Dana’s Salmon Bouillabaisse

[from the stabenow.com vaults, March 23, 2011]

It’s that time of year when Alaskans start cleaning out their freezers of last year’s salmon so as to make room for this year’s. Here’s a sort-of bouillabaisse made with half a filet of silver salmon out of the Kenai River, caught by Becky, also my deer liver provider last year. Love Becky.

Put a frying pan over medium high heat, and fry some chopped bacon in a little olive oil until it is crisp.

Add some chopped onion, chopped celery and chopped carrot. Sauté for three minutes.

Add a chopped tomato, a diced potato, a chipotle chile, and about a tablespoon of tomato paste. I had a little broth left over from boiling a pork rib a couple of days ago so I added that, plus a glug of wine, plus enough water to cover. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for twenty minutes.

Put a heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in a clove of squished garlic, a couple of healthy shakes of red pepper, and some chili powder. Go ahead, be brave, make it really spicy.

Remove cover and add skinned, cubed, deboned salmon filet. Cover, turn off the heat, and let sit for no more than two minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to dip out solid ingredients and pour broth over last. Garnish with the spiced mayo and eat at once.

Cook’s tip:
*I would have made garlic croutons if I’d had any bread.

Cook’s caveat:
*The recipe below calls for red wine. I had white. I used it.

Cook’s homage:
This meal was begun by reading the recipe for “Bobbie’s Bouillabaisse” on pages 382-3 of The New Basics Cookbook.

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Anybody should have been able to see it coming.

Sergeant Jim Chopin said that fully a third of the local callouts to the Niniltna trooper post involved Dulcey Kineen in some way. Either she was enticing men at the Roadhouse to drink so she could drink with them, or she was seducing men away from their wives and sweethearts, or she was vamping men for cash, moose backstrap or a free ride to Ahtna with Costco privileges thrown in, or spurned suitors were getting drunk and wreaking mayhem and madness on a town too small to ignore either. The incident the previous winter involving Dulcey, Wasillie Peterkin and the road grader was still a painful subject to everyone concerned.

Dulcey and the Balluta brothers. Anybody should have been able to see it coming. But nobody did, until it was far too late.

Cherchez la Femme

The Collected Short Stories

Only in e.

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“The world has been mapped, after a fashion…”

The Story of MapsThe Story of Maps by Lloyd A. Brown

Brown really does make an actual story out of the evolution of map-making. The chapter on the Middle Ages is especially fun because he’s just so indignant that faith supplanted reason following the collapse of the Roman Empire

Since the year 27 B.C., when Octavianus became Augustus Caesar, the Empire of the Romans had flourished…the Mediterranean had become a Roman lake ringed by Roman provinces and territories…cleared of pirates, and coasting trade was brisk. In fact travel, either for business or pleasure, was safer in that region than it ever was again until the introduction of steam navigation.

But the empire did collapse, and into the vacuum stepped the Catholic Church, which abhorred science since it conflicted with What Was Written and known to Be The Truth. The church didn’t approve of cartography because the Bible told them what the world looked like (a rectangular flat twice as long as it was wide) and they didn’t approve of travel much, either (Why go see for yourself when you could stay at home and just believe what we say?). From about 300 A.D. until Bartolomeo Diaz rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1487, Brown writes

The lamp of scientific knowledge, a tremulous flame at best, was obscured for a time by the blinding light of religious ecstasy.

Nice, eh? Wish I’d written that.

Some of the maps he describes are pretty much made right up and would have been screamingly funny, if they hadn’t helped shroud mankind in an impenetrable darkness for so many centuries.

Well worth reading, and a pretty easy read, too.

View all my reviews

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