File this under women behaving bizarrely: I've actually been cooking for myself while my consort has been off in Denver. My new alternative to the burrito has been the perfect summer supper, crispy sauteed flounder and corn on the cob, both of which cook in about the same amount of time. Interestingly enough, I have had no trouble buying a tiny piece of fish at the Greenmarkets (maybe it's because I ask for just one, and they take a solo female eater seriously). But I realized early on that a $3 or $4 piece of flounder does not warrant wasting a 35-cent egg and precious panko for the crust, which inspired me to try simply dredging the fish in chickpea flour, which is one of my staples because it adds such great nutty flavor to fried foods. It turns the fish golden and crunchy so that it needs nothing more than salt and pepper, no sauce.
The corn has been more problematic, simply because I'm so accustomed to shopping for two. The other day I remembered I had a couple of ears withering in the refrigerator while I was down at Union Square buying fresh ones, and I realized I could revivify them by stewing them slowly rather than quickly steaming them. And that made me think of succotash: Add beans to corn and get a complete protein. I bought a couple of handfuls of cranberry beans, braised them until they were starting to soften, then added the kernels from two ears. The soft and soupy result was really good spooned up from a bowl but would be even more satisfying with salsa, eaten out of hand. Corn tortillas are going on the shopping list. I'm graduating from burritos to tacos as my solitary supper.
Regina Schrambling is best known for her acerbic Web site, gastropoda.com, and blog, gastriques.blogspot.com, but proudest of being a two-time refugee from The New York Times. She left the national desk in 1983 to enroll in the New York Restaurant School and was lured back as deputy editor of the Dining section, from which she resigned in 2002 to become a contract writer for the Los Angeles Times food section. She writes for magazines including Metropolitan Home, New York, Real Food, and Edible Brooklyn, as well as Slate and Salon.
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