East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Fishing for Girls"

fat ones! thin ones! stout ones! trim ones!

One of my problems as a cook is that I find manual labour dull, whereas I find mental labour enthralling, as long as it's not actual work. When I was making tapanade on the weekend, I had pitted eight olives before I thought, this is stupid, let me just use the half jar of stuffed Safeway olives I have in the fridge. (I spread the tapanade on bread and toasted it in the oven with some asparagus. It turned out OK, it just filled me with three days' RDI of sodium.) On the other hand, I spent hours last night reading about different types of fish. This was probably a good use of my time, or at least it seemed to be, coming after the three hours I spent at the Stop BP meeting without really saying anything. Since I cook seafood most days now, I really should have a better idea of what I'm putting into my body.

After researching comparative healthiness, especially mercury levels, and environmental factors, I came up with a Fish List. The gist is I can eat Alaskan salmon and sardines all the time with negligible health risks and guilt (of course, these are already the species I eat all the time). Once or twice a week I can pick something from the "eat sometimes" list, while having "special occasion" seafood at restaurants. I picked black cod from the "eat sometimes" category, to follow ™'s pan-steaming recipe. And wouldn't you know, the fish turned out better than my previous inept attempts at seafood. Except the shiitake mushrooms I cooked with the fish were even tastier. At this point I think that, salmon and canned stuff aside, it's time to give up on supermarket seafood.


To elevate my calorie intake, I'm trying to get in the habit of cooking vegetables as snacks. Good: roast turnips, though it's getting warm now and I probably won't have them again until the autumn. Not-so-good: old bok choy quick-heated in a skillet. The leaves were done almost immediately, while the stems barely cooked at all.


The Brazil Cafe's vegetarian sandwich is almost as good as their tri-tip: same sauce, I think, with tons of avocado, as well as corn that tastes too good to be canned, though it probably is.

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