fbpx

Creamy Carrot and Pea Rice, Roasted Flounder and Asparagus: Cooking For Two

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-32
Cooking for two is not as easy as it sounds. When I was an enthusiastic new wife, I had such a hard time scaling down recipes to serve just my husband and myself, since I was used to cooking for 8. Making a tiny portion of soup looked so wrong, so we would be stuck eating the same meal three days in a row until be both couldn’t look at it anymore. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem. Not only are there many households with only two people, there are many who have graduated to Cooking For Two when becoming empty nesters.

Most recipes online and in cookbooks are created to serve at least 4. Yes, there are some foods that taste great as leftovers, but there are some that no matter what you do, will still taste dry and just not have that fresh taste and texture the next day.

Cooking for two shouldn’t be such a challenge. Fish is a perfect option for a wonderful meal for two people to share. The creamy rice sort of reminds me of a risotto, or a savory rice “kasha”. The fish and asparagus cook so quickly in the oven and take just about the same amount of time to cook. This is also perfect for cooking for two, since you will only need one small saucepan and one baking sheet for the entire meal. The less dishes to wash and the less cooking steps involved, the better. It looks and feels so elegant, it would be a perfect option for a romantic date night. 

Ingredients:

Creamy Carrot and Pea Rice:

1/2 Tablespoon butter or oil

1 small onion, minced

1 carrot, peeled and grated or cut into thin matchsticks

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup arborio rice or any other short grain rice

1 3/4 – 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, warm

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more, depending on how much you like it)

1/3 cup frozen baby peas

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Asparagus:

1 lb asparagus

1/2 – 1 Tablespoon olive oil

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Flounder:

2-4 flounder fillets

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

fresh herbs, minced, to garnish

Instructions:

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-17Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the bottom rack of the oven.

Start with the Creamy Carrot and Pea Rice first.

Heat the butter or oil in a small, oven safe pot or sauté pan. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium low heat for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent. Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-20Add the rice and stir it so it gets well coated in the butter/oil and becomes fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-22Pour in the warm broth, bring to a boil. Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-23Cover the pot and put it into the preheated oven. The rice with take 15-20 minutes to cook. It really depends on your oven and the type of rice you are using. I recommend checking the rice at least 5 minutes earlier, just in case it cooks quicker. Since we are using short grain rice here, it will have a creamy consistency, since there is more starch in it than the long grain rice. You can use the long grain or medium grain rice too, it will have a different consistency though.

Asparagus and Flounder:

While the rice is cooking, leave the large rimmed baking sheet in there. It needs to be scaldingly hot, so that the asparagus and flounder will start to immediately sizzle and cook as soon as you put them onto the pan.

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-24Snap the hard ends off the asparagus. If you bend them back, they snap off easily. You can do them one at a time, or line them up on a cutting board with the first asparagus that you snapped as a guide and cut across. The ends are very tough and fibrous, so you want to get rid of them.

Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-19Season the flounder on both sides with salt and pepper, spread out the minced garlic with your fingers, drizzle with olive oil, coating the fillets on both side, and squeeze half of the lemon on the fish, saving the other half to serve with the fish when it’s cooked. Set aside as well.

You can use any other fish fillets that you like. Thin fillets like flounder cook very quickly, if you use thicker fillets, you will need to roast them longer. If your fillets are larger, you will only need to cook two of them, instead of four. Since mine were pretty small, I made two fillets per person.

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-18When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, place the asparagus and the flounder on the hot baking sheet. You will hear it sizzle right away. Return it to the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Take the rice out of the oven. Turn on the broiler to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and move the oven rack to the highest shelf. Broil for 5 minutes.

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-25While the flounder and asparagus are finishing cooking, mix the rice. Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-26If it’s not as creamy as you like, you can add a splash of cream or warm broth. Add Parmesan cheese, frozen peas and parsley. Mix to combine.

Having frozen peas on hand is awesome. I always have a bag in my freezer. I add them frozen to rice, pasta or soup and they give such a fresh taste to whatever you’re cooking. Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-27

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-28

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-29Serve the flounder with freshly squeezed lemon juice and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve the risotto, flounder and asparagus together.

Creamy Rice, Flounder and Asparagus-1-31What are your favorite recipes when you’re cooking for two and you don’t want leftovers? I would love to hear your ideas:).

Carrot and Pea Risotto, Broiled Flounder and Roasted Asparagus: Cooking For Two
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Creamy Carrot and Pea Rice:
  • ½ Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated or cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • 1¾ - 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, warm
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (or more, depending on how much you like it)
  • ⅓ cup frozen baby peas
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Asparagus:
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Flounder:
  • 2-4 flounder fillets
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, mince
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs, minced, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the bottom rack of the oven.
Start with the Creamy Carrot and Pea Rice first.
  1. Heat the butter or oil in a small, oven safe pot or sauté pan. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium low heat for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent.
  2. Add the rice and stir it so it gets well coated in the butter/oil and becomes fragrant, about 2- 3 minutes. Pour in the warm broth, bring to a boil.
  3. Cover the pot and put it into the preheated oven. The rice with take 15-20 minutes to cook.
Asparagus and Flounder:
  1. While the risotto is cooking, leave the large rimmed baking sheet in there. It needs to be scaldingly hot, so that the asparagus and flounder will start to immediately sizzle and cook as soon as you put them onto the pan.
  2. Snap the hard ends off the asparagus. If you bend them back, they snap off easily. You can do them one at a time, or line them up on a cutting board with the first asparagus that you snapped as a guide and cut across. The ends are very tough and fibrous, so you want to get rid of them.
  3. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Season the flounder on both sides with salt and pepper, spread out the minced garlic with your fingers, drizzle with olive oil, coating the fillets on both side, and squeeze half of the lemon on the fish, saving the other half to serve with the fish when it's cooked. Set aside as well.
  5. When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, place the asparagus and the flounder on the hot baking sheet. You will hear them sizzle right away.
  6. Take the rice out of the oven.
  7. Turn on the broiler to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and move the oven rack to the highest shelf. Broil for 5 minutes.
  8. While the flounder and asparagus are finishing cooking, mix the rice. If it's not as creamy as you like, you can add a splash of cream or warm broth. Add Parmesan cheese, frozen peas and parsley. Mix to combine.
  9. Serve the flounder with freshly squeezed lemon juice and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve the rice, flounder and asparagus together.

4 Comments

  • Vitaliya

    This is a perfect recipe!!! I can’t wait to make this for dinner!! I have the same issue you used to have, sometime Valik and I are stuck eating the same food like 3 days!! Lol!! Thank you for your consistent amazing recipes!!

  • Mary

    Now that’s quick and awesome !
    Love the idea finishing the rice in the oven , will try this week, thanks for sharing your recipe

  • Tallya

    So beautiful! I love to have good frozen veggies on hand as well. I recently discovered that my 1 year old loves peas so I place some frozen ones in water, drain once they thaw, and she enjoys putting the little “balls” into her little mouth

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.