it's all good - fish roasted in salt, thai style

Y'all. It is HOT. Hotlanta is for real. I'm not kidding you, when I first got in my car earlier today it said 112 degrees. 

My car also does this really cute thing where if it is in a standstill spot for too long and it is hot outside, it starts to overheat and the AC just shuts off. So that means that when I'm sitting in traffic (which is all the time in Atlanta) or at a light for too long, and it's 98 freakin' degrees out, my AC shuts off. So I have to roll down the windows and just sit there to sweat and try not to pass out and await my inevitable perish. SO fun.

To beat the heat I recommend a few things:

-drink lots of water
-drink lots of wine and/or other adult beverages in air conditioned rooms
-don't leave your house
-don't drive or ride in my car
-stay away from any form of heat like grills or the oven

This recipe I tried out broke a couple of these rules...there was some grilling and oven work involved. But it is SO insanely yummy and refreshing it will be worth it. 

I got the "It's All Good" cookbook a couple years ago and to be totally honest, I haven't made anything out of it yet. I really LOVE and enjoy collecting cookbooks and then every recipe I make comes off the internet. Does anyone else have that problem? I blame Pinterest.

Thank you once again, Instagram for being helpful in my search of how long ago I purchased this cookbook. 120 weeks. That is 27 months. Two years and 3 months ago I got this cookbook, and I have finally completed the main recipe I had been DYING to try.

"Fish Roasted in Salt, Thai Style" 

Another cookbook confession: I tend to only try recipes that come with a picture. Visual learner issues, I supposed. The images of this recipe is really what drew me to it. It looked beautiful, challenging and absolutely delicious. She suggests pairing it with "Asian Greens with Garlic, Ginger, and Fish Sauce" and "Grilled Eggplant" but I subbed out the eggplant for the "Grilled Asparagus and Portobellos with Shallot and Soy Dressing". 

These black sesame seeds are awesome and I'm already looking up more things to try with them.

MMM yass. After grilling the veggies you toss them in a shallot dressing and vinegars. I told myself I was going to follow this recipe to a T, but I could not find xylitol. I'm sure that Gwyneth uses this because it is Gwyneth Paltrow after all, and she uses a fancy sugar alcohol. I, however, just tossed in a little brown sugar instead :) As far as the Ume Plum vinegar she uses, I'm not sure if I got the same brand/kind she was referring to. I went to my favorite farmer's market and walked down the Japanese aisle looking for this. Every single product was in Japanese. I miraculously found one that had the word "plum" on the back and just went with it.  

Lemme yell ya somethin'....Bok Choy is my jam. Especially baby Bok Choy. It is so easy to cook and always delicious. The recipe in this cookbook also has an amazzzing sauce it cooks in.

Fresh ginger, garlic, and fish sauce. Yes.

Alright, so let's get down to the main star of this meal. I have never ever dealt with a whole fish so this was intimidating. Also a whole different ball game when the meal you are about to eat has a face...they are pretty cute after all. Sorry fishies. I got these from Buford Farmer's Market (my obsession). The fish market is my favorite part. It's crowded, loud, chaotic, overwhelming, smelly, and I love every second of it.

Don't fresh herbs just make you happy? Just another reason I was drawn to this recipe. The fish is stuffed with basil, Italian parsley, cilantro, lime and red chilies (I couldn't find red chilies, I used a red chili sauce I had).

Next you mix basically an entire 3lb box of coarse sea salt with water to make almost like a salt paste. Gwyneth explains that the consistency should be "sand-castle worthy". After a little lime juice and soy on top, you completely cover the fish in this salt mix. 

My attempt of being just like Gwyneth. Taken by my extremely lovely and talented roommate, Brooke.

Now here is where things get interesting. I've said this before and I will say it again. COOKING IS NOT ALWAYS PRETTY. When the fish comes out, you clean off the salt, peel of the skin, and fillet the fish. Which, I will tell you, is NOT the easiest task having never filleted a fish before.

This is real life, people. This is what you're left with. A yummy yummy mess. Brooke and I had a pretty good laugh about what my fish looked like in comparison to Gwyneth's. 

Pretty or not pretty, this fish was SO flavorful. Sometimes the messiest meals leave the best taste in your mouth.

Thank goodness I have Brooke to be my guinea pig for meals (and help to take amazing photos).

As much as I would love to give you a step by step of these recipes, I highly encourage you to get this cookbook. It's packed full of meals made with fresh ingredients that help beat this summer heat. Buy it here.

Be safe out there in the pits of Hell. Please hope that I don't pass out in my car.