A little Irish music to set you up for a bit of cooking: click here. And, in the Irish, as they say, “La fheile padraig!”
I’ve been making Salmon Chowder for a good long while; there’s a really easy and light version in my soup cookbook, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON. If by chance you’ve made it, you’ll know it’s perfect spring or summertime fare for the day after you’ve grilled a big piece of salmon and don’t know what to do with the leftovers. Likewise it’s for fall or winter if you’ve roasted a side of salmon for company and only used the big fat inner slices for the dinner table, leaving the skinny ends smelling up the fridge. This year, though, I was into something a little different…
Late summer, 2014 in Dunsmore East, Ireland (the port for Waterford)
The Irish, along with my fair Scots, have some of the best salmon in the world, but more often make a mixed fish and seafood chowder such as Donal Skehan’s Howth Head Seafood Chowder.
Some of my loved ones are crazy about tuna. About old-fashioned tuna salad, in particular. While I do like it, tuna salad –the mayonnaise variety we eat on toast or stuffed in tomatoes — isn’t my totally very favorite forever salad. I do, however, adore Tuna Niçoise or a grilled tuna salad like the one below I often make in the summer: Continue reading
I worked on a fresh pea clam chowder while I lived in the great city of St. Paul, Minnesota. There, on any given beautiful early spring Saturday, the St. Paul Farmer’s Market would proudly boast a gorgeous array of pea shoots and tendrils…and not long after that, the peas themselves. That soup ended up in my soup book, Soups & Sides for Every Season and is a favorite with or without the fresh peas! (Fresh peas are often available year round at Trader Joes, as well.)
|Fresh pea shoots–leaves, shoots, and tendrils from pea plants. Yummy greens.|
There’s little better pot of gold in the fridge than a lentil salad. Make that curried lentil salad and we’re nudging platinum; you’re rich! Full of protein (add rice for a complete protein), fiber, color, texture, and nutrients, it’s a hefty and quick supper that translates into a week’s lunches at home or work as it travels so perfectly well. Tuck it into a pita or a tortilla. Warm a big spoonful and eat with scrambled eggs; it will love you all the more. See below.
Lentils are that perfect landscape upon which almost anything can be planted, grown, and harvested. They’re a warming winter soup or a trusty spring salad. They’re a platter for big hunks of protein when need be.
Quick version of recipe at bottom of post.
I clearly remember the first time I heard someone order fish tacos at a Tex-Mex place called Chevy’s (it may still be around somewhere.) I couldn’t get my mind around it, but the person ordering it, who happened to be my brother-in-law Bill, assured me it was out of the world luscious.
I don’t think so, thought my younger and more naive self twenty years ago. And this despite the fact that I had, indeed, spent four years in San Antonio, where tacos of any sort in the universe reigned supreme. (Had there been fish tacos, though? I didn’t remember them.)
Fast forward a few years and find my sister cooking fish tacos in my kitchen. Addiction. Totally. I hijacked her recipe with a few embellishments. And made it and made it and made it. Dave then began ordering fish tacos from restaurants and I kept thinking…
If I had to come up with a cooking mantra from friends, family, students, and neighbors, it could very well be,
I just don’t have time to cook.
Sometimes that makes sense to me. Like I’m in the middle of cleaning out closets, in a frenzied rush to pack and leave for a trip, or between a deadline, picking someone up from the airport, and a trip to the movies. Ok, I’ll have some cheese and crackers. Tuna out of a can. Slice an apple.
But when I take this little meme and run with it, I come away with the knowledge that includes visions of lives running and running on empty or on the fast track without a centered vision of what it means to live in a home. Kind of like we run around a lot because we can. We watch cooking on tv, talk “Chopped” with our spouses, and then refuse to grocery shop because it takes too much time. Don’t set the table and, instead, eat standing up dropping cracker crumbs in the sink.
Do we really have so much to do that we don’t want to feed ourselves well and healthily? It’s a question for which there’s no answer. Work triumphs. Health and emotional well-being suffers. Soccer, tv, and the computer win. Laughter, easy talk, difficult conversations, and connections around the table are lessened. Rather sad. Continue reading
If I googled this dish, I’d probably find it. I prefer to think I dreamed it up in my very own kitchen. Which I did. I don’t need to know it’s not original. Necessity is the mother of invention. I had “X” number of food items. It looked like this outside:
I wasn’t going to the store. I wasn’t going ANYWHERE. The mail lady said she could hardly make it up our hill with four-wheel-drive and chains. In other words, my car was staying in the garage where it belonged. I was making do with what I had on hand.
Like most cooks, I keep a full pantry year-round, but especially in the winter as I live within sight of the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading
I made my Friday fish on a cold day in Colorado where we’ve had weeks of snowy weather that I’m only beginning to tire of. Rosie, on the other hand, misses the more frequent walks of sunny days. She spends a lot of time in front of the windows–which are about to be replaced. (These freeze and melt inside the house–very cold and very sad.) You’ll also see Tucker-scroll down- on our in-process new staircase.
The beginning ideas for my shrimp, broccoli, and sticky rice meal originate in a book you’ve heard me tout before: Quick & Easy Chinese by Nancie McDermott. I’ve simply appropriated a few methods and added them up into dinner; I think Nancie would like this meal. If you don’t own this book, you really might like to buy it. You’ll still get Chinese take-out, but you’ll also be quite happy with the meals you create right in your own little wok. While I cook many things –most, really — without recipes, I’m not comfortable enough with Asian techniques to go rogue. Nancie’s clear, simple, and concise instructions — along with fine photos — are perfect for me. (This would make a beautiful wedding shower gift and you could give a gorgeous set of rice bowls, a wok, or a tea set for the wedding gift.)