Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet Carol!

I will always be a Texas girl, no matter where I live, even though I have never cooked a brisket, and never made enchiladas, or chicken fried anything until I moved to St Louis.  The Texan comes out in the ingredients I use more so than the style of my cooking, although I do like my food spicy, which should come as no surprise.  I'm a little caliente myself.  I have always been fascinated with fresh ingredients and I have a special affinity for Italian food.  Luckily, I got to spend some time in Amalfi learning to cook the Italian way and I think these two strong, seemingly disparate cultures blend very nicely.  I love many things, but cooking is what I do and nothing excites me more than getting creative with ingredients, exquisite or exotic, or just fresh from the garden, and materializing masterpieces from next to nothing.  A glass of wine and good friends to share it with makes it that much better.  Go ahead and get to know me, you'll think I'm amazing!  And funny as hell, too

Life brought me to Annapolis a few years ago where I'm now serving my time until I get home.  Luckily there are beautiful farmstands everywhere and I often receive CARE packages from my wonderful Lone Star friends, filled with the things I miss.  And, of course, it helps greatly that I am surrounded by people who make me laugh - you know who you are.
The lucky live-in recipients have been taught the ways of good food, which has helped them develop refined palates, but they still understand and appreciate the diversity of a Texas taco truck and a good crawfish boil!  My daughter is more choosy, the boys more bottomless-pit, but all three share a love of good food.  They've never used the children's menu in a restaurant, seemingly born knowing how to order what they liked.  They once told a waiter who offered them a kid's menu that they weren't "normal" kids and proceeded to order things that caused him to raise his eyebrows.  I mean, "How many pre-teens share calamari and artichoke heart appetizers?".  I love it.I live for dinner parties and love cooking for people, in part, because I've always loved an audience; it just means I have to be more creative.  Right now, my audience is most often a houseful of high school boys who are learning to eat outside the box!  I miss being able to keep things like bread, milk and cheese around for longer than 5 minutes, but two of my kids are excellent cooks themselves.  My daughter Stevie, now grown, married and living two hours away in NYC, is my collaborator; on this bio and most other things.  She is also my right arm in the kitchen.  My youngest son started at six and has been in charge of Superbowl eats ever since.  My other son doesn't cook a lick, but he has also never had a bad day in his life - everything is always "GREAT".  He depends on a big smile that melts girls' hearts, so it works for him.  My kids are, by far, the best thing I ever cooked up!

It's all about good food, good friends and enjoying everything you can.  *Clink*

This oil is probably on my list of my top 10 favorite things.  As luck would have it, so is this salmon.  I used to make this as a whole salmon for dinner parties, because I loved the presentation.  It just isn't always practical.  So here is the modified, whenever you want it version that still has a little style to it.

1 glass of wine
1 salmon filet cut crosswise into 1 1/2 -2 inch sections
6 or so squares of foil (depending on how many people you will be serving)
Kosher salt
Cocktail Onions

Pour the wine into your favorite glass.  Sip.  Proceed.

Take two pieces of salmon and place them against each other on a piece of foil, cut sides together.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and drizzle with some of that amazing oil.  Fold up the sides of the foil a little and cover the top of the fish with capers and cocktail onions.  A little of the caper juice is good, too.  Seal the packet and continue with the rest of the fish.  Place on a baking sheet and cook in a 400°F oven for 10-12 minutes.  Drink your wine and wait.

Place the individual packets on your serving dish, along with your favorite sides.  Last night was roasted asparagus and yellow tomatoes.  Of course, they had more of the oil!  I'm trying not to drink it!  Enjoy!


  1. Carol, all kidding aside, salmon is my favorite fish out of all the possible seafood I've tried, which is quite a lot. I like how this simple setup could be used on an outdoor grill or possibly even thrown into the embers of a campfire. The possible variations on this are endless! Might have to drive the 50 miles to Zingermans to find that oil ...

    1. DAVE! Thanks for the nice comment. We all love salmon too!