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Archive for the ‘fish’ Category

i’m tired, and i’m phoning this one in, so to speak. i had some girlfriends for dinner the other night and we cooked shrimp, swordfish, and ono on the grill. i served it with a black rice salad, also pretty good.

 

i marinated some large shrimp in some lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, a wee bit of celery seed, lemon zest, oregano, salt, and pepper. after they had marinated for about an hour, i put them on skewers. easy.

along with the shrimp we added some swordfish steaks and ono, seasoned with just salt and pepper… threw ’em all on the hot grill…

RICE SALAD

i made a black rice salad to go with the fish… after i cooked the black rice and cooked it a bit, i added sliced red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, lots of chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and a bit of cumin. really simple.

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it’s sunday night, tomorrow is a holiday; memorial day, labor day, bastille day… one of those. i dropped my lovely daughter off at her dad’s and made dinner for myself; fish and vegetables. in a desperate attempt to not come home with ice cream, i bought a people magazine to catch up on my arnold and maria news. also, i got a star magazine; i guess it’s my idea of moral debauchery. i buy one of those magazines about twice a year, instead of doing meth or robbing a convenience store; it just breaks the monotony. or maybe i’ve just been thinking too hard and need to give my brain a break. no, probably that first thing…

so, i think maria is going to be okay. the details of arnold’s unfortunate man- slut escapades makes maria look like a fool, but she married a lug, so i’m thinking she can’t be so surprised. still, she stuck up for him and ditched her career for some years to be co-star in the govenator, and govenator II: groparama. mostly i feel for the kids, your teenage years have got to be the worst time to find out your dad’s a misogynist.

after about five minutes i dialed up netflix and watched breaking away; the author of whom i had the fortune of knowing as a kid and who had passed years back, way too young, of a heart attack. a heart attack at a ridiculously young age is what took his father as well, so he saw it coming, in spite of his obsessive cycling. anyway, he won an oscar for the screenplay and it remains my most favorite movie ever. i love it as much for the memories it congers up of steve as i do for the movie itself, which is a perfect, simple masterpiece. i was taking a picture of my dinner as it was starting up, and didn’t notice until i was converting the image in photoshop later that i happened to snap the shot just as his name appeared on the screen. crazy. i think it was dennis quaid’s break- out role, so that’s always makes it entertaining. anyway, i think of steve often and his wife becky and the fun we had all living in colorado.

so, here’s the cooking part… fish: broiler.

baby artichokes and asparagus, boiled and dressed with lemon juice, chopped fresh garlic, chopped italian, flat- leaf parsley [my staple– full of vitamins and wards off cancer], lemon zest, olive oil, pepper, and alderwood smoked salt. i have salt smoked with a different wood and it’s actually a different color… how do they do that??

 

the baby artichokes are about 2 1/2″ long… so cute. rip off the outer leaves until most of the leaves are light in color. cut the top off about 3/4″ from the end. you want to remove the parts of the leaves that would remain woody after they are cooked. trim off the end of the stem. drop them into acidulated water– water with lemon juice or a little vinegar added. it keeps them from turning brown; well, really brown.

 

the final artichoke and asparagus salad… after i took the artichokes out of the water, i dumped in the asparagus stems, cut into 2″ pieces. when they were just about tender i strained them and ran them under cold water to stop the cooking and keep the green color, then tossed them in with the artichokes and other ingredients.

the other day i had halibut on the grill and made this cucumber salad [above]. i sliced an english cucumber with a mandolin, then marinated them in red wine vinegar, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes before dinner [stir frequently]. the cucumbers become slightly soft and somewhat pickle- ish.

 

to go with the halibut i sliced a red onion from the farmers’ market into thirds length- wise, rubbed it with olive oil, and put it on the grill ahead of the fish by about 10 minutes. when i put the halibut on, rubbed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, i put it on the searing burner, skin side down, and closed the lid. i flipped the halibut after a few minutes when the skin had become completely black. the charring of the skin gave a really nice smokey quality to the fish [some may say burned, but i love it], and the skin was really yummy seared into charcoal. i also like burned toast, so… at your discretion.

happy holiday everyone!

p.s… a quick side note… i purchased some morel mushrooms from a chap on wednesday at the farmers’ market. because of circumstances barely in my control [pizza], i did not end up eating them. before you berate me for such a culinary sin, allow me to impart this news flash: when i opened the bag yesterday to quickly survey their state, they were crawling with small white worms. i’m not sure what to make of it all; i suppose there is some kind of larvae in all wild mushrooms that we unknowingly consume, but that was it for me. so sad… i have extremely fond memories of mushrooming with my family all through my childhood. now i want to drink bleach.

