the veritable dorade rose

These are some food thoughts from a few weeks ago... will catch up to this week soon, I hope:

Sunday: Anchovy pasta for lunch (something like this), dinner of barley cooked with savory veggie broth, topped with green onions, sides of butternut squash and broccoli rabe

Monday: A bunch of people came over for BSG watching, and we made Texas beef chili with cornbread and vinegar-y cole slaw, AKA "Brassica Mixta." I think we cooked the chili for about 5 hours on Sunday and shredded it on Monday. It was a hit!

Tuesday: Salted and pressed, thin-sliced, floured, skillet-cooked, oven-finished eggplant, chickpeas with a bunch of random stuff (red pepper, tomato, ginger, unsweetened coconut...) and rice. As I was cooking this and thinking about how I would describe it, I realized how little I use recipes sometimes these days. I used to use them *all the time,* so it's a pretty big change for me. I did glance briefly at a recipe using unsweetened coconut, to see if I should add it early or late (answer: late. toasted.) The eggplant dish is one we make with really fresh eggplants, and the salting + draining thing really does seem to matter. They turn out with the best outside-crispy, inside-soft texture.

Wednesday: Dinner at "O! Canada!" House, followed by Karaoke. On a Wednesday! I know. The Baum made some kick-ass food, including steaks with a lot of Roquefort sauce.

Thursday: Spoons and I went out to dinner in our own hood. We went to a vietnamese place I hadn't been to before. The vinegar-y salad was deeee-licious and the other dishes were good, too. All those hot, sour, salty, sweet flavors.

Friday: Pasta with some kind of a red sauce that we made quickly. I remember there was a little bacon involved. And salad. I made a few things to take to a housewarming party, including a big batch of Sidecars -- a great thing to make when you have just TOO MUCH Cognac around. Spoons and I tested a few different proportions -- 1 cognac : 1 cointreau : 1 lemon juice tasted best to us. 2 cognac : 1 : 1 was a bit too alcoholic (just drink the cognac, then) and 1 : 2 cointreau : 1 tasted too syrupy. We also added a little sparkling water to the finished bottle of drinks and shook it with lots of ice. It was enjoyed by many.

Saturday: Everything Italian looked amazing at the farmers' market, and I relized it's probably because it is a lot warmer there! I got a bunch of lovely greens labelled "minestra," which I thought was the name of the kind of greens, but it turns out that "minestra" means soup. Oh. Ok. For dinner we had fishes: dorade/sea bream baked whole with rice and the undetermined "minestra" green.

Here is a picture of our fish, "Veritable dorade rose Bretonne" which means "Genuine pink dorade from Britanny." This fish was OK, but it had a texture a lot like chicken breast meat.

I'd been looking for a while for a guide to choosing fish here, something like the awesome Seafood Watch in the US, but hadn't found a good one until I googled "dorade rose." I found this one, for the WWF Switzerland, which says to avoid Dorade Rose AT ALL COSTS. Oh. Well, now we know where to look. Sorry, Dorade Rose. We didn't like your chicken-texture that much anyway.

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