Saturday, May 28, 2011
Adding more fish into your diet? My Spicy Tropical fruited, soy glazed Salmon fillet with Habanero, will wow your friends and family. It’s quick and so easy, but most of all the bright tropical flavors will amaze you. In short it’s delicious!
In the freezer section of your grocery store they sell frozen fruit juice combinations. This recipe works well with about any of them but the Apple, Mango and Passion fruit takes this recipe over the top. And whatever you do, do not omit the lemon juice and dill it really ties the flavors together.
1-2 Lb. Salmon fillet, skinned
2 tsp. White pepper
vegetable oil spray
¼ cup Frozen apple, mango and passion fruit juice concentrate, thawed
¼ cup coarse grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbl. Soy sauce
2 tsp. Your favorite habanero sauce, use more for extreme heat
2 tsp lemon zest
1 fresh lemon
1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped
Light the grill. Remove any pin bones from salmon fillet. Rinse under cold water quickly and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut fillet into 6 to 8 individual steaks. Sprinkle both sides with white pepper. Spray both sides with vegetable oil spray. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the fruit juice concentrate, mustard, soy sauce habanero sauce and lemon zest. Turn grill to medium. Place the salmon steaks on the hot grill with the side that had the skin up. After about 10-15 seconds gently lift the salmon fillet up from the grill surface and set back down, or drag the salmon back and forth in line with the grill (This keeps the fish from sticking). After 2 minutes gently turn the steaks and once again gently lift or drag them to prevent sticking. Spoon the glaze over the fish reserving some for the other side. Depending on your grill you will need to cook the fish for about 8 more minutes. The rule for grilling fish is 10 minutes of grilling for each inch of thickness…. more or less! So after 8 more minutes turn the fish one more time spoon on the remaining glaze and let cook for 30 seconds and remove from grill. Plate, drizzle a little lemon juice and top with fresh dill.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
One More Link in breaking the Chain... Solar Hot Water!
Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty (And my Friends Ed and Cory at South Face Solar Electric and Katherine Elswick!) I’m free at last! After ten days of putting all the parts together and a few months of figuring out how to rebuild and pressure test the panels and getting the different ways that water acts in a solar hot water panel set in my mind. Take all of that and then my insistence on using as many old parts as I could find around our place. Then add in the thirty or so phone calls to Ed Fedoruk (Once again Southface Solar Electric)… What do mean I need a check valve in line vertically that is on the cold feed side of the panel, but above the pump! I am now on my way to total electric bill independence.
Last year I had a few bucks so I went to Ed and Cory at Southface Solar Electric and had 7.5 KW Photovoltaic Solar Electric System installed. Our bill has dropped by about $210 a month, however I still had about a $95 a month electric bill. About the same time our friend of many years, Kathryn Elswick mentioned that she was getting her solar hot water panels replaced as one of them had failed. She offered the old panels, that were on their way to a landfill and I quickly grabbed them up. For the past three days, I’ve spent my time cleaning and cutting pipe and making the feet that are now resting on my shingle roof along with hoisting and setting the panels and cutting a path for the pipe, cutting through the wall and making sure I was following the flow path of the water.
This afternoon Kathy called on her way home as she does every day.
Ring ring, “hello”
“Hi Joe, I’m on my way home.”
“Is everything alright you sound upset?”
“No I’m okay, I just hate my fucking plumber!”
“Who’s you plumber?”
I was standing next to a leaking mass of pipe that were squirting water all over our dish-room. Kathy said she would get dinner and some good beer and be how in twenty minutes. By the time she got home I had all of the leaks re-soldered and tested. The leaks were fixed and the system was working I could even feel the heat coming down from the panels. Tomorrow I’m adding pipe insulation and patching all of the penetrations through the roofing material. I will set the timer for the pump and build an insulated mechanical closet around the new 80-gallon hot water storage tank. We use a lot of hot water and I’m hoping that this will drop my electric bill closer to zero. I’ll keep you posted!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Simple Smushy Summer Salad
Summertime is almost here. Ahh... the winter visitors are starting to head back home and soon we will get a little peace. The streets are quieting down the and soon life here in the desert will come to it’s annual “Sonoran” snails pace. For me, that is the best time of the year. It requires me to slow down and live the way people have been living in the desert for centuries. Drink a little more water, hide from the sun, take a nap and do what little work is needed in the cool mornings or late afternoon. If you’re new to the area and like to sip on a cold beer while doing those little chores, I will give you a trick that the old timers have been using for as long as anyone can remember. Don’t decide until you try it. Iced beer… I mean pouring your favorite beer into a glass of good store bought ice. Yes, it waters down the beer and that’s the point. In fact, you end up drinking almost as much water as beer. Which will make you feel much better due to the fact that alcohol dehydrates. Now that you’ve got your mind around that idea, try this; one half tomato juice, or your favorite Bloody Mary mix, and half beer on ice. The ice re-hydrates you and the tomato juice keeps your potassium up.
I learned this while working construction, in Phoenix, in my early twenties. We would start as soon as there was enough light to see and then we would work through lunch to avoid an extra half hour in the sun. After work we would stop for a cold beer. All the older guys, who were mostly Latinos, would drink their beer on ice, many with tomato juice. When I asked them about it they told me “in the heat straight beer makes you tired!” So I gave it a try, I felt refreshed and so will you.
The heat can ruin your appetite. So summertime meal preparation is also an acquired skill. Light and fresh is the main idea. Combine that with dishes that are easy to prepare and that don’t heat up the house. Now you’re on the right track.
The following recipe is not only easy and refreshing it’s also fun for the kids to help make. Why? When squishing the little tomatoes they squirt all over the place and to a kid, anything that makes a mess is fun.
Simple Smushy Summer Salad
This is great recipe for gardeners that have too many tomatoes on their hands.
3 C Assorted Tomatoes (you know little ones, big ones, in as many colors as possible)
3/4 C Kalamata Olives, with pits
1/2- 3/4 Cups Fresh Arugula Or Basil
For the Dressing
2 TBL Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
If using salad tomatoes cut them up first. If using only the little baby tomatoes no need to cut them. Smash the tomatoes, in a large mixing bowl, until broken up but not pulp, with a large fork or potato masher. Smash the olives on a cutting board with a rolling pin and remove the pits. Add to the tomatoes Toss in arugula or basil. Whisk together oil, vinegar and pepper. Stir in just before serving. Salt to taste.
Also great on cold, oiled, angel hair pasta.
Serves 4-6 as a salad
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Last night I got home from a dinner that we were doing. I was tired. Upon walking through the door into the kitchen I found our dogs jumping up and down, barking and celebrating my arrival. There was a nice bottle of Red Zinfandel on the counter and an order of Dandan noodles from Pei Wei. Kathy was sitting on the couch and there was an old movie on the TV. I put on a pair of PJ bottoms and an old tee shirt and climbed into my favorite chair. With my feet up I enjoyed dinner and discussing my day with the party and Kathy’s day in the Kitchen at AJ’s.
The dogs wanted to be close to me. They can always tell if I’m tired or if my illness is hitting me especially hard. If I’m really hurting and cramping so bad that I have to lay down they will follow me to the bedroom and lay down next to me and push their bodies against mine in what I assume is an effort to help fight the pain. It’s quite comforting. As we watched the old movie, the dogs fell asleep on my feet, as is often the case. I had been shooting some platters that Kathy had put together for the party I was doing and my camera was next to my chair so I snapped these shots.
I believe in common things; a nice home, a pick-up truck, a nice grill, a few good dogs, an old movie and of course a little time with my wife and lifelong friend Kathy… life is good!