Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cheating and Fish Shoes

Please don't mistake me--I love fresh food. I'll do the work. I can grate and peel and core and whatever else may be necessary. However, there are circumstances that call for cheating.

I will admit to reaching for the herbs-in-a-plastic-box and scoffing at the equivalent of herb squeeze cheese I noticed adjacent to the organic thyme and rosemary at Kroger. Of course if I had examined my motives and personal  hypocrisy, I would have noted that if I were truly keeping it  real, I would have grown my own herbs in favor of discarding them into recipes from plastic containers.

Upon observation that all the "fresh" ginger at Kroger this week were mildewed (this is the first time I've seen this at Kroger) I reluctantly grabbed the ginger goo in a tube.

This is the magnificent creation of Gourmet Garden. I say "magnificent" mainly because it totally is:

1. You don't have to grate ginger--an awkward root that is not easy to grate.

2. It's grown without pesticides.

3. It's in a tube--there is no need use to your last sandwich baggy.

4. It has no artificial flavors or colors.

5. It's easy, convenient, and you don't have to feel guilty for not using the ginger that will mildew in your own refrigerator.

Moving on to fish.

Kroger does not have the frozen kind.

Therefore, you have to buy it "fresh." Fresh fish at a supermarket equals lies. We are not near an ocean. They are frozen when they get here and thawed in a glass case on ice, perhaps with a leafy garnish. But I bought it, took it home and then, upon freeing it from the white paper wrapper (that kind of did make me feel  markety fresh and fabulous) realized how cussing hard it is to peel salmon skin away from the flesh. Sometimes when I'm caught in these situations, it helps if I imagine that I am a the type of person who can actually do these things. For instance, when I had to drive to New Jersey by myself to visit my cousin on vacation, I encountered mind numbing traffic for the first time in my life. I pretended I was someone else to survive. Therefore, in shaving the skin from sticky and difficult fish, I was wearing an imaginary chef coat and hat and I explained to my studio audience the best way to remove fish skin.

Then I noted how pretty fish skin is.

"Wow," I said to a jovial audience,"These fish skins sure would make lovely shoes--but I bet that would smell after a while wouldn't it?" The laugh track resounded through the air as I smiled and kicked up a heel, revealing my own Christian Louboutin shoes.

It's truly wonderful that I can enjoy these moments long before the company has brought over a bottle of wine.

It's great to have single friends. They can usually come over with little notice and they always want to do something fun. This particular evening, Caren brought over a huge bottle of Chardonnay (she wanted to bring red wine but I said,"Um, yeah--no. Fish..." and then she was all like,"Oh ok, fine then." And I was all like,"Yeah. You'd better recognize."

This recipe is Asian themed. We had all the ingredients except the fish, ginger, cucumber, and radishes. I bought the radishes at my favorite local market. This meal comes out to around $2.45 a serving.


1/4 cup(s) rice vinegar
1 tablespoon(s) finely grated ginger
2 tablespoon(s) honey
Kosher salt and pepper
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 sweet onion (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoon(s) low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/4 pound(s) skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces


Heat the broiler. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, ginger, 1 Tbsp honey, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the cucumber, onion and radishes, and let sit, tossing occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and the remaining Tbsp honey.

Line a broiler proof baking sheet with foil. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Broil for 5 minutes. Spoon the soy sauce mixture over the salmon and broil until the salmon is opaque throughout, 2 to 5 minutes more. Serve the salmon with any pan drippings and the cucumber salad.

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