Chef? Nah. Just a good reader.

If you can read you can cook. That’s my philosophy.

Olivier slices while I try to remember the rest of the recipe.

People think I’m a good cook and I think two things – it’s always “two things” with me. One is, it’s relative, really. If all you ever eat is polish sausage and sauerkraut or tuna casserole – manna for my family when I was growing up, oh, and Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and fish sticks or “Bean Medley” (ohmygosh)  – and then sit down to my grilled salmon, dirty red roasted garlic potatoes with sauteed leeks and brussel spouts, you might think I’m a good cook.

But the other thing is, I don’t think I’m as much a cook as I am a reader, or direction follower. I went to a Catholic grade school. I know how to follow directions for cry-eye. 

Then it’s about what I have a taste for … hmmm, salmon, oh and there are those two mangoes I bought at Whole Foods on Tuesday, plus – what did I see? – a can of black beans, and there’s corn. Thank goodness for the Internet. Go to Google, type in mango black bean corn salsa for salmon and what do you get? Jamaica Jerk Salmon and Mango Pineapple Salsa. The recipe didn’t call for corn but thought I’d add it anyway. Hmmm, someone must have eaten it for lunch. No problem.

The best looking recipe popped up on Epicurious. Credits to Marge Perry in the April 2011 edition of Self.

Salmon and salsa, photo by Sang An

You can find it at this link Marge Perry’s recipe. I bought a large piece of wild caught salmon at Sam’s. It’s about $22 for a piece that easily serves 8.

First, I made the salsa. Mangoes are easy to cut and dice and the two I bought for a buck each at Whole Foods were perfect. There was a half pineapple at the local grocery, a can of black beans from my sister’s stores, some red o, cilantro and salt. I added lime juice and wished I’d had some jalapeno.

Jerk spices in this recipe were allspice, cumin, thyme, cayenne and cinnamon. It was easiest for me to cook the salmon in the oven. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Olive oil the foil, put the salmon in right side down to oil one side and then flip it over so there’s oil on both sides. Mix the spices in a small bowl, rub them on the fish. Set aside.

Slice and rinse four leeks. Rinse and cut the ends off about a pound of brussel sprouts then slice.

Heat the oven to 385 and when ready, pop in the salmon. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. In the meantime, saute the leeks in olive oil until the color deepens, add the sliced brussel sprouts and cook until soft. The leeks will start to brown a bit. I like this look and they taste yummy. Add a pat of butter and pepper. It’s dinner.

It’s a hit every time. People think I can cook but I just thank Sister St. Dorothy for making me read.



4 responses to “Chef? Nah. Just a good reader.

  1. Je sais que tu es une très bonne cuisinière.
    Peu importe la recette, c’est l’amour que l’on veut transmettre, le désir de partager qui fait la bonne cuisine ! Moi je pense que l’on ne peut pas être un bon cuisinier en se contentant de suivre une recette. C’est faire preuve d’une grande modestie de l’écrire.
    La cuisine (française off course !) est bien plus que cela. Tout commence dans le choix de son plat, de ses ingrédients. Faire la démarche pour trouver de bon produits et les acheter pour les partager constitue la première preuve que la cuisine est une affaire de sentiments. Le hasard n’est pas là. C’est l’envie de partager ce que l’on a de meilleur qui est déjà le moteur.
    Ensuite cuisiner est coûteux en temps. Investir ce temps pour les autres montre aussi l’intérêt que l’on a pour ses amis, sa famille…
    Vouloir donner le meilleur à ses hôtes est une grande preuve de l’amitié qu’on leur porte, et c’est en cela que tu es une très bonne cuisinière !!
    Donc, je ne dis pas qu’il suffit de lire pour bien cuisiner, je dis qu’il faut aimer ses hôtes pour bien cuisiner et savoir que la cuisine est un moyen exceptionnel pour transmettre cet amour !

    I will try to translate, so excuse my poor english…
    I know that you are a very good cook.
    No mater the recipe, It’s love that we want to transmit, the desire to share that makes good food ! I think we can’t be a good cook by simply following a recipe. You must be very modest to write it !
    Cooking is mush more than that. All begin when you choice your dishes to do, or its ingedients. Make the step to find good products and buy them to share them, is the first evidence taht the kitchen is a matter of feelings. The chance doen’t exist really. It’s the desire to share the best you have, which is already the engine.
    Then, cooking is time consuming. Invest this time to the other also shows the interst you have for your friends, for your familly…
    Wanting to give the best to your guests is a great proof of friendship to them, and this is where your are a very good cook !
    So I’m not agree with you, I can’t say “If you can read, you can cook” I would say “If you love your guests, you can be a good cook, but you have to know that cooking is a great way to transmit this love”

    Even so this salmon make me hungry !!

  2. Ok, this was “better than at a restaurant” food (to quote Lexi). Thanks for posting! Loved it!!

  3. Yum!!! sounds great…love the menu combo!
    Yes, you’re a good reader, but also you have good taste and good taste buds!!

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