demise of the pet goldfish and preparing IV ofr the inevitable. Along the same vein, a few years ago we got our daughter a goldfish and explained to her that the life span of goldfish was 1 day. Well, 8 years later, our goldfish is still alive and bigger than ever. The goldfish that wouldn't die. I wonder if IV would be interested in trading golfdfish with us?

Angie said...

Oooh, this looks so good! And kudos to Allison for preparing her son for what was about to happen. Smart mom.

TamVan said...

Does anyone know how many servings this recipe is? I cook for 10 people and am wondering. Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

TamVan,

According to the original recipe this meal serves 6. I would double the recipe for 10. Good Luck!

Elizabeth