Seafood Archive

Thursday, June 21, 2007

lemon risotto

that 70s salad

I hate clutter. You might think that this means that I live a Type A sort of white glove test-passing existence, but anyone who knows me can vouch wholeheartedly that I do not. Because I’m lazy. But every so often (er, 28 days or so) I go on a cleaning bender and purge and sweep to my heart’s content. My inboxes get Bit Literate, absurdly insignificant things get vacuumed (dusty ledge around the walls of the apartment, your days are numbered) and things cluttered in this ever-expanding document called “to blog” get purged, well, onto your screens.

I’ve gotten especially behind this month, so I hope you don’t mind that I dump five ideas onto you and then move onto what I really want to talk about, this new awesome thing that rhymes with nacro and nens. Sad but true, this entry is the equivalent of bartering two more bites of broccoli at the dinner table to ensure that you can get a scoop of Breyers Neapolitan for dessert, but like the brown, white and pink-striped stuff always was, I’ll try to make it completely worth it in the end.

dizzying array of cucumbers

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

fish tacos

[Guest Post] In honor of Deb’s vacation in Playa Del Carmen, I wanted to share this recipe I learned from friends that live there for fish tacos. My first trip down there was with my BFF Victoria and about 10 guy friends. I highly recommend this arrangement: the boys would scuba dive and spear fish while we sun bathed and then the boys would bring up their catch of the day to the Mexicans at a beach front cabana cook-out place. They would turn the catch of the day into the best fish tacos I had ever had. So I made them teach me how.

In a large pan or a wok throw together some white fish (I used tilapia), fresh cilantro, a small amount of oil (I use coconut oil), chopped onion and chopped red bell or poblano pepper. Squeeze fresh lime juice all over and simmer for approx 15 minutes. I usually flip the fish often and let it break up into small pieces.

Fish Tacos

When you are done scoop onto a flour tortilla and add toppings. You can use whatever kind of cheese is your favorite, I use the sharpest cheddar I can find, fat-free sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, Santa Barbara Mango & Peach Salsa and mixed greens. Wrap up and enjoy!

Fish Tacos

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Monday, November 6, 2006

shrimp cocktail + artichoke-potato gratin

shrimp cocktail

When Alex woke me up this morning, I was certain, and not for the first time, that he was indeed smoking crack, as it couldn’t have been even 4:30 in the morning, nonetheless 8. Someone really ought to tell him he can go back to bed for a couple hours, I mused to myself, but determining this to be a too-depleting energy expense, I simple rolled over and pretended he wasn’t there. After all, if he simply fails to wake me up this morning – if it is simply not possible – he’ll eventually have to give up and I will be able to sleep uninterrupted, forever. I am nothing if not the height of rationality in the morning.

Anyway, it didn’t work, I am sleepy and now here we are, aren’t we? Let’s step back to a more pleasant time, say, yesterday evening when this fatigue was incurred. It was a good cause, and I have no regrets, most importantly, none of the kitchen bounty variety. All of my obsessive prepping for the dinner for ten eight six, a sly excuse for what was really a chair-warming party, paid off. Even better, I cooked nothing I wouldn’t make again, thus breaking the cardinal party-planning rule of never auditioning new recipes on dinner guests did not bite me in the tush afterall. Having such fine and well-tested resources as Leite’s Culinaria and Cook’s Illustrated, of course, helped too.

our finest meats and cheeses

Recipe the first was for shrimp cocktail. Seeing as my husband loves cocktail sauce almost as much as he likes pickles – “I would eat anything dipped in it,” he says with not a hint of joking – when I saw that the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook had a sinfully easy recipe for it, I couldn’t resist. Appetizers should always be as simple as opening a few bottles and mixing with a spoon. As for the accompanying herb-poached shrimp, I can’t say with any certainty that the flavors of the stock get imparted in the shrimp. I’d probably just splash the wine, lemon and maybe a garlic clove in the water next time, saving a step or two. And also? We got such a giggle out of the specification of four peppercorns, and even more out of the scandalous act of tossing in seven, and not five, coriander seeds. We’re all rebel yell, aren’t we?

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Sunday, September 3, 2006

silky cauliflower soup

silky cauliflower soup

Look, I’m not going to call Friday night’s dinner a disaster. For one, my husband would jump its undeserving defense and hey, nobody went to bed hungry, did they? But, I hated it. It was a tremendous amount of labor for a just shy of average outcome, none of the dishes lived up to my taste bud’s anticipation of them and even looking at the photos as well as the ample leftovers the next morning, ugh, I just wanted it all to go away. We can’t be great cooks every night, can we? I suppose some disappointing baigan bharta, oily cauliflower with onions and tomatoes and lackluster naan are small prices to pay for lucking out round one with garlic soups and sable cookies.

Because I’m just not the kind of person who handles disappointment well, or without immediately seeking out karmic retribution, on a bleary, rainy Saturday night when after a day of running exhausting errands, my husband and I lacked motivation to do anything but take in some back-episodes of The Wire, I cooked some foods that never fail me.

caesar salad with garlic-rubbed croutons

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

moules à la marinière

moules mariniere

In the two years since I’ve rejoined the meat-eating world after a 15-year absence, I’ve re-immersed in, I’d like to think, a considerable range of flesh. There’s been more chicken than you can shake a drumstick at (sorry, couldn’t resist), turkey, pork, beef and even some new things at tablecloth-ed restaurants like duck and quail. But, I’ve sorely lacked in my embracing of les fruit de la mer and this constantly mocks me on my journey to become the kind of eater that embraces everything edible. (I heard Ruth Reichl say a few weeks ago that the only food she simply will not eat is honey. Just one thing! And it’s honey!)

My issues with seafood are more than an aversion; they’re a reaction. It’s the type of nonsensical thing better explained in a Psychology 101 textbook than a food blog, but it basically unravels like this: I see a spectacular presentation of seafood on a menu or my husband’s plate and I yearn for it, but when a single fork-speared bite gets within an inch of my mouth, I go into bloodhound mode, finding some otherwise undetectable unpalatable “fishiness” and I abruptly panic. It’s such a strong, specific and illogical reaction – to not take a bite of something that appeals to you – I’ve said to my husband (an avid eater of smoked, boiled, broiled, breaded, fried, poached, shelled and de-shelled seafood of every color and shape) on more than one occasion that I wish I could just go to a hypnotist to help me “snap out of it.” He thinks I am kidding; I am not. Never doubt a woman quoting Moonstruck.

baked pommes frites

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