Monday, July 9, 2012

Black Monday/Blue Monday

Église de la Sainte-Trinité

We're tightening belts around here, so I haven't been buying the usual heirloom summer tomatoes at the the Saturday organic market, nor being inspired by the other beautiful food there.  I didn't even make it to the market this weekend.  We did a treasure hunt on Saturday, organized by the Paris city hall.  Good times, for me at least.  I understood about a third of the puns, and followed Vince and his friend around Paris admiring all the beautiful buildings (mostly in the rain), while they tried to figure out where the next turn was.  So much fun.  But that means the fridge is empty of its usual abundance of fresh veggies, so here I am on Monday, in search of inspiration. 

Mondays in Paris are always the hardest day for me... the poor privileged housewife.  Any medium to small business that is open at least one day on the weekend is closed on Monday.  That includes the local street of awesomeness, Rue de Poteau, with it's cheese shops, charcuterie, and outdoor veggie stalls.  All shuttered.  I thought, perhaps it would be a good day to explore a farmers market in another neighborhood, so I checked for farmers markets on Monday and there are exactly 2, both at least a 40 minute metro ride across town.  Not happening today.  I'll have to come up with something else. 

I've been eating a lot of fish lately.  I find the beef here very expensive, and not as tender as the corn fed, antibiotic filled, marbled goodness I find in the US.  That leaves pork, fish and chicken.  And while I love pork and chicken, as you know, I hate touching meat.  For some reason, I have no such problems with fish.      Here's one of my favorite recipes with salmon.  It has few ingredients, usually ones I have around the house.   I often have fish in the freezer that I pull out a few hours before to defrost, and this recipe works well with your normal grocery store tomatoes.  You could even use canned largely diced tomatoes if you have zero fresh ones. It is inspired by my dad who used to cook a version of this often.  He says it's from the Mediterranean region.  He lived in Spain for a few years as a teenager.  

Salmon Fillets with Tomatoes Onions and Capers
for 2, multiply as needed
1/2 to 1 lb salmon filleted (defrosted if using frozen)
1/2 onion sliced thin
1    cup tomatoes in 2cm pieces
2    tbsp capers
1    lemon
olive oil, salt and pepper 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place fillets in baking dish.  Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the fillets.  Drizzle with good olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  I am generous with all 3, but you should do as your diet requires.  Sprinkle tomatoes, onions and capers over the salmon.  >

Here's the hard part.  Cooking time depends on the size of your fish pieces, whether they are individually portioned or in 1 large fillet, and how well done you like your fish.  I would generally check the the dish at around 15 minutes.  If you like your fish on the rare side, the exterior should be flaky and opaque when separated with a fork.  The interior should be translucent and hold together well.  If you like it better done, it should be flaky and opaque all the way through.  If you have a gas oven, I would also put it close-ish to the flame so the veggies come out caramelized and crispy.  Serve hot with a lemon wedge/slice on top.  

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