Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cooking with the Cranky Chef

I'm feeling a little blah. I might even be in a funk. Work projects aren't being completed as quickly and easily as they should (only some of which is my fault) and I'm discouraged about some of the stuff going on around the house, too. Most days I chalk it up to the imperfections inherent in life, but my idealism is flairing up and it's hard to be satisfied. Hopefully date night will help, and I'm already cutting myself some slack on dinner - we're going out, even if its just Subway. I have to give myself some outs, and the mere fact that I realize this is progress.

Something that most definitely did not discourage me, though, is the fantastic salmon fillet we had last night. I got the marinade from my dad. If memory serves he got it from a book and then tweaked it. He made it on chicken shish kabobs while we were visiting, and I tried a version with pork a few days ago. I have yet to try it on beef, but I don't think it would be bad at all. Anyone feeling brave?

Chimichuri Oriental de Papá

1/4-1/2 c. Brown Sugar
3 T. Soy Sauce
1 Garlic Clove, minced (1/2 t. pre-minced garlic in a jar)
3 T. Sherry
2 t. Sesame Oil

1. Mix them all together and coat the meat with it.
2. Marinade meat overnight (if you have the time) or just baste while grilling.

The range of brown sugar is Dad's invention - he says adding extra sugar makes it less drippy for basting. I keep Sherry on hand because it doesn't go sour, unlike most wines, so I can have the same bottle for months, using it anywhere a recipe calls for it or a dry white wine (although it does alter the flavor a little from, say, a Pinot Grigio). I get Savory & James brand dry Sherry from Spain - the birthplace of the wine in the region of "Jerez," from which someone derived its Anglicized name through the usual linguistic voodoo. It costs about $10 at my local store and it lasts for a long time because I don't use it for anything other than cooking - I prefer the sweeter Cream Sherries for drinking. The sesame oil gives the marinade a delicious flavor. My local grocery store was out of sesame oil and I used canola oil instead, but it was still quite good. For such a simple recipe, with most ingredients easily kept on hand, this one's a keeper.

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