Saturday, April 25, 2009

Salmon ala Newman

You need to put on a fancy-esque kind of dinner, you hate prep and cleaning up*. Whadya do?

Well, my go-to fancy dish is salmon. Get a big fillet.

Make a glaze of equal parts prepared mustard and olive oil. I like to combine a couple of different kinds of mustard. Colmans prepared mustard is smooth and spicy. A dijon mustard is a nice substitute for that. To the Colmans, I add something a little grainier; my current fave is a mass market plastic barrel with a Polish-esque name. If you're really thinking ahead, finding or making a tarragon mustard would be ideal.

I'm never that organized.

Pair the quarter cup of the mustard with a similar quantity of olive oil. The recipe that I work from says to add 6 cloves of chopped garlic, a quarter teaspoon of ground red pepper, the juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of capers, along with salt to taste.

I say "the recipe that I work from" because while I almost always use all of these ingredients, I would swear that I never use the same amounts twice.

Coat the fish with the mixture (I usually just do the flesh side of the fillet), let it sit for a bit and then bake it at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes. It's also grillable.

* although she's invited, it's unfair to always rely on Tona to go play in the sink after dinner...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Basmati Rice

Rice is pretty much the staple carbo here in our house, so I've gotten pretty used to whipping up a batch. I've been told my method is wrong, but it works for me.

Twice as much water, plus a little, as the rice. Salt to taste.

Bring to a boil, turn it back to low low low. When the water is absorbed, cut the heat. Let it rest a bit, fluff and serve.

So what do I mean by "plus a little"? It's hard to quantify. When I started cooking at Jen's, I discovered she had a handy little plastic measuring cup that has something of a flute the last quarter of an inch. I fill with rice to the bottom of the flute, then flush full with water twice.

Plus a little. Yeah. Then there's my electric stove trick. Bring it to a boil on a heavy duty burner while you have the smallest one on the lowest setting. Move the pot when it comes to a boil. Obviously, gas is easier.

Often I soak the rice. Basically, if I know I'm making rice that night, I'll measure out the ingredients in the early afternoon. Occasionally I'll rinse it, but I've been getting the Trader Joe's 2lb bag of basmati rice these days and it doesn't seem to be as bad as the rice you get in that 20lb burlap bag at your local Indian grocer. Of course, it's harder to get fresh kari leaves or papadam at TJ's, so it's a push.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brake and Go

You know those guys. They drive slow. Brake lights for the green light. It goes yellow, they slow some more. Then at the last minute they hit the gas and go, leaving you at the red light. Dante should have created special little arc of one circle just for them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Paige Fox is bad at math...

Just in case you were wondering about the Sunday edition of Foxtrot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

DOB, Gender, ZIP code...

That's fairly innocuous information, right? According to Latanya Sweeney, that's enough information to uniquely identify 87.1% of persons living in the United States.

I recently ran across a website that wanted that information. It seemed innocuous, but it's clear what they want to do. The fact that they're willing to beat around the bush to figure out who I was made me even more resolved to diss them.

fwiw, February 29th, 1960 is a valid birthday. I suggest you find the leap day nearest your birthday and try to preserve a little anonymity yourself.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lazy Dog Inn

So we all wandered north last weekend stayed at the Lazy Dog Inn. It's just before the Dam Store just south of Chocura, just south of Conway. We had a great time--wonderful hosts and just enough snow left to enjoy. We also picked up some maple syrup from a local producer. 

Since I haven't posted in April yet, or posted a photo of the puppy, I thought I'd give you this one...

Here's a photo from Diana's Bath's, up beyond North Conway from Chocura... We visited a couple of waterfalls over the weekend, including Sabbaday Falls out west of Conway on the Kangamangus Highway.