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Saved by Jacques, Again

Wednesday | 3 March 2021 | La Quinta, California: The weather apps claimed we would have rain today. This happens often, but the rain usually never reaches us. It tends to hang-out in the mountains to the west; never reaching the valley floor.

Not today! I was on the last mile of my four-miler this morning when I felt rain drops. So exciting! It wasn't really that exciting as I neared our house a few minutes later: it was full-on pouring rain. (Rare here.) Imagine my surprise when I noticed the Lamborghini... or Ferrari... or Maserati... (I can't tell them apart, but know it wasn't a Honda) in our neighbor's driveway - with the top down! Though we have not yet met, I jogged up to his door (I wear a mask), rang the bell, and pointed to the driveway when he answered the door. He sprinted to his car, revved the engine (sounded like a space shuttle) and moved it into the garage. My mitzvah for the day.

The rest of the day loomed. Too cold and wet to golf. (Actually was fun watching all the golfers fleeing the course on my last mile this morning.) DT cancelled our tee time.

So, I was free to concentrate on dinner plans. Wanting to showcase the microgreens from our CSA box over a beet salad, dinner prep began:

Sorry, but I tossed the paper noting the seeds in this mix. The usual: alfalfa, radish, arugula... but about four or five others. Really fun! When this dish showed-up Friday, the greens were about to the top of the rim. Now they were over 2 inches tall.

With butter lettuce and curly endive as a base, the beets were topped with olive oil, goat cheese, toasted pistachos, and finally the microgreens.

At cocktail time, it suddenly felt like "Manhattan" weather, so I shook a batch tonight. (Per drink: 3 oz rye, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 3 shakes bitters, cherry garnish.)

Not an exciting mix of appetizers tonight. Wouldn't it have been nice if jalapeno jack cheese cubes were on the plate?

Jacques Pepin saved our entree tonight. Having a difficult time deciding on something to accompany the beet salad, the thought was going towards chicken cutlets. (Though my all-time go-to favorite... a bit boring.) Happily for me, Jacques Pepin posted the most interesting video for salmon on his Instragram feed this morning. (Jacques is my favorite. DT knows that if he ever can't find me, he only needs to seek out Jacques Pepin... or Jose Andreas... and there I will be.)

The shape of our salmon (from Pure Foods Fish Market in Seattle... ordered whenever they offer free shipping) did not work well for the cut Mr. Pepin suggested (but I can't wait to try it - genius), but the ingredients for the his garnish were on-hand. I used garlic, green olives, kalamata olives, capers, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and basil - with a little olive oil.

The garnish was made in the afternoon - refrigerated until dinner.

So delicious, and perfectly cooked (sauteed in olive oil and butter) to 140-145 degrees, using my instant-read thermometer (seriously, buy one), served on a bed of arugula. Of course, we could not finish our portions, but won't that salmon be lovely on a salad for lunch tomorrow?

I realize I said this a few days ago, but can you stand one more bit of exciting news?

Yep. Lucile has lost another tooth. At this rate, our girl will be able to buy her own Ferrari.

Until my next update, I remain, your fishy correspondent.

6 thoughts

  1. So happy your posting more. I think your a true
    gourmet cook….. sure your husband agrees!

  2. I see Leo peeking behind Lucy. I know he is growing up, but I miss his curls.

    1. We do too – but they are gone. Even when he grows his hair long. 🙁

  3. Do you ever use a hot air fryer? A friend was so excited about his, I went and bought one, but I can’t get excited about it. It’s big, noisey, and takes forever to try and get things brown. What is your opinion?

    1. I have not tried an airfryer, but I can purchase a lid for my instant pot that will convert the machine into an airfryer. My brother has one and loves it. Maybe someday. I’m not even 100% sold on the instant pot yet.

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