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cilantro-lime fish cakes

27 Mar

paleo potato fish cakesI feel like salt cod is haunting me. I think it started with my blogger friend Mark’s post on salt cod that I mentioned back when I last posted about cod. Then in New York, I ate salt cod croquettes at Casa Mono. Even the Whole Foods we went to had salt cod in a bulk bin. Well, I’m sorry to announce that no, this recipe doesn’t utilize salt cod. It’s like my own recipe is jeering at and taunting me. I’ll just go hang out at allrecipes.com. Start posting there instead. Watch, they probably even wax on about bacalao there, too. User grandma_knitter64 is all about making her own salt cod and making the best salt cod croquettes, ’cause that’s just so here and now, ya know. Well screw you guys, I’m making plain old fish cakes with fresh cod and some mashed taters (and some lime zest and cilantro because, heck, I’m not in New England anymore).
russet potatoes steaming fishThere are about as many types of fish cake recipes out there as there are stupid blogs like mine with posts on them. I’m not sure I’m comfortable saying mine’s definitive in any way – either for me or in the world of fish cakes, but it’s pretty great. It’s crispy on the outside and super soft and fluffy on the inside with flecks of just crunchy enough red onion. Lime zest and cilantro make them kind of addicting and squeezing fresh lime juice on top before you eat them is just what I needed to get through yes, another snow storm. Accompanied by kale and cabbage slaw, it’s all a pretty great antidote.
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braised cod

11 Feb

paleo braised cod I have no idea how people bike commute throughout the winter. I’ve started biking to work again, after a long respite from it. I no longer go to mega-gym, I’m going to a much closer, much more down-to-earth, much more personal gym that a friend of mine opened and because of how convenient it is to work and my house, I feel alright about biking home in the dark and cold. I bought some real dorky winter biking gloves to try to keep my hands from freezing like they were at the end of my biking run last fall. Well, they don’t cut it. And neither do my snowboarding-in-0-degrees mittens. If it’s in the low to mid 20s in the morning, at about 1 mile into the trip, my fingers start to get really cold and numb and by the time I get to work I can barely feel the brake levers. As soon as I get into the office, the blood all comes rushing into my fingers and it hurts so incredibly bad I can’t help but yell and scream and grasp my hands in pain and pace back and forth around the office. My coworkers think I’m insane. I just think I’ll probably have some sort of evolutionary benefit from this. Either that or it’ll create some sort of permanent malfunction. Or one morning my fingers will just fall off with a big fuck you.
alaskan cod cod medallions The first weekend of March I’m going to New York City to meet up with the newly engaged and frazzled Samantha. See, no one could possibly replace me in Samantha’s life when I left Boston, and she doesn’t want to shop for wedding dresses herself or with any of her second-rate friends, so we and her mom are making a weekend of it. We’re not only compiling possible dress shops to go to, but restaurants of course. It’s hard to know where to start. Plus, it’ll be a week after my 30th birthday, so I think we can make the case for a birthday dinner. Oh, and we’re going to the Tenement Museum. Samantha and I both have independently wanted to go there for a long time and what a perfect excuse to go (or was it the other way around?). I really love period houses and maybe especially period houses in cities, where those people’s ways of lives are so incomprehensible today. I sure hope I don’t get lectured on the evil capitalist builders who forced those poor people to live their squalid lives in those apartments. But of course I will.
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roasted tomato mackerel with pickled jalapeños

24 Aug

My tomato plants suck. Or I suck. I don’t know what I’m doing. Watering too much, not enough, not feeding them enough, feeding them too much, no clue. One has crinkled brown leaves with blotchy looking tomatoes. Another only has a few tomatoes on it. Two others are small and spindly. And my zucchini plants have this horrid white mold on the leaves. I breathed it in yesterday and felt like I was going to die. Good riddance, I’m sick of zucchinis anyway. But I don’t know how to cut them back without dying of mold ingestion. Buying tomatoes at Whole Foods for this recipe pained me. Pained me. But holy crap are they good. Hey, the jalapeños are mine! I’ve got so many! And they’re so spicy. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking with this recipe. I can’t handle heat.
I just found out last week that Biggest Loser won’t have a fall season this year. What am I supposed to do. I already gained an hour of my life back when they dropped last season down to one hour and I wasn’t happy about that. I’ve had Tuesdays free since whenever the last season ended and now I’m going to continue that through till like January? wtheck. Well, not really true – I like MasterChef. It’s so stupid. WalMart is the official grocer of the show. The hosts go on and on about how beautiful WalMart’s USDA Choice steaks are. I want to kick the TV. I need to watch PBS cooking shows. I’m so f-ing sick of regular TV and their snappy editing where I don’t learn anything. I’m going to watch Simply Ming. I’ll learn about potstickers. And all about what a giant douchebag he is.
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green curry salmon with kiwi salsa

