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12 June: Friday

Indio, California: As I said, the elementary school newspaper is ruling my life this week, but the cupboards were bare. Bare, I tell you... so I needed to go out. Going early to the supermarket was a good idea. Not too crowded. I have shopped at this Ralph's for a dozen years, so know my route and where to find anything. This cuts-down on time spent inside a very public place. Of course, I am wearing a mask and had a bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket... and used it every dang time I touched anything.

Going to do a bit of Bubbe-bragging this evening. Leo has submitted something for his school newspaper!

So artistic and so heartfelt. We are so proud of Leo.

Besides my exciting trip to the grocer (which takes one hour, and then another hour to wash/wipe-down every dang thing purchased - augh!), the only other item on the agenda was a bus washing. With a week of wind, our poor motorhome looked a bit weary. Now she is shiny again - and they also washed our car.

I spent the afternoon laying-out the newspaper, then stopped at four o'clock to prepare dinner. Tonight was maybe my most epic-fail for appetizer plates? Really, really, really a lot of round beige things on one plate. No color. Drab.

We ate it all.

However, dinner was a winner! The New York Times posted a recipe for Pan-Roasted Salmon with Jalapeno, and I couldn't wait to try it. (The recipe might be behind a pay-wall, so I will post it below.) Remember? Lisa sent us all that fabulous Alaska wild-caught fish? 

The technique is simple: heat a heavy skillet, coat the bottom with vegetable oil, sear salted/peppered salmon fillets (flesh-side-down) for a minute or two, flip and sear the other side for a minute or two. Tilt pan away from you, then add 2 Tablespoons of butter and a minced jalapeno pepper. Let it sizzle a bit, then spoon the sizzling butter and jalapeno over the cooking fish until it is cooked through - just another minute or so. Serve with chopped herbs: parsley, mint and cilantro were suggested.

It was suggested to serve the salmon with roasted potatoes, so I used this opportunity to make Emily Blunt's English Potatoes once again.

I could eat them daily. You know though... I've only made the potatoes twice, but I think turning the temp down to 350° is too low, so I just turned the oven to 400°.

Best. Thing. Ever.

Hoping to finish-up the school newspaper tomorrow. Put it to bed, as we say in the business.

Until my next update, I remain, your well-fed correspondent.


Pan-Roasted Salmon With Jalapeño

Here is a simple, easy preparation for salmon that allows wild-caught fish, especially, to shine. The foaming butter amplifies the richness of the flesh, while the jalapeños keep it in check, as soy sauce does to the fattiest sushi. Some prefer to reverse the order of the cooking, so that the fish is served skin-side up, but I find that cooking it this way allows the butter to do its job more effectively and delivers a more beautiful plate of food as well. (Most of it is left in the pan when you’re done.) Top with chopped fresh herbs, and serve with roasted new potatoes.

  • 2 5-to-6-ounce fillets of salmon, ideally wild-caught, 1/2-to-1-inch thick
  •  Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced fine, approximately 2 tablespoons (or to taste)
  •  1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, mint or flat-leaf parsley, or a combination of all three


  1. Pat fillets dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large, heavy sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, and swirl it around. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the fillets in the pan, flesh side down, and allow to sear for about a minute, until the salmon has just started to pick up some color and releases easily from the pan.
  3. Use a spatula to turn the fillets onto their skin side, lower heat to medium and let them sizzle until the fish is caramelized around its bottom edges, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. (You may wish to use your spatula to press down on the fillets for the first 10 or 15 seconds to keep the skin from curling in the heat.)
  4. Turn heat to low, and add butter and diced jalapeño to the far side of the pan, then use the handle to tilt the pan away from you. Use a spoon to baste the fish with the sizzling butter and jalapeño. Continue basting, quickly and repeatedly, until the fish is golden all over and cooked through, 45 to 90 seconds more, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove fillets from the pan, leaving the bulk of the butter and oil in it, and serve immediately, garnished with the chopped fresh herbs.

2 thoughts

  1. WOW!Leo,Great piece. You are an artist in the making. Keep up the good work.

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