January 28, 2013

Fish On Mondays


Say what you will about the internet.

It's turning our kids' minds to mush. It's replaced intellectual curiosity with The Google. It will be the end of books and libraries and literacy.

Well OK, maybe so, but let's set those trifling realities aside for a moment and look at the good side.

This looks pretty good, doesn't it?




Now, those who read my scribblings here and in the comments pages of the blogs I frequent will probably have noticed that I shy away from most discussions about cooking. It's not that I don't like the fruits of cooking, or the meats of cooking, or the seafood and desserts of cooking. It's just that I've never been much of a cook myself.

Discussions of things like beer basil butter generally leave me bewitched, bothered, and bewildered.

I am usually left in charge of charcoal grilling and have developed some survival skills there, but that occurs safely al fresco. In our kitchen proper, I'm strictly the sous chef. I do what I'm told and try to stay out from underfoot.

But, with the advent of the internet, that may be starting to change.

Over the weekend, our head chef and menu planner was looking for something different to do with salmon. A few months ago, she discovered a YouTube video on how to make homemade pizza and that has worked out well for us. So, this time, instead of scouring her collection of cookbooks, she headed straight for the interwebs.

The cool thing is that you don't need to be a culinary genius with decades of experience. On YouTube, helpful practiced chefs, both amateur and pro, walk you through all the perilous steps of preparation, just like Julia Child. But here, you can pause, rewind, and replay as many times as necessary so you can get the crucial details right without setting fire to the kitchen. And with the iPad, the video is right there next to your cooktop. Voila! Voici! Or voiever you want.

The video we found for pan-seared salmon over sauteed spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and tomatoes was done by an enterprising Jersey girl named Laura Vitale, who seems to have mastered the art of marketing herself on the interwebs rather well. I don't know what professional chefs would make of her, but her recipe - and more importantly her video - worked out superbly for us.



As usual, my wife did most of the heavy cooking, but, when I wasn't staring at where Laura was wearing her microphone, I learned a lot, too. I think I'm starting to gain the confidence to take on stuff like this, myself.

I even added a secret ingredient to Ms. Vitale's recipe.

Ten blogging points to the first one who spots it in the photo at the top of this post.


22 comments:

  1. That's what I like about your comments, Tillerman.

    They are so often succinct and yet somehow Zen-like in their complexity, open to interpretation on many different levels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did the nuts work along with the other ingredients?

      Delete
    2. That's what I like about your replies to my comments, O Docker. They are often so Zen-like in their complexity, open to interpretation on so many different levels, that I have no idea what you are trying to say.

      Was I right or not?

      And what can I get in exchange for ten blogging points?

      Delete
    3. I have to say, I'm thinking salmon tonight....BTW, did you crisp the skin? So good that way.

      Delete
    4. Right you are, Baydog, although I think I may have to split the blogging points between you and Tillerman, who was first but perhaps a bit too succinct.

      The peanuts were an afterthought. I was munching on some while the dish was being plated and I thought - hmm, I've had nuts on fish and I wonder if they would work here, so in they went. I think next time we'll chop them up and rub into the fish before searing. What do you think?

      I think peanuts are usually used in Cajun or Chinese dishes and this dish probably is more mediterranean in origin. Ms. Vitale claims Italian roots, although if you listen very carefully, there are some subtle Jersey nuances in her inflections. And in her eye makeup.

      Tillerman, it is better to consider what you may have learned from this journey rather than whether you were right or wrong.


      Delete
    5. I've gone with Tilapia instead. Photos to come.

      Delete
  2. I was going to say peanuts but that would have been 3 more letters and I'm trying to be more succinct.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, food. Wait a second, you've given me a new topic for my blog, mind mush monday!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is absolutely the most delicious picture I have ever seen on O Dock-- and I"m not talking about Laura. For a moment I thought I was in a food reverie on 829southdrive. Note how the ethereal plate is lovingly bedded by the hand towel, to cushion its contact with the ordinary countertop.

    Keep it coming, chef of the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reverie...ethereal...lovingly bedded...?

      Maybe it's the magic of the square plate.

      Delete
  5. I got this web site from my friend who told me on the topic of this web page and now this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative content at this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I like about your comments, Anonymous.

      They are so often succinct and yet somehow Zen-like in their complexity, open to interpretation on many different levels.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it's quite Hemingwayesque, isn't it?

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon - Please don't pander to O Docker's blog ego; I would hazard to guess that he is already inundated by admiring attention and deserved kudos from loyal and interested readers such as you.

      And it's a bot time that you joined the chorus.

      Delete
  7. Admiring the hard work you put into your website and detailed information
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I see now. Not bot. Do you know Mr. T?

      Delete
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  9. Thanks for trying to read one of my posts, Anonymous. I know it can be a chore getting all the way through one. You are remarkably patient.

    Sorry if my writing style 'surprised' you. Most people are more blunt about it.

    ReplyDelete