Sunday, August 26, 2012

salmon and salmon skin chips?

Two words your probably do not want to hear together are "cheap" and "sushi." Yet, one of the few bragging rights of my neighborhood is that cheap sushi is abundant. So much so that a bar on the sushi-restaurant strip has a huge white sign in the window to let obnoxious patrons know that they don't have any. It's so ubiquitous, I guess, that people think they can order a tuna roll with their pint of Bud.
I have a couple of favorite restaurants in the area, and really, I don't want to think about the health implications of eating what is probably sub-par raw fish. The brain parasites have been blissfully dormant so far, and until they stir, I'll be ordering chirashi.

One wonders how far the south Brooklyn sushi purveyors have veered from the traditional Japanese offerings, though. In Tokyo, I'm sure they don't have Moscow, Bagel and Pink Lady rolls on the menus. Salmon skin rolls, too, might be an invention of thrift. They take what would be a waste product, make it tasty, and roll it up and charge you for it. And you're not mad, because it is delicious.
And you can actually enjoy the crisp, fishy flavor at home. Until I realized that, I was just throwing it away...

You start with this:
A baked salmon filet. 
(How? Heat oven to 375, smear a baking dish in a high smoke-point oil, like grapeseed, and definitely NOT olive. Lay salmon skin-side down, salt and pepper the salmon generously, squeeze out lemon juice over it, and cover the whole thing in dill fronds. This keeps it from burning as is cooks through and adds some vaguely Scandinavian flavor, maybe. Drizzle with more oil, and bake for 20-ish minutes. You want it to flake gently, so don't overcook. This skill might take a few years if you are me, but a perfectly prepared cut of salmon is such a beautiful thing.)

Now you have some delicious salmon. You cut into it with your spatula, and it magically separates from the squishy, slimy skin. You could eat the skin... or, you know, not, because it's kinda gross. BUT! You can make it delicious. Really, really, delicious. You can FRY it! Just like they do in those places you'd bring a date to.

What you want is a cast iron pan, some salt, and some leftover salmon skin.
If your pan is seasoned, and the salmon skin has some oil from when it was baked, you're good to go. But remember, not olive oil. It really will make a difference.  Between the fatty nature of salmon, and the fact that you oiled it already, you probably will not need additional oil. You may want some salt, though. So sprinkle the skin with salt on both sides.
Step 1: heat the pan. Get it really hot.
Step 2: add the salmon skin. It doesn't have to be one big piece, but not too tiny either, because it will burn.
Step 3: stay clear of the splatter! There will absolutely be splatter. Maybe invest in a mesh screen to cover the pan with. They're a good investment.
When the salmon skin begins to brown and crisp, it should lift easily out of the pan. Turn it over on the other side and let it get crispy, too.
Step 4: remove and lay on a paper towel.

And there you have it.

Use your chips to top a salad.
Or crush them and sprinkle over rice, like furikake (top with a fried egg. Top everything with a fried egg. I'm serious.)
Maybe you want to make a salmon skin roll? That's certainly ambitious.
Or just eat them like chips.

Is this healthy? I don't know. It's fried, you probably frazzled up all the omega-3's. But that salmon filet wasn't cheap, right? And now you've got a way to eat all of it. You have my permission to feel fancy.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Thoughts on a Friday (maybe not *about* Friday)

You people with the blogs-- how do you come up with the content of your entries? Do you just sort of spew a stream of consciousness out onto the page, or do you make notes during the day? Inquiring minds want to know.

Per the previous post, I've been mostly pretty good about the lunch thing. I packed lunch all five days this week, and three the week prior. Not too shabby, overall.
Unfortunately, I just finished watching all the (new) Doctor Who that my boyfriend's Netflix account had to offer (do any of you or your boyfriends have a Netflix account with secret Doctor Who episodes? Just thought I'd put it out there.) So I have no idea what to do with myself. I will fill the void with sleep, since I should probably be doing that and don't get nearly enough of it.

On Friday, I get to go home early. On Friday, things are typically low key and not demanding and this time I thought I would get myself home, and, in the spirit of not buying stuff, I thought I would make a bunch of pizza dough. Out of things I already have: Flour, oil, water and yeast. Make a ton! Freeze it! Enjoy pizza night in the near future without needing 3 hours to play with the dough. I made it only once before, my first time baking with yeast, and it turned out pretty well, if a little tough. This time, I told myself, I'd just work the dough a little less. Easy peasy, and I'd throw in a load of laundry (there is a very pretty sundress with a big grease stain on it due to a soup dumpling mis-fire and it needs needs to be saved). But then. The train. I swear, no matter how energized and ready to Do The Things I'm feeling, the train just beats it out of me. Once I get out at my stop I'm all loo-dee-doo... gotta go buy olives and sit around eating all of them and then maybe brush my teeth and go to sleep. If it's 2 in the afternoon, that's irrelevant. Olives. Sleep. Maybe toothpaste.

Can I ask the internet another question?
How do you stay energized?
Do you exercise? (I hate you) Do you drink a quart of OJ a day? (I hate OJ so much) Do you drink a quart of the blood of virgins harvested under a full moon? (Not so into blood or virgins either, but can have a go at this, maybe). Sodas of the brown variety (Pepsi, Coke) used to be amazing at this task, even better than coffee, but those are off the table, and coffee doesn't really energize me so much as keeps the caffeine deprivation headaches at bay ("Maybe you shouldn't drink so much coffee" is NEVER what you say to someone who is wincing and turning away from the morning light. The correct approach is always "You like it with milk, right? I'll be right back.")
I know that "everyone" is "always" "tired" - but is there a way around that? Or am I supposed to wear that nasty red clump of capillaries in my right eye like a badge of honor? Does it say to the world, "I'm doing so much! I can't be bothered to rest or even to purchase Visine." or "Probably, I am hung over" (I'm not, but it's hard to look bloodshot and highbrow. You try it.)

There are things I can do. For example, I can take up jogging in the evenings (Or not, because even the idea of getting up and lacing my shoes is sooo exhausting). I could try to go to sleep at a reasonable hour every night. I could drink a freaky green morning smoothie that's so potent that I'll have the energy to come home and wash the blender! Oh, one can dream. Once can imagine rinsing off kale at 5:30 in the morning. One simply prefers to hit snooze, think "Oh, shit!" and run to the train with one's sandals still undone. One does this often.

My present project is to sound like an articulate human being by not saying the word "like" so much. It's gonna be, such as, challenging.

A good weekend to you lovely lurkey people.

The picture at the top is of the only thing I accomplished today: re-heating Chinese take-out vegetable mei fun noodles, with kim chi and a fried egg on top. Top something with a fried egg in your own life some time soon. Maybe a cat. Delicious.