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spring

spring is here and although everything outside in the yard has become wildly overgrown, the thing that seems to be growing most like a weed is my daughter. somehow this little creature keeps changing, morphing, and is developing a personality quite her own, in spite of me trying to bind her into a compliant little elf. darn mother nature, her ways are so delicious and so wicked; how she manages to grow little people and tiny little lettuces at the same time is such a fantastic and brilliant mystery.

yesterday afternoon we stopped at the wednesday farmer’s market. the man from fressen bakery was there with the lamboc loaf and the fantastic pretzels. and we scored some amazing spring greens, pea pods, and morel mushrooms as well. when everything is so delightful and new in the spring, i prefer just the most simple preparations: steamed asparagus with lemon, spring greens with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and broiled fish with a little smokey paprika. we had cod this evening, but halibut is still absolutely great right now.  the baby greens were not just lettuces, they were miniature leaves of chard, kale, and rabe as well. but the best thing of all is cooking and sitting down to dinner with my shmoo… who is growing like a wild dandelion into the most lovely, spunky little person…

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so, here’s a little secret about me most people don’t know… i hate to see my meat with it’s whole body intact. i don’t like to think of my food as a living thing, i prefer to wallow in my fantasy that nothing was ever killed for my food. small cornish game hen, shrimp with heads, small fish, i just can’t do it. i know some people believe that you should be ‘in touch’ with where your food comes from, or kill it even, but anything pet- size or with a body somewhat intact gnaws at my deluded, self- serving denial. it’s probably why i don’t eat much meat and insist almost exclusively on buying my protein in non-desrcript lumps. so, imagine my surprise after asking the nice lady at the asian seafood store to yes, please, ‘cut’ my fish, when she merely disemboweled it, kinda, and sent me home with a fish face. flora was looking on so i put up as brave a face as possible as i beheaded it and attempted to filet it; i do believe one should be able to face the realities of where we get our meal; hopefully she will not be the wincer i am.

flora insisted on making the marinade. i suggested some blonde miso and kirin, but she did the rest. the marinade caramelized perfectly under the broiler; it was amazing. so here’s what she [told me she] put in it: seaweed paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, grated ginger, olive oil, and rice vinegar. it was quite thick, like a heavy vinaigrette, and we simply spread it on the filets and threw it under a hot broiler.

i made some baby bok choy to go with. they were absolutely tiny, about 2″ long. i washed them…

i put the baby bok choy in a hot skillet with olive oil and put a lid on it. the residual water from washing them created enough moisture to steam them without making them soggy. after a few minutes i removed the lid, stirred them, and returned the lid tot he pot. i did this a few times until they were tender but still firm in the light parts. i added the juice of half a lemon, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper. it was great with the salty, bold fish flavors; light and delicate, but tangy. a little olive oil would have been nice, too.

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these tomatoes came from my friend gina’s garden, perfectly ripe, juicy; the peak of summer growing. this is how my mother always prepared tomatoes in the summer, and it’s still my favorite way to eat them. they are good room-temp, but i like them a little chilled; especially when it’s 100 degrees! mom always had them with corn and something on the grill. 

tonight we had them with cod filets, rubed liberally with olive oil and smoked salt. i put them on a very hot grill and let the oil produce a flame that imparts a smoky, charred flavor i really love.

peel tomatoes [we used 2 large]. the skins peeled right off of these, but if it’s difficult, scrape the tomato firmly with the back of a knife blade; they will peel right off. slice tomatoes into a flat dish with sides. slice one clove of garlic very, very thinly, and sprinkle over tomato slices. drizzle some balsamic vinegar, and good olive oil, then add salt and a chiffonade of basil. chill for about 15 minutes or serve room temperature.

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