Fish fillet with potato scales

I’ve tried doing this dish a few times before, and just didn’t get there. First time, the potatoes were simply too big and the slices too thick. Second time, with smaller potatoes — slices still too thick, and the potatoes didn’t cook in the time it took the fish to cook.

Led me to the realizations:

  • Use fingerling potatoes. They’re a more appropriate size to represent fish scales.
  • Use the mandoline on a setting that looks ridiculously thin.
  • Cook the potatoes half-way. If potatoes take 20 minutes to cook, and fish takes 10, well… duh.

So today I went to the St Lawrence Market and bought a bunch of fingerling potatoes from Phil’s and a fillet of sockeye salmon from Mike’s.

To start, I scaled the fillet and scored the skin after tossing it into a hot frying pan for 30 seconds (because I realized I hadn’t scored it! — amazingly, it scores much easier after a little heat has been applied to the skin).

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Harvest in a hurry!

Tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 13C. Not bad. A bit cool for September, but not bad.
However, I just took a look at Environment Canada’s forecast — and the predicted low for Friday night is 4C.

I have to harvest my basil tomorrow. There is no choice.

The kale will live through it, no problem. I need to see if I have any baby squash (I don’t think so, given the way the weather’s been behaving) and harvest any plum tomatoes that are near ripening stage.

Bring your basil in!

My Caviar and Sturgeon Feast

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I first met Dr. Cornel Ceapa at the Delicious Food Show two years ago, and that, although Chef Deborah Reid and I didn’t get to go on an expense-paid trip to Saint John, NB, to visit and experience all great things related to Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, we did get a thank-you for entering, which was a whole bunch of caviar and sturgeon products to enjoy, which I photographed here.

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This is what shrimp should taste like

I’ve grown tired and suspicious of the enormous shrimp we get from Asia. Not much flavour, environmentally destructive a lot of the time, and contaminated with who knows what some of the time.

Well yesterday Hooked posted that they’d be getting some Gaspé shrimp in today, and that thet would be sweet and wonderful. How could I resist?

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Today felt like spring

I look back through my blog, and see that my King Alfred daffodils were in bloom by this time last year. Not this year! But I did start to do garden clean-up today, so they have a tidy space to come up in.

It was about 12C by 2pm, and I went to Hooked and enjoyed a few buck-a-shuck oysters. Absolutely delicious.

There were two from New Brunswick: St-Simon, and Caraquets. Loved these:

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Pat eats a Pawpaw

Pawpaw, paw-paw, so many ways to spell it!

I bought a couple from Forbes’ Wild Food at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market on Sunday.

One’s in the fridge — the other I let continue to ripen.

Was told it should be yellow with brown spots, the way a banana should be when it’s ready to eat.

The smell of the fruit was pineapple-kiwi-banana, but the acid smell decreased as the fruit ripened.

 

Maybe I was precipitous, but here’s the state of it when I decided to cut it open:

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Was difficult to cut open — I couldn’t quite understand why, until I had fully pulled it apart: aha! It has great big seeds that don’t slice easily!

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Next step: scoop out the flesh, and separate the seeds from the flesh:

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Took a taste. It’s delightful! For people who like to start the morning with a smoothie, this is the perfect ingredient. More protein than most fruit, lots of fibre and minerals. Tasty, but not too strong for first-thing-of-the-day.

Felt like there was an ingredient in my fridge that would complement the flavour, so I added some coconut milk (no sulfites!):

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Was very delicious. I read up some more about it on wikipedia, and discovered that it’s not a fruit that can be put in a cool place to store: it doesn’t last long that way. But the flesh of it does freeze well!  Something else for the Smoothie Set to consider.

 I saved the seeds. I’ll take the other one out of the fridge to ripen, now. And I’ll save the seeds from it, too. They’re quite large — reminded me of ackee seeds, but they’re not of the same family.

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I don’t know if the climate along the Northumberland Strait in Nova Scotia will support pawpaws, but there’s only one way to find out… and that’s to give my Dad some seeds! It’s an understory tree, so could potentially grow in his forested area. The one caveat I heard from Lorraine Johnson is that you need three trees to ensure fertilization of the flowers.

Oh. The flowers don’t smell nice — kinda one of those carrion-fly fertilized plants.

We’ll see! Dad, are you in? I’ll give you the seeds at Christmas.

Rant: that’s NOT cream, Sealtest & Nielson!

Hot weather’s here.

When it’s hot, I love to have a mug of cold vichyssoise and a salad for lunch or dinner.

I scored some lovely fresh garlic scapes at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market on the weekend (my recipe is on Natalie MacLean’s site).

Today I went to Loblaws to get some cream (I use chicken broth to make the soup, and a little cream to finish it off). Alas, that Loblaw’s at Leslie and Lakeshore being what it is, they had absolutely no Organic Meadow cream, only industrial milk company products. The same at Price Chopper, across the street.

Why don’t I like buying cream from Sealtest or Nielsen? Because I don’t like the ingredient list.

Sealtest’s light cream (5% milk fat) contains: milk, cream, modified milk ingredients, maltodextrin, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, guar gum, carrageenan.

Their half-and-half contains: milk, cream, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, carrageenan.

Whipping cream? cream, milk, carrageenan, mono and dyglycerides, carboxymethyl cellulose, polysorbate 80.

Lists were similar for Nielson (unfortunately, since they’ve been acquired by Saputo, their website is down, and Saputo doesn’t seem to provide this detail on their site).

When I want to add cream to soup, I want to add cream. I don’t want to be adding cellulose and thickeners, corn sugars and other stuff.  Why are you adding this to your cream?

Just give me the real food. Thank you, Organic Meadow, for having an ingredient list that reads: cream.