Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creative Cooking: Salmon Yakitori


This is what Steve brought home from his initial fishing adventure.


Isn't it beautiful?


This is the freshest salmon I have ever cooked with. From the ocean to the net to my hands in mere hours.

I went to my delicious bookmarks and looked up salmon. I rediscovered yakitori, a recipe I've been meaning to try from one of my favorite food blogs.


I started with a little sugar.

Note to readers: I attempted to be artistic while taking these photos and placed the salmon in the background of every ingredient picture. Consider appreciating that. Thank you.


Some smashed garlic.

Note to readers: If you use a knife to smash garlic cloves, use the same knife to slice a cucumber, and eat that cucumber slice, it is a bad idea. Trust me.


The original recipe called for rice wine. I had no rice wine. The suggested substitute was apple juice. I had no apple juice. I had a packet of caramel apple cider, but I thought that might throw the flavor of the dish off... I ended up using rice vinegar.


Because I'm an idiot, I added oil to the marinade. The oil was supposed to be used when cooking the salmon. Oops. Luckily, I don't think it ruined everything. In fact, because I used sesame oil, the flavor may have even been enhanced.


I had the foresight to mix the marinade in a ziploc bag...


which made it really easy to let the salmon chunks soak up the goodness overnight.


These pictures aren't the greatest, but I wanted to add them to prove I actually did make this dish. The above picture is the marinated salmon in (some more) sesame oil.


This is the salmon when it was done. (Again, the photo is primarily to prove my culinary activity, in fact, took place.)


The finished yakitori. Even my non-fish-eating husband enjoyed it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fishing With Teachers or The Post in Which I Use the Word Fillet As Often As Possible

Steve and I have lived in Alaska for going on seven years, and we went fishing for the first time today. This was a massive act of love on Steve's part because he doesn't even like fish.


Last night a few of the teachers put a net in the water. The net is attached to the white buoys you can see in the pictures above.


We pulled the net to shore looking for fish.


Okay, so the use of the word "we" was a little generous. Steve was the only Alston that did any of the actual pulling of the net.


The fish get tangled as they try to swim through the net.


Steve was a pro at untangling the fish.


The lineup. Notice the sanitary conditions. :)


Me with the future fillet.


Steve humored me and posed for a fish picture too.


The beginning of the fillet. A nice slice below the head.


Hard at work in the filleting process.


The other filleting stations.


This is what was left after I was done filleting. The leftovers were donated to one of the local dogsled teams.


The fillets were reserved for human consumption. I took a couple and cooked them in a bit of hot vegetable oil. After a couple of minutes, I put them in the oven.

Note to readers: the pictured fillet was not filleted by me. It was filleted by another teacher earlier in the day.


While the fillet baked, I gathered some of this beautiful lemon zest.


I added the zest to some butter, shallots, and lemon juice, inspired by this.


The finished fillet with the sauce. It was delicious. Even Steve agreed. Maybe there's something to this fishing thing after all...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adventures in Feeding a Baby


It was time for this little lady to eat something besides formula.


We started off introducing the spoon.


Immediate success. Spoon to mouth. Check.


Then we added a little rice cereal.


Bland, yet satisfying.


We ended with a slightly messy but reasonably happy baby.


I got a little excited about the prospect of feeding Kaitlyn, so I started to prepare for the days beyond rice cereal.


Hello, food processor.


Hello, cute baby in a walker while Mommy works in the kitchen.


Am I a bad mom if I didn't take the time to smooth the baby food in the ice cube trays?


Note to Readers: Broccoli does not make good baby food.


After a few more days of rice cereal practice we made the above progress. Notice how she is opening her mouth for the spoon. Notice also how her tongue is on the side of the high chair tray. :)


This little girl is well on her way to entering the world of solid food.

***Apologies to readers if this post is suspiciously like a mommy blog. Commentary on life in rural Alaska will resume shortly.