mara's nuts.

Wintry Sunday. We're having a "Dutch study day", basically spending all day reading about two pages worth of the newspaper (this is my speed, not mara's)...and after that, you need some serious sustenance. Reading a pair of interesting articles, though, about the successes + disillusionments of Dutch-Surinamers returning to Surinam to make a new life/find their roots/try to make a difference there. Good stuff.


salmon a la mara

salmon filets
grated pecorino-romano
olive oil
pine nuts
roasted red pepper

serve with: caramelized leeks with apple cider + balsamic; zucchini with almond pesto.



bayona's salmon 'n' sauerkraut.

UPDATE: The below recipe is, mmm....flawed. So don't make it yet, I'll redo it Winter 2010.

I've been making this to great success lately, but I can never seem to find the recipe when I go looking for it. Bayona is a restaurant in New Orleans that I almost ate at back in my expense account days. I tried to get there last time I was in N.O. (1997?) but failed. Anyway, this is apparently a signature dish of theirs, and this is my modification of it:


salmon with sauerkraut.

4 tablespoons walnut oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and julienned (I don't normally include this, but would like to)
1 bag of fresh sauerkraut (about 500 grams?), rinsed well under cold water, then drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fish or vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed (I have yet to actually include these)
1 tbsp or more fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
4 125-gram pieces salmon filet
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup additional dry white wine (for sauce)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add onion and carrot slices. Toss and cook over medium heat until just wilted. Stir in sauerkraut, wine and herbs, spices and broth. Bring to a simmer, cook 5 minutes, and remove to a baking pan or casserole. Add the other 2 tablespoons olive oil to sauté pan and sear salmon pieces, serving side down, until light brown. Turn and sear the other side for 30 seconds. Remove salmon and place on top of sauerkraut in casserole. Bake in oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add wine and vinegar to skillet and reduce to 1/4 of original volume; then add butter, piece by piece, whisking until sauce is creamy. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

To serve, divide choucroute mixture among 4 dinner plates. Top each with a salmon filet and pour sauce over. Accompany with small new potatoes sprinkled with chopped parsley.



starting over again.

Well, it's back to the drawing board for me. I was doing so well. But what started as a short-term lapse has stretched into a few weeks of not-so-great eating. Needless to say, the team and its supporters are all a bit disappointed...but all there is to do is to start over again, right? Your condolences are appreciated.


skin and bones.

Making decipherable gang signs is harder than it looks without the benefit of muscles, tendons, skin, and all of those other little "helping parts" we take for granted every day.

That's me on the right, and that is my rather awesome homemade scythe (made by Mara, not me) that appears to be sticking out of my man's fontanelle. Potentially more detail about this pic here.

In nutritionland...well, nothing very good to report. Cholesterol retest has been postponed by me for two weeks now. Healthy, spartan, ascetic eating/exercising regimen recommences today. It's like someone who I can't quite put my finger on at the moment once said: You haven't failed until you've quit trying. Sounds good.