Tag: food

Dinner Tonight: Almond encrusted salmon

Just a simple one tonight, Almond encrusted salmon and Broccoli Rabe.

I love almonds – we usually have them in the house. And I had gone looking for lobster yesterday but only found salmon. So the idea popped into my head:

Almonds would make a nice coating for salmon.

The recipe – says it’s only good for 8oz. of salmon but I used this with 1.5lbs of salmon and it came out perfectly.

1.5lb salmon, cut into 4oz portions
2 Eggs – whites only, discard yolks
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds (Food processor does a nice consistency here)
Zest from one lemon
2Tbsp chopped parsley

Put almonds, lemon zest and parsley in food processor. Run it for a good minute or so. Get it all chopped up.

Empty into dish.

Season salmon with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour. This one gets messy.

Brush egg whites on tops of floured salmon. Then dredge salmon in almond mixture.

Over medium heat, heat two tablespoons olive oil.

Fry the salmon, almond side down, for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for 5 more minutes.

It’s delicious – simple, and being I love salmon, this rates up there with the cider/brown sugar salmon I did a couple years ago. Speaking of which I have to make that one again.

And yes, there is leftover salmon.

Food: We’re killing ourselves

I was on Netflix and I saw the following video by Jamie Oliver. In it it he presents some fairly sobering statistics on obesity in the United States.

I like it because he wasn’t afraid to name the owners of the problem, the corporations that push all this processed crap on us.

In a prior post I mentioned the grand opening of Fertile Underground. The store is six tenths of a mile from where I live.

We picked up a few items two of which we’ve now tried. The Kielbasa is excellent, and the Great Harvest bread is fantastic too. And the free range eggs are great. The best part is all of it is local, the bread and eggs are produced in North Kingstown and Johnston. I will say it isn’t inexpensive to buy local goods, but the goods are higher quality and the benefits go back into the state where I live so it’s a win.

But I have also changed the way we eat over the last decade or so. More fresh produce like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, peppers, zucchini carrots and tomatoes are worked into the diet.Also use things like lentils and other beans as well as growing my own herbs such as basil, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. I like exploring new ingredients and different ways to prepare things.

Take the boneless pork loin chop. You can brine it then sear and bake at 400F for 10 or so minutes and have dynamite chops. You can sautee it just season it with salt and pepper, perhaps a little cayenne, or then there is my favorite dish, pork chops with sour cream and dill sauce. That is absolutely delicious.

And the thing is, I don’t shop in just one place. Food comes from three market places within a mile radius.

One of the place I love is the meat market. I can get meats cut to my requirements instead of meat that’s in a plastic wrapped tray and is either too thin or too thick. You can get bacon either fatty or lean, and pretty much every part of the cow, pig, lamb, etc. I found out my favorite steaks are ribeye and top sirloin.

Part of the problem is people don’t have any natural curiosity to go out and explore. If you’re in a city, get out of the car and walk about. You’ll find lots of cool places. City or suburb, the web is your best resource from locating stores that carry the ingredients you want for a dish, to recipes.

Speaking of recipes, my absolute go-to site for those is Epicurious.

You can have a healthier diet. Another bit of advice, buy some food storage containers in 1qt and little bit lower range. Take leftovers for lunch. It is not only better for you, but cheaper in the long run.

Food: Hollandaise Sauce

So believe it or not I’d never made Hollandaise sauce. It’s a pretty simple recipe:

4 Egg Yolks

1.5Tbsp Butter

1tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Salt to taste

Cayenne to taste

Combine all ingredients in stainless steel bowl. Start a 4qt. sauce pot with 1.5″ to 2″ of water and bring to simmer. Place stainless steel bowl on top of sauce pot.

Whisk mixture, the object is not to scramble the eggs but to cook them. You’ll know they’re cooked when the color changes, it goes from a pale yellow to a richer yellow color.

I’m surprised that I never tried this before. This is awesome, it rocks on sausage patties, even scrambled eggs, or a piece of bread or toast.  It’s a nice rich sauce that really doesn’t have that sulfrous taste at all despite using four egg yolks.

Still can’t figure out poached eggs though. One tip was to use white vinegar in the water, but all I have is cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. So it’ll have to wait until I get some white vinegar. It likely has to do with the acid content.

