Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nature's bounty makes me smile

From Costco Wholesale, fresh wild salmon from the Copper River in Alaska (2013).

Say cheese.

As in the goat, cheddar, reduced-fat Swiss, buffalo mozzarella and the other wonderful cheeses I've been eating since I gave up bread and pizza a year ago, and lost 30 pounds.

I went from having a breakfast sandwich stuffed with smoked wild salmon, greens, tomato and whatever else would fit to a breakfast salad topped with canned sardines or salmon, a fresh wild salmon fillet or smoked fish and cheese.

This week, I finished off the fresh Copper River sockeye salmon I picked up at Costco in Hackensack.

I baked it quickly with fresh lemon juice, Aleppo red pepper and a mint-and-cilantro pesto without garlic or cheese.

I made a bed of organic spring mix or red-leaf lettuce, layered on thick slices of beefsteak tomato, crumbled some goat cheese and topped it with a wild salmon fillet right from the fridge. 

The dressing was extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or oil and fresh lemon juice.

My own mint tea

I wash it down with mint iced tea -- using ShopRite pure instant tea mix, lemon juice and mint from the garden.

This year, we're growing regular and heirloom tomatoes, sweet green pepper, cucumber and red-leaf lettuce. A few year ago, we planted peach and fig trees.

Squirrels, peaches

We have yet to eat any peaches from the tree, though there are hopeful signs this year -- in other words, the squirrels have left most of the small, green orbs that have appeared in recent weeks.

Of course, my wife put mothballs in women's hosiery on the fence the squirrels use as a launching pad, and I sprayed the growing peaches with red pepper, soap and water. 

Fresh wild flounder

I went to Costco today to get my third fillet of fresh wild salmon, but had to settle for wild-caught flounder at $7.99 a pound. 

I'll bread the thin, Canadian fillets in chili spices and bake them (done in under 15 minutes).

We ate five seedless watermelons since May 8 ($7.99 to $3.99), so we've switched to red grapes, blackberries, mangoes and bananas.

I make melted-cheese sandwiches for my 14-year-0ld son, using Cabot sliced cheddar and either Syrian pocket bread or 100% whole-grain bread from Costco.

But the closest I can come for myself is a slice of beefsteak tomato topped with olive oil, Italian seasoning, pepper-jack cheese and pesto, and baked in the oven. It's not bad.
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  1. Victor, you have to let your son try masahaha, that is Syrian Bread stuffed with Syrian cheese (string or chunk) and grilled on a skillet for a few minutes each side on low heat.

  2. I didn't realize it melts well, but now remember seeing my mother making string cheese and how she started off by heating it until it was pliable.

    When I started to drive, she'd send me to buy mozzarella in another part of Brooklyn so she could make the cheese at home.

  3. Yes it is the same base as mozzarella cheese, they heat it up, salt it, twist it and then put it in a huge bowl of iced water for it to set.

  4. Yes, I remember the process well from watching my mother.

    I loved the way she stretched the cheese and braided it.

    And when it came time to eat, my mother seemed able to shred the string cheese into thread-like strands and pile them on a plate, perfect for stuffing into hot Syrian bread for breakfast, with olives.


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