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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Eat, Eat, My Child!

My favourite way of cooking salmon. You can pick at it for hours.

Face it, it is just TOO FUCKING HOT to cook a hella lot. Salads and roast beast is the rule at Casa de Los Gatos this summer. Last summer it was cool and rainy and we ate stews and tasty curries throughout. This year, I'd rather die than broil my tits over a hot stove. Tough luck, housemates.

So, salmon. Nature's bounty. I never did like fish, but I have to eat it for health reasons, so my whole life has been spent in an effort to make the fucking thing palatable, OK? So, try it. Nu? What can you lose?

1-2 lb salmon filet 1 bunch lemon thyme
2 medium shallots 1 bunch chives
2 lemons 1 handful lemon verbena leaves (optional)
salt to taste white pepper to taste
handful of flat Italian parsley

This is so easy, it's ridiculous. It's mostly prep, and takes 40 minutes max. Even YOUR Lazy Ass can do it, so get right on it.

What you WILL need, however, is a Cuisinart food processor. I've had mine for over 20 years, and in this house, EVERYTHING is made from scratch, so you know that poor fucker gets a hella lot of use. So break down and get yourself one, it'll pay you back a thousandfold.

Wash the herbs and strip all the leaves off. Dry them on a paper towel.

Peel the lemons carefully (use a zester, if you have one, otherwise a vegetable peeler is fine. Just avoid the thick white pith, which is very bitter), and set half the peel aside in the freezer.

Roughly chop half the chives, the remaining lemon peel, and the shallots, and put in the food processor with the remaining herbs, 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (preferably one with a green and fruity aroma), and half the lemon juice. Blend to a smooth paste, adding more lemon juice and olive oil as needed. If using lemongrass, cut into thirds, then halve lengthwise, and make a bed of the lemongrass halves for the fish. Slice or snip the remaining chives for garnish.

Place the fish skin-side down in a greased nonreactive (glass or ceramic) baking dish. Add salt and pepper and rub into the fish. Scrape the herb paste onto the fish and pat it into a smooth layer.

Heat the oven to 250 and roast the fish for 20-35 minutes. (Roasting time depends on the thickness of your filet and the efficiency of your stove.) The salmon retains its rich red raw colour, so use a fork to test for doneness. The fish is done when a cream-colored layer of fat is deposited below the skin, and the flesh flakes easily.

The tenderness of the fish has to be experienced to be believed. Go, try it, you'll be glad you did.

At La Casa, this is usually served with brown rice and a salad of baby carrots, butter and romaine lettuces, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red and yellow peppers, cucumbers and avocado. Because it's too fucking hot to cook.

Works fine with tender greens lightly sauteed in butter or olive oil, with, say, pine nuts and crushed red pepper.

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At 7:16 PM, Blogger Max Inclined said...

We're keeping half the lemon peel in the freezer for posterity?

At 7:29 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Eh, what rudeness. Must be a close friend. No, you eejit. Lemon zest freezes wonderfully, and if you throw a couple pieces or three into a pot of stew or soup, it infuses it with a very subtle but heavenly flavour. OK, your turn to insult me now.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

OK, Bri, I busted you! Y U ask, dood? I gave you a ton of recipes. R U cooking for your sweetie?

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Max Inclined said...

What, Brian cook? Are you kidding?

At 11:23 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

ZOMG, and I gave him a whole damn book full of super easy recipes for beginning cooks! Make him DO EEET.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Brian Slesinsky said...

I do cook. Not solo but I help. Mostly I am giving lessons in advanced silliness and introductory rudeness.


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