Thursday, July 15, 2010

why cook well?

You all remember that the amazing Anthony Bourdain is asking this of cooks everywhere: explain why they cook well and then enter their musings to his contest, the winner of which will get their essay published in the paperback edition of Medium Raw, his latest book.

I was just going to write it for fun, in part cause I know I have no chance of winning, plus my cousin Rachel also entered an awesome essay. But I’m actually proud of what I wrote, plus Rach says that if she doesn’t win we should “keep it in the family”!

So, what the hey, I entered the Medium Raw Challenge. I already posted my essay unofficially on the blog, but if y’all liked it, vote for me over at the official site! I call it:

Sticking it to the Man.

Speaking of cooking well…


Hot. Dayum.

So we had steelhead trout, one of my favorite fishes (like salmon but wilder somehow), so I set out to find myself a yummy fish-cookin’ methodology.

When in doubt, turn to Mark Bittman. His book, simply titled Fish, is one of those wonderful resources where you can look up any species and have numerous ways to prepare it: from simple to complex, healthy to wildly indulgent.

The one I did was wonderfully easy: cover your fish (you could do this with salmon or steelhead) with water and add a lot of kosher salt (I used 3 T for about 10 ounces). Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat, cover, and let sit 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your filet. Admittedly, the poaching liquid gets a bit ugly…


But heavens the finished product is wonderful. Moist, tender, flaky; perfectly cooked. After I cooked my steelhead I let it rest in the fridge for about 3 hours?


Marky had you make it with homemade herbed mayonnaise but any regular reader knows- I hate mayonnaise!

So I made my own sauce that was sooooooooooooooooo good:

1 t. olive oil
2 t. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 t. minced fresh parsley
1 t. minced fresh dill
2 heaping t. capers
lotsa pepper


On top of the fish it was scrumpsh. Oh my goodness I love capers.


Lemon slices make a nice, if unnecessary garnish. The more color the better, after all.


Ahh, that tragic evening transition from natural to artificial light. It’s just so painfully jarring.

Anyway, I rounded out my plate with some wonderful local corn and tomatoes (ate wayyyy more tomatoes and a bit more steelhead- this is just the photoshoot quantity!).  


Was pleased to discover that tomato salad with salt, pepper, oil, and balsamic is just as delicious with fresh oregano as it is with fresh basil. This is good to know because as I said I have an OREGANO INVASION.  


Anonymous said...

I voted for you! I'm so glad that you entered because I love your essay. In your future posts if you keep giving a reminder to vote, I'll keep voting every day. :)

PS. That fish looks like perfection.

Anonymous said...

That fish looks beautiful! I voted for you. =)

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish said...

Fabulous essay, Lele! I just voted for you!

Your salmon looks wonderful!

rhea said...

Yum, yum, yum. To the fish and to Bourdain.
I will check out your submission right now :D

Rebecca said...

I love capers too! Yum! Looks like a great summer meal!

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