class=”aligncenter” alt=”Salmon on Curried Spinach” src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8252/8508655362_f76ccc6ca2.jpg” width=”333″ height=”500″ /> I told my husband last night that I loved him but what I really need is a 1950′s wife. Someone who will hand me a cocktail and my slippers when I walk in the door so I can relax, pat the kids on the head and send them off to bed while sipping my scotch. Sadly, my reality is more along the lines of leave work, pick up the baby, drive drive drive drive drive, come in, immediately rush to find dinner for the Nuni and Bootsy, feed the kids, bedtime routines, fix grownup dinner (if we didn’t eat with the kids), eat grownup dinner, and then start in on the laundry before I even get to think about a cocktail. Since weeknights are a little crazy (to put it mildly), I’m always on the lookout for meals that are a) healthy and b) quick to prepare. And that doesn’t mean 30 minutes or an hour quick. I mean on the table in 20 max, so I can get to my cocktail faster. This salmon on curried spinach, which is an old recipe of my mom’s, just fits the bill. [...]
Of course, once we got home, I had Maine withdrawal. Lobster in California is never, ever, ever $2.99 a pound. So I made do, in a thrifty New England way, and came up with these crab rolls (which I have, incidentally, also seen served in Maine. I just never ate them because, hello! LOBSTER.) Crab salad, bound with mayo and brightened with citrus (I happen to love grapefruit juice, but lemon juice will work as well, on a toasty buttered bun with a little green lettuce for crunch. It’s a simple and super quick way to get a little piece of New England on your table for a casual dinner or weekend lunch. [...]
I don’t eat much seafood any more. I know that all those omega-3′s are supposed to be good for your brain, but the conflicting horror stories – of mercury levels and PCB’s, of devastating overfishing and pollutive farming practices, are enough to make me swear off fish forever. The problem is that I actually LIKE fish — I just can’t keep straight the do’s and don’ts of seafood.
Fortunately, there are a few resources I can turn to in times of need. For years, I’ve looked to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program for guidance (though I admit to finding those little cards confusing — I can never remember if the fish has to be trawl caught or net caught). You can look up many different fish on their site to see the environmental and health impacts of eating it. Recently, they’ve made the process even easier by releasing the “Super Green” list — a short (and easy to remember) list of fish that are super healthy and environmentally friendly.
I know that you’re already falling out of your chair in excitement because this is the first Savour Fare post in quite some time that didn’t feature sweets. I may have gone a wee bit overboard there with the Christmas baking, I admit it. And I’m sure you’re ready to get back to the business of cooking real food.
Unfortunately, this week is New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Eve means parties, and party food, although fantastic, is not really REAL food, so you’re just going to have to wait a bit. What I have for you today, though, is an easy, delicious, guaranteed-to-please party dip (it would be great for the Superbowl too) that is a fixture in my family’s holiday repertoire. [...]
I am often asked where I learned to cook. I am someone who cooks regularly, and enthusiastically and sometimes even ambitiously, so I suppose this is a simple and obvious question. But the answer is multilayered. I learned to cook from my family, though I don’t remember many sessions of standing by someone’s side as they explained some technique or recipe to me. I learned to cook from eating, since long practice and exposure to good food has given me experience in what tastes good. But most of all (and I suppose this is fitting given that I am the child of two English professors and a confirmed bibliophile) I learned to cook from the written word. [...]