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Sunday, August 7, 2011

A true potluck--and a cool summer supper

Tonight we had a true potluck--I deviled eggs and made a huge batch of southwestern tuna, forgetting that Beth and Weldon can't eat mayonnaise unless it's made with canola oil--I have a lot of leftover tuna; Beth brought a green salad, and Jean, a luscious bowl of cantaloupe and watermelon straight from the farmers' market. A good, light summer salad. Southwestern tuna is in a previous Potluck post, ifyou're interested.
Yesterday was a lazy day, and two recipes in the morning paper caught my eye, so I decided to cook for one--though, of course, I changed them around. The first was a cucumber soup. I thought it called for a disproportionate amount of yogurt, so I used less, and I substituted buttermilke for almond milk, which is way expensive. The result was too thin, and I probably should have stuck with the original amount.  The recipe, first printed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, called for a large cucumber, peeled and seeded, a shallot, a "handful" of fresh mint, 16 oz. Greek yogurt, and 8 oz.almond milk. My first problem was defining a "handful" of mint, and I think I got too much mint. Then I obviously didn't use enough yogurt--but I thought I was cutting the recipe in half. In proportion I used too much buttermilk. I think if I'd gotten the proportions right, it would really have been good. What I fixed had a good flavor.
The second was a salmon tartare salad, mixing smoked and fresh salmon. I wasn't going near the only store I'd trust for sushi grade salmon, so I substituted canned and soon discovered how spoiled I am to Pisces salmon, which is deep pink and rich in flavor. The standard commercial salmon I used was pale and did not have anywhere near the flavor, though I stand by my decision to use canned. Here's what I did:
1 7.5 oz. canned salmon
4 oz. smoked salmon
Two chopped green onions
crushed black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Juice of one lemon
It was good, but it would have been better with Pisces salmon. I don't undertand the political ins and outs of why the salmon is not available but the cannery missed salmon season in the process of buying a new fishing boat. If I understand it right, salmon fishing for small operations is controlled by the politics of the big commercial fisheries. I'm on the waiting list for spring when they expect to have it available again. As I've said before, Pisces salmon and tuna are canned fresh and cooked only once, after the fish is in the can. No preservatives. Makes a world of difference in the taste and is worth the difference in price.
Even with a few caveats, it was a good, light meal for one. I ate leftovers for lunch and then that nice light meal tonight--I'm feeling quite righteous and healthy.

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