25 Jan

Trying desperately to pry myself away from obsessing over another ethnically accurate meal, I instead managed to produce some sort of dreaded fusion cuisine. Totally don’t care. At least I didn’t make mac and cheese-filled potstickers. Plus, kiwi salsa? You know I have an affinity for fruit salsas, and this one is no exception. I mulled over somehow incorporating coconut milk, which if you’ve got a genius idea, I’d encourage and like to hear about it. I saw some recipe that puréed kiwis with coconut milk, but that seemed a shame. Then I considered poaching the salmon in coconut milk, but ohhh the crispy skin (bacon of the sea). I dunno, sometimes I want to mash together every possible delicious flavor that I think would go well together. Best to just step it back. Like that dumb jewelry rule for ladies that I consistently flout.
I got a cold the other night. Started with that nasty drip burn in the back of my throat, then an achy neck. I felt kinda junky the next day, just real droopy and achy. But lo and behold, the following day? Good as new. I can’t definitively say any reason, I suppose, but I’m putting my money on eating so freaking well this past month. I’ve noticed in general that my cold frequency has gone way down since I started eating paleo, but duration is one thing that’s really easy to notice. I distinctly remember being out of commission for like a week with colds that I used to get back when I lived in Boston. So.awesome. I’m totally on a Whole 30 high. Probably like those fats on The Biggest Loser feel after eating well (questionable – Jennie O??), exercising the crap out of themselves, and getting off all of their meds. I think I should set a goal to become a trainer on that show. Or gain 200 pounds and use my charming personality to gain a spot on it.
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ginger-soy steamed cod

26 Oct

I used to like to cook any and all types of Asian cuisine. My pantry was stocked with all sorts of bottles of fish sauce, mirin, soy sauce, kimchi, chile pastes, bags of dried mushrooms, seaweed, rice noodles… I think what happened was I got a little obsessed with seasonal food and since, well, I don’t live in Asia, there aren’t too many ingredients growing here that immediately make you think “ooh I’ll make something Korean!” But that’s kind of a shame, and I’m going to try to break out of my rut a little bit. Enter this cod dish. It’s so freaking simple, utilizes just a few ingredients, and is utterly wonderful.

Despite being overtly Asian, there’s no reason that this dish couldn’t accompany something nice and local. It would pair really nicely with roasted squash (prepared with a spicy sesame dressing?) and/or bitter greens. The greens would soak up the sauce for the fish really well. I generally hate fusion cuisine, but if you’re not making it under the pretense that it’s fusion cuisine, then I feel pretty okay about it. Just don’t start deciding to cook Chinese Five-Spice Infused Chicken Nugget Lollipops with Kelp and Panko Breadcrumb Crust. Oh god shut up.


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shrimp and bay scallop ceviche

19 Jul

So. Hot. Melting. Cats can’t move. Cats panting (cute). Energy sapped. Kitchen an oven without oven being on. No possible way I’m cooking. Ceviche!
I wasn’t going to do Jell-O no bake or anything. Or whatever the heck that is. This was my first time making ceviche. It had been one of those recipes that kept getting pushed aside for something else. It’s really simple and has lots of possibilities. I started basic and no complaints at all. Ceviche’s pretty ingenious, actually. I like scientific food mysteries. Like mayonnaise. Or lime juice cooking fish.
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wilted spinach salad with tuna and bacon

15 May

This recipe was born out of a need to use up an impulse purchase of spinach. Quite similar to the last post’s fennel bulb, actually. I didn’t, however, let the spinach get to such a sorry state. That would have been gross. But I wasn’t sure what to use it for – a simple sautéed accompaniment to something? I thought about incorporating it in that blasted tortilla, also mentioned in the last post. I thought about making a kind of proper tuna salad and putting it on top of a bed of the spinach. But I was inspired to make a warm, wilted salad after seeing this version. It’s pretty wintery, but then again, the weather has been downright damp and Boston-y and this salad fit the bill when I made it.
I’m hoping this salad will be a gateway salad. I really fell out of salad mode this past winter. I don’t think I made a single one at home. I eat them a lot at work – we get our clients lunch and the employees get to freeload along. But I never felt in the mood to make one myself. Which is a shame, because a well dressed salad with thoughtfully included and prepared ingredients is a beautiful thing. So this salad was a good reminder. Since it’s just gently wilted spinach, it still retains the qualities of a fresh, raw salad. I’m already looking forward to crisp, cool summer salads of gorgeous tomatoes and fresh herbs. Yum! In the meantime, I’m going to start looking for unique spring greens like pea shoots or fava greens. I haven’t found them yet at my regular grocery store, but I might check at a more special grocery store.
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