Raw Fish

Hi all,

I’m going to try to make a weekly food post to the group. This one involves, well, raw fish. I remember my first experience with sushi. The only thing that I really liked was the shrimp. I later learned that’s because it was cooked. The first time I really enjoyed sushi was my third crack at it, when I got together with a grad student from an old group and we were at a sushi place in San Francisco. It’s slowly grown on me, but came on with a vengeance.

My first experience with raw oysters was during the week that I interviewed for a job in Boston. The interview had gone well and I was out with my best friend from college. I tried the oysters on a whim and loved them. This is odd as my previous experience with oysters had been negative (oyster stew). As Men on Film would say, Hated It.

Many years later, I was down in Costa Rica at a pricey Italian restaurant. I ordered fish carpaccio and loved it. In essence, very thinly sliced raw fish  that is marinated in olive oil and citrus. Add in some capers, parsley, pepper and such. I loved it on its own, but it was a bit much for my wife. Then inspiration hit.

One can order Chirashi at a sushi place. Literally, it means scattered rice. The dish consists of a bed of sushi rice with pieces of sashimi placed on top. It’s a household staple as one need not do any complicated rolling. In this case, I prepare the carpaccio and then serve it over a bed of rice. The sauce from the carpaccio (olive oil, citrus, and a few flavors) seeps into the rice. The starch of the rice balances out the fish. Japan meets Italy. It’s a good combination.

Fish Carpaccio
500 grams white fish
100 ml fresh squeezed citrus juice
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon freshly chopped dill
2 pinches grated lemon zest
Sea salt
freshly ground pepper
baby silverbeet leaves (optional)
Using a sharp knife, slice the fish very thinly. Arrange the fish on a serving platter.
Combine the citrus juice, olive oil, capers, herbs and lemon zest, then pour over the fish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Optional, but sublime, serve the fish over a bed of sushi rice.
A combination of orange juice and lemon juice works well in this recipe. Blood orange is wonderful if you can get it. If not, a bit of pomegranate juice in the mix adds a beautiful color.

King salmon is my favorite fish to use with this recipe. The fattiness of the fish helps it stand up against the marinade. Be sure to use sushi grade salmon unless you want to risk a tapeworm. A mild white fish is also good—halibut in particular. 

Weekends Are For Hobbies

There are hobbies and then there are pastimes. To me a hobby is when you create something useful or artistic, such as a garden, rebuilding an engine, writing a short story (for fun), knitting, quilting, etc. (you get the idea). A pastime is more along the lines of doing something you enjoy, hiking, reading, watching football, camping and what not.

I work pretty hard all week, as many of us here do, and while I always have chores, grocery shopping or getting together with friends and family, I still try to work on one of my hobbies every weekend. Here in CA we have a long growing season so I’m able to have a garden in the spring, summer and fall. We usually get frost sometime in Jan. or Feb. so whatever’s still out there is generally a goner by then. By March though I’m off and running again.

My husband built me a raised bed garden a few years ago, he’s awesome, and it’s so much easier gardening now because my back kills me if I’m bent over for too long. This year I found one zucchini that got a little too large hiding along the edge of one of the railroad ties.
I also create watercolor quilts when I have time. Luckily, we have a room where I can spread out fabrics and such and make a big mess, then just shut the door and ignore it for a week or two. This quilt is made from two inch squares I cut and then pinned to a large piece of batting on the wall. I kept moving the pieces around until I got what I hope is an impressionistic image of a lattice fence, with a flowering vine, and clay pot in the bottom right corner. This one took about six months to complete. As you can see from the pic of the flower pot, it looks better from a distance.

What are your hobbies?

This should be a comment, not a post

Apologies for making this a full blown post. I wanted to comment on shrink’s “Peace be upon you” post, but my iPad will not allow me to post comments for some reason. Anyway…

For the record, and for those of you who might be wondering just what it is shrink (or “-“, as he is now apparently known) is talking about, this thread and this comment in particular is what apparently “wrecks it for everybody” and “drives away the people worth having” (ie shrink himself, or Teilhard de Chardin as he was called before he became “-“).

I leave it to you to decide just what or who “the problem” really is.

Peace Be Upon You

The problem is: people who need to get after other people, one way or another. They wreck it for everybody. The people they run off are easy to run off and those are almost always the people worth having.

The solution, a zebra, someone with a whistle? Well, someone needs to make people who enjoy attacking other people go away. It seems like the hardest task to me. Or is it?
You can always tell if someone is trying to lay bait for an attack, they set up some specious premise, or at least, illogical. Knock that chip off my shoulder, I dare you! If the conversation doesn’t go their way, they come back harder and eventually get personal. That is an easy pattern to recognize.
It can’t be a love fest, there has to be disagreement or there is no point. But the rules have to be strict. It is possible to have ongoing, long term, civil disagreements, that is the organizing principle.
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