Roasted Mackerel with Potatoes and Yellow Squash

Do you like seafood? Goes the childhood tease. Yes, and you “see” an open mouthful of chewed-up food. I hope you like seafood, but I’m not going to show you that. I had meant to show you a whole fish here, a nice, fat, single person-portion sardine. Sardines are the poorman’s seafood, and I thought that was very “me.” They have a fragile little pane of bones that you have to pick around, hence them being more work to eat. … Read More

Salade Me-coise (and Trials & Retribution)

Trial: I get on my bike to run some errands, including a grocery store trip to get ingredients for a classic French salade nicoise. I have a craving for slick, smushed beads of brininess otherwise known as olives. It’s almost ninety degrees outside. I get out of the store, unlock my bike, and get on it only to find that the back tire is sagged like an empty sail.

Fish tacos, anyone?

  Unanimous “yes”es flooded my inbox from the crew. I am so glad I’m no longer dating a seafood-hater. Fish may thrive underwater, but I think they do smashingly well on a hand-ground corn tortilla against cool, creamy slaw and snappy herbs, and drenched with tangy lime juice. I overheard mention of “getting fish tacos” while on the boat leaving Governor’s Island two weekends ago, when the above ninety-degree heatwave was in full swing and the legendary Baja-inspired surfer food … Read More

Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Shrimp or Tofu

Ughhh… I am not recommending you go into making this for the first time late on a Wednesday night. Ughhh… Of all the finicky nonsense that plagues much of gourmet, frou-frou, highbrow cooking, why this common street food snack so ridiculously delicate a process? I’ll chalk it up to two major things: my inexperience with the ingredients — the rice (or “vermicelli”) noodles and the rice wrappers — and with how to handle them. How wet can the wrappers get … Read More

Grilled Squid Skewers

Squiwers? Skewidders? Sigh — this dish is not the most beautiful-sounding word combination in the English language, and I guess it’s just going to stay that way. As for its appearance, it’s up to you how beautiful they look. If you ask me, that succulent tangle of tentacles, cooked to just a slight crisp at the curlicue tippy tips, kind of makes me swoon.

Swordfish Steak, Couscous Salad & Lemony Pesto Fresh Peas

posted in: Grains, Recipes, Seafood | 13

Beware, I’m about to make an indie rock reference (or is it too oldschool to be indie?): Anyone remember the song, “Swordfish” by the Dead Milkmen? Its lyrics essentially consist of the chorus, “I believe in swordfish/He believes in swordfish,” and it tells you nothing of swordfish except for the fact that everyone believes in something, and he believes in swordfish. Understandably so, as it would now seem.

Thai Basil Shrimp ‘n Okra

posted in: Recipes, Seafood | 20

Okay, so you won’t get any points from the 100-mile diet club with this recipe, since okra is grown in the South and the shrimp I got in Chinatown was caught or farmed probably in… the South. But you will have enjoyed a classic southern combination while satisfying your craving for spicy Thai basil stir-fry. Which is a gastronomic feat of very trifling importance bordering on nonsense. It’s Friday…

Mussels for Mum

Moms love French food. Soufflés make her sparkle. Provençal sounds like a good name for a kid to her. Bistros are her preferred bar. The allure of this country’s culinary je ne sais quois can might coincide with a vast generation clued in to its mysteries and virtues by a tall, warbly-voiced, and ever so ladylike American named Julia Child. Then again, my dad knows much more about The Way to Cook than my own mom, who’s never dabbled in … Read More

I Loves You, Whole Porgy

Wild local fish like flounder, stripers and bluefish are in season — all good stuff, in my opinion, to steam whole, Chinese style. This weekend as I was gathering ingredients for a 6-person dinner party, I familiarized myself with another: the wild local porgy. A small fish by nature (not many grow over 6 lb, according to this fact sheet), its mild, sweet flavor lends itself well to a light preparation such as steaming. Once cooked, its flesh was moist … Read More

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