Beyond My Skill Level: John's Citrus Fish, Savoy Cabbage and Couscous

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" is the theme of this entry. I attempted (key word: attempted) to make John's Citrus Fish, Savoy Cabbage and Couscous. Now, I have a good history with recipes from Rachael's husband John (such as John's Fish). Not anymore. This one just simply exceeded my skill level and, for some reason, my attention span. When I started making it and continued to ruin it, I just had to take pictures to share. According to Every Day with Rachael Ray, the recipe is supposed to turn out like this:

Let's begin with the first step of the recipe: the savoy cabbage. This is what my first attempt looked like. Brace yourself, it isn't pretty:

Umm, yeah. Not so good. I burned it pretty badly because I just didn't pay attention. Luckily, the recipe only calls for 1/2 head cabbage, so I had another half to try again. It ended up turning out pretty darn well after my second attempt.

Okay, then on to the fish. To make the sauce, you have to section oranges. I remembered on the 30 Minute Meals episode she said to cut sections away from the membrane that separates the orange pieces. So, here's what my first attempt looked like (after I pushed it overboard off my Rachael Ray Regulation Sized cutting board):

Then I remembered that she said to cut the skin off the orange in the same way you would a cantaloupe, so I tried again (luckily I bought two oranges):

So, I learned something, which is part of the fun for cooking for me. I wasn't in the mood for cous cous, so I made brown rice (Minute Rice, of course, but I prefer the Uncle Ben's brand) and stirred the peas and chives into it when I added the rice.

So here is the finished product and despite not being very pretty, it actually tasted pretty darn good. I have to figure out how to prevent the oranges from breaking apart. Maybe I left them in the pan too long? Anywho, here it is:

Now you may be wondering how I can have such a good attitude about such a terrible cooking experience. Well, Husband is out of town, so I was only cooking for myself (and I can always eat popcorn for dinner if necessary). And, I had this to look forward to, since I had to open it for the sauce that goes on the fish (and it was 6 bucks off at Safeway!):

Learning how to cook is a process and while I often take steps forward, every once in awhile I have to take a step backwards too!



  1. That's the spirit! It's all about what you learn ... and at least it tasted good! This idea caught my attention once: Well of COURSE a restaurant's dish is perfect: a chef makes it 20 times a night! Wouldn't you be good at something you did 20 times in a night, 5 nights a week, 52 weeks a year?

  2. Thank you Alanna! I had never thought of it that way, but it is too true. And for me, part of the fun of cooking is the process, not just the results. I love picking out the recipes, making a list, going to the store and checking each thing off. The food at the end is an added bonus.


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