Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quick/Long Cure Salmon

There are two ways I like to cure salmon. One is a quick cure, takes like an hour, and the other is a longer cure that takes a week. The rub, or dry mixture, is my brother Dave's. He spent years tweaking it, and I've stolen it here in 20 seconds.

I had to do a quick cure tonight because we were having Grandpa and Ruth over for dinner. These two older folk tend to run on the late side (GPS wasn't working, they've moved the streets--again!)  and the kids wanted an appetizer since they had to wait for dinner.

This is truly amazing stuff. And easy. Don't forget good for you. All those healthy fish oils, you'll have a glossy coat and a wet nose in no time.

Quick Cure Salmon

Get a smack of salmon (how it sounds when you slap it on the counter--don't measure, listen).

Slice the salmon smack thin-ish. If you can read through it, it's too thin

Mix lots of  brown sugar and kosher salt in a bowl--more brown sugar than

Rough chop a hank* of fresh dill (splash out, buy fresh) and toss it in the dry mixture

Take a cookie sheet and cover the bottom with the sugar/salt/dill like a little beach

Lay the little salmon slabs across the rub

Bury them now with the rest of the dry mixture (not like the beach, don't leave their heads sticking out) BURY

Set another cookie sheet on top of this and weight it real good (don't stand on it, tempting, I know)

The idea is to draw the moisture out of the fish, both with the dry mix and the weight

After an hour or two, rinse the slippery little slabs carefully in the sink

Pat dry

Serve with crackers, capers, your favorite cheese (mine's Parrano--Dutch cheese with an Italian name, get it at Trader Joe's, holla!)  sliced salted and peppered tomatoes

*hank--to clasp, grab. Ever had your hair pulled? As in, "My sister pulled out a hank of my hair." It's from Old Norse, spoken in Scandinavia way back in the day, and since salmon curing is oh-so- Scandinavian it is awarded a Perfect Word!

Long Cure Salmon

Leave the salmon in a smack, mind use a filet, not a steak (steak has bones and is shaped like a U)

Same rub, same plan, same pans

Weight it in the fridge and leave it for a week

Every few days, pour off the liquid that's squeezed out or you'll end up with a sticky mess in your fridge

Slice and eat at it for weeks! 

I like to do a whole side of salmon this way. It's phenomenal and kids love it. Picture this: in bed, dog curled at your side, a fantastic book (preferably a mystery!) salmon, crackers and cheese on a plate on the nightstand, house to yourself, ahhh.

UT Baked Potato

One semester in college, University of Texas, ya'll,  I had a bizarre  two-hour gap between classes on Tues/Thurs in the middle of the day. It was just enough time to ride my bike home, eat quick, and go back for that final class. Afternoon classes, after lunch? Anyone? Naptime! So, to help you sleep away that class, a hot and filling, carby lunch to put you right out.

Microwave a potato (start with five minutes.  Squeeze it, you'll know when it's done)

Slit it and press it open--don't cut it in half, you're trying to make a goodie-drop hole only

Drop in mozzarella cheese

Wave it again

It's now real hot, bubbling

Smash half a cold avocado in it with a fork, now it's splitting open. It's okay. Let it go.

Cools it down

GOT to have Spike brand spice

Spike it, salt it and its ready to eat immediately, no blowing necessary

Ahh, a real full tum. Now get to class!


When my eldest son, Thyge, was little, he loved eggs and I was lazy, and a recipe was born. I told him about these eggs recently and he was, I'm not gonna lie, grossed out. But, if you think about it, the best eggs are cooked in the pan after the bacon comes out...this is simply a variation on a classic breakfast theme.

Take the pan you cooked hamburgers in

Heat it up hot like a wok

Whip some eggs in a bowl

Add to it a splash of water--not milk

Salt no pepper unless you like gray eggs

Hot wok it!

Done as soon as you get the hamburger dregs* firmed up in the scramble

This is real real quick

Can be done with any used pan, just rename it: spageggies, poteggies, marineggies....

*dregs--from Proto-Indo-European or PIE (food!) or OAL, as I like to call it (Old Ass Language) meaning 'to make muddy'

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

You don't even need a story for mashed potatoes. Everyone loves them. But fluffy is tricky. Do it this way and Bob's your uncle.

Always use russet potatoes
(they're the brown ones)

Peel them

(now they're white)
Don’t cut them too small (each potato into six pieces--you do the math)
Salt the dickens out of the water

Boil those babies!
Drain when soft—not too soft
Put the pot back on the burner turned down to medium
Let the heat steam out the excess water (this is the magic sentence here, this is where the fluff happens)
Mash 'em around
Keep the steam coming for a few minutes
Now you can pour in HOT milk and melted butter

Salt it like you mean it

(Don't be a wuss*, seriously, salt the shit, aight?)
Whip it good
Wash the pot quick, stuff hardens like cement
*wuss--1982 movie script, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Mike Damone: You are a wuss: part wimp, and part pussy (Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/)
Warning: Ladies, don't let any drop down your shirt, it'll leave little pieces everywhere as it tumbles. You'll feel cold potatoey all day. Trust me. Or, wear a turtleneck.