We have had a good three days of eatin’! You know how sometimes you just eat to stay alive and you have no memory or interest in what you have tasted? Well, I hate that. I want to remember my food. I want to love every bite sooo much that I stay awake at night thinking about it. And, usually I do. That is how my mind operates. It rotates around food. My day is centered around what I am going to make my kids for lunch and what my family will eat for dinner. Making menus for the coming few weeks is one of my favorite chores. I don’t think anyone I know quite comprehends this sickness of mine, with the exception of my husband. And he tolerates it well. Now mind you, not every meal I cook and/or eat is a euphoric experience. That would be ridiculously time consuming, expensive, and unrealistic-no matter how I may strive for that. But who is to say that a simple meal of grilled brats, baked beans out of a can, a pile of Doritos, and a glass of iced tea isn’t a euphoric experience? Eating a meal like that in the middle of January can taste like the best meal you have ever had. Why? Because you were craving it. Because it reminds you of summer. Because it is a welcome deviation from the hot and heavy meals most of us eat all winter. In a lot of ways, that is the big thing for me. Is the meal I am eating, what I really want to be eating? I know I have mentioned before that I go through food phases. Well, the same thing goes for cravings. I crave different foods everyday. And if that craving goes unsatisfied, I usually have a hankering for that food until I get to eat it. And when you eat the very thing that you have been sooo hungry for and it tastes exactly like you want it too…*sigh*…there are few things as satisfying.
The last three days have been a string of exactly that. Great food just when I wanted it. Tuesday I made grilled New York Strip steaks, sweet potato and onion hash, and crunchy iceberg salads with a zippy bleu cheese dressing. Zucchini bread for dessert. Last night, my husband and I went out for our wedding anniversary to Biaggis, a fine italian restaurant and I ordered my usual; black fettuccini with lobster, wild mushrooms and a light seafood cream sauce. Words cannot express how fabulous this dish is. The black pasta, dyed with squid ink, was perfectly al dente with just a bit of heat to the sauce. We had a simple bruscchetta for an appetizer, drizzled with an aged balsamic vinegar. Dessert was a classic tiramasu that was swimming in coffee liquor and canolis with toasted pistachios and shaved chocolate. Tonight? Well, when I opened the deep freezer this morning and saw a bag of walleye that my Dad had caught just outside the door of my parents cabin, my mouth started to water. So for dinner, I mixed equal parts corn meal and all purpose flour, about a half a cup of each, and about 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning. I dredged the fish and fried them in canola oil, just until they were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. And just as I knew it would, one bite of that fresh fish and I could smell the breeze coming off the lake. It was just what I wanted, when I wanted it most. And now Mike is having fish tacos for lunch tomorrow. Win win all around.
We usually eat the fish plain, letting the fresh flavor speak for itself. However, when the mood strikes us, I make this remoulade sauce to go with it. It is super easy to do and way better than the bottled tartar sauce.
1/2 to 3/4 c mayonnaise
1 T minced dill pickle
1 T capers, drained
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp white wine or cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 hard boiled egg, chopped fine(optional)
1 T chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Mix all ingredients together and let sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to marry. This classic french sauce is fantastic with veggies too.