Some more food pix

Dinner tonight, Beef Stroganoff (Or if you prefer, the vulgar Beef Strokin’ Off – aka a herd of masterbating cattle.)

Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff

Searing a pork loin roast. From here it hits a 400F oven for a while to get the internal temp up past 160F.

Searing Pork Loin Roast
Searing Pork Loin Roast

Brined Pork Chops (Loin chops actually)

Brined Loin Chops
Brined Loin Chops

Rib Eye Steaks on the Grill. The key is to season liberally. Just salt and pepper but if you really want a kick, the Montreal Steak seasoning is fantastic.

Rib Eye Steaks
Rib Eye Steaks

Tomato Salad (Hey, you gotta have vegetables right?)

Tomato Salad
Tomato Salad

And of course the tomato salad came from tomatoes I grew in my potted garden.

The Bounty
The Bounty

The Thanksgiving Day Menu

An interesting them has been kept to for each thanksgiving. The number of foods in the meal is generally matched by deserts.

E.g. this year:

The Meal:
Turkey with Gravy
Cornbread stuffing
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Potato Salad (Life with a southern guy!)
Broccoli Casserole
Butternut Squash
Home made cranberry sauce

The deserts:
Pumpkin Pie
Apple-Cranberry Pie
Berry-Berry Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Banana Pudding
Pineapple Cake

Those last three are made here at casa Truthspew. It’s funny, we get more people for the desert phase than we do for the meal. But it doesn’t mean the meal is bad, just that the deserts totally rock. This is what happens when you have two sugar freaks in the same household.

The mashed potatoes, potato salad, broccoli casserole, cheesecake, pineapple cake, and the cranberry sauce got made today. That way tomorrow it’s the turkey, stuffing and butternut squash.

The cranberry sauce gets rave reviews and it’s so damnably simple. It’s the recipe right off the package of cranberries. A cup of sugar + cup of water, bring to boil. Add cranberries, return to boil and then back the heat down a bit, cook for 10 minutes. I do use a bit of starch to stiffen it a bit.

It looks like it’ll be a good holiday once again. Keyron and I have gotten it down to a well oiled routine.

As to what we have to be thankful for, I’ll start with our health. We’re still in good shape, me at the decrepit age of 44, he at 35. I have a job that pays extremely well and takes advantage of my intimate knowledge of many things I.T., it even allows me to indulge my hobbies as well as going down to North Carolina for Christmas again this year, and perhaps a visit to Atlanta in April to see our friend Kyiesha whom I haven’t laid eyes upon in a few years.

Life is good right now. I know that it never stays this way though. So I’ll enjoy this while it lasts. Over the past few months I’ve explored new wines, new foods, and gotten to know friends a bit better.

The Beginning of the 21st Century Depression Era

The more I and my friends look at the indicators the more we come to believe that we’re heading into a depression, not a recession.

Chief among the indicators is the unemployment rate. The government would have you believe it’s only 5.6% of the working population but they don’t count those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. I’ve seen estimates that as many as 1 in 4 or 25% of the population is out of work. That’s bad! Look around your social group, I bet if you do the math you find at least that amount.

Another indicator is the price of fuel. I just went by a gas station where the price of diesel is now $4.13 a gallon. This puts it on the same level of heating oil which is going for $3.51 a gallon, in fact a little more since if you add the 48 cents in taxes to the heating oil it comes out to $3.99, so in essence they’re now charging 14 cents a gallon for the purple dye in diesel fuel. You do realize that everything we eat, wear, etc. is transported in trucks that use diesel fuel. Who do you think is going to absorb the increased fuel costs? It won’t be the producers and manufacturers that’s for sure. And I’ve already noticed supermarket prices starting to rise astronomically.

Then of course we have the Bear Stearns collapse. For that is truly the correct word since their stock went from a high of $61 a share until they were finally bought by J.P. Morgan, courtesy of our tax dollars. Expect to see one larger bank undergo the same thing. My guess is it’ll be CitiBank or Bank of America since each had huge write-offs of bad mortgage debt.

And what will the new depression look like? If you surf the web you’ll find things like the housing voucher program in Boca Raton, or the Tent Cities in New Orleans, or this one in Ontario, CA.

It is getting downright ugly. We need to rise up and fight.