OK, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that POM Wonderful (or any pomegranate juice) tastes like the synthetic blood featured on the increasingly popular HBO vampire series, True Blood.
Granted, I’ve never tasted synthetic blood, nor any blood for that matter. But even if it doesn’t taste like it, pomegranate juice sure looks like True Blood. It’s dark red and thick…with a slightly syrupy quality.
However, a more apt comparison for the product is V, the vampire blood turned human drug that comes from the same show. Like V, a drug so potent that only a drop evokes waves of hypnotic euphoria, pomegranate juice yields its own bounty: tons of life-prolonging antioxidants.
Posted in Drinks, Products
Tagged alien hive, antioxidants, blueberries, HBO, POM Wonderful, pomegranate juice, red wine, salmon, True Blood, V, vampire blood
This is the first new recipe I’ve attempted in a while, and I was surprised by how tasty it turned out. You can see the Bon Appetit original in step-by-step format here.
I don’t want to rehash the whole thing, but I have some pictures of the cooking process, so let’s get to it. In the salmon searing stage, I made two lazy-man changes:
- I used vegetable oil instead of canola oil. I just don’t keep canola oil around and I can’t imagine it makes that much of a difference.
- I didn’t take the skin off the fish. Too much effort.
While the fish was frying, I started the potatoes. I don’t think I’ve cooked potatoes more than once or twice in my whole life – I’m a pasta man – and I was actually a little nervous that something would go wrong. Luckily, the potatoes didn’t explode and the kitchen was saved. (Thanks for asking.)
After throwing the fish and taters into a baking dish, I turned my attention to the broth. I made another substitution here – onions for shallots – that probably detracted from the dish. But I didn’t have shallots in the house, so onions were an easy sub. Are you sensing a pattern here?
Anyway, the rest of it went according to plan.
Into the oven everything went…
And 20 minutes later, it was just a matter of placing and ladling all the elements over sauteed spinach.
And that was it.
One word of warning: the dish is warm, comforting and very filling. Therefore, I would recommend waiting until the cold weather comes to try this one. I think you’ll thank me.
Unlike the night before, I had made reservations for graduation dinner months in advance. The location: Rae, a chic, contemporary new restaurant in the chic, contemporary new Cira Centre.
Occupying about a third of the ground floor of this busy skyscraper, Rae seems to be designed for the hip, rich after-work crowd.
Though not exactly a parental utopia in terms of atmosphere, our group was more than pleasantly surprised by Rae’s quality of food. In short, dinner was spectacular.
Posted in Events, Philadelphia, Restaurants
Tagged beef tenderloin, caesar salad, caramel apple walnut pie, Cira Centre, horseradish ice cream, Philadelphia, Rae restaurant, raw tuna, risotto fingers, salmon, variations of chocolate, West Philadelphia
I’m bad at making reservations. Especially on weekends.
So even though I knew for months that my parents were coming for UPenn graduation weekend (where my lovely and talented wife officially became a doctor of veterinary medicine), I had not made reservations for their first night in town.
As anyone from Philadelphia can tell you, this is a big mistake. Restaurants are booked solid throughout that weekend as proud parents wine and dine their graduating progeny… and themselves.
Fortunately, this mistake was easily rectified with a last-minute reservation at Caribou Cafe. I had heard great things about this place but could never muster up the enthusiasm to give it a try, especially with so many restaurants ahead of it on my “need to try” list.
I’m pleased to report that only one visit to Caribou completely cured me of that enthusiasm problem and I’m well on my way to recovery.
Posted in Dessert, Philadelphia, Restaurants
Tagged Caribou Cafe, chocolate mousse, French bistro, graduation weekend, mocha pot de creme, Philadelphia, rainbow trout, resaurant, salmon
So, I made that new “old standby” recipe from Prevention again, but instead of serving it with a starch and salad on the side, I reversed it. See that small bowl where the salad normally goes? That’s right… it’s filled with pasta ceci.
I wouldn’t normally serve fish over salad (especially in the winter) but this somehow just felt right. And, oddly, the leftover pasta went quite well on the side.
In the words of Bizarro: “Me am not happy me didn’t try something new.”
Ok, that’s two great salmon gigs in a row. It’s getting scary how well I’m cooking this fish.
To prove my manliness this time, my recipe came from the new issue of Esquire, a magazine I actually read and enjoy (as opposed to last week’s Prevention recipe which tasted amazing, but, well… came from Prevention).
Anyway, since it’s not the exact recipe that was in the magazine (originally credited to Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Ogunquit, Maine), I’ll post my appended directions here with a new title.
Rinse 2 salmon fillets, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium to high heat. When hot, add 2 tbsp butter (I used margarine) and melt without burning. Once foaming subsides, add 1/4 cup brown sugar and stir until combined (mine didn’t combine that well, possibly because the sugar was from the freezer or because of the aforementioned margarine substitute). I also threw in some chopped up ginger for more flavor.
Add salmon and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and add 1/4 cup bourbon (I didn’t have any, so I improvised with some tequila and lime juice) and cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes.
Even with the additions and strange alcohol substitute, this worked out really well. If you get the timing right, the fish will be cooked through, but tender, and you’ll get a nice glaze effect on top of the fish. Next time, I’ll try it with real butter and bourbon, which I imagine will taste different, but every bit as good.
What is it with salmon and brown sugar? It’s like the peanut butter and jelly of quick fish.
When I buy fish at the supermarket, I usually get two kinds: tilapia and salmon. This is not because those are my two favorite fish. This is because those are the two cheapest fish that I like and won’t fall apart on me – yeah, I’m looking your way, flounder.
Anyway, I actually really like tilapia and salmon, especially when prepared right. The problem is, while I definitely make edible fish, I can’t quite get the quality up to the same level as my other recipes.
Quick recap: I made both fish in the oven, even though I can safely say that I like pan-frying tilapia a lot more. When I baked it, I used a butter-based bath and a panko breadcrumbs. It was very tasty, but somehow too plain. I also can’t get those panko crumbs to really crisp up. In my third attempt with them, it still didn’t get that “crusted” texture I was going for.
The salmon, despite being a disaster for the household, was an unmitigated success. I don’t think I’ve ever made salmon that good and I credit it to two things: fresh ginger and the broiler.
Despite putting up with the incessant squawking of the fire alarm for 10 minutes, the broiler helped make some of the most tender fish I’ve ever tasted. Ginger, in my first time using the ingredient, proved to be a good alternative to my usual flavors, and really complemented the salmon.
I think I’ve found my Excalibur of salmon recipes.