Brandade de Morue with Peppers, Olives and Arugula

Brandade with Peppers, Olives and Arugula-1

I like fresh cod, but I LOVE salt cod, especially like this: Brandade de Morue with Olives, Peppers and Arugula.  Brandade is what the French, who love adding cream and shallots to everything just to see if anyone’s heart explodes, is what happens when the children of Gaul get their mitts on some morue (salt cod).  It has a rich satisfying flavor without being overwhelming, a great texture, and is terrific with uncomplicated red wines.  Successful marriages have been based on less.  It’s a standard in our house–we eat it by special request (birthdays), on Christmas Eve, and whenever somebody says, Gee, it’s been awhile since we’ve had brandade.  

Sardines with Feta and Salmoriglio

Photographing Sardines with Feta and Salmoriglio this past week reminded me of a fancy dinner where Jody and I found ourselves sitting across the table from Stephen Hawking’s literary agent, who told a story about A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME.  The original manuscript, we learned, had been an overlong demanding text several times the size of the slender volume that was eventually published.  The agent revealed how he convinced Hawking how to pare it down.  “I explained to him that every time he used a mathematical formula in his book he was going to lose half his readers.”

Hawking must have taken his advice to heart.  There’s nary a single formula in the entire story.

Friends have suggested a similar axion holds for food bloggers.  Every time you publish a photo of a fish with its head on you’re going to lose half your readers.  

Simple Whole Roasted Fish – Part Deux

I learned to clean fish when I was nine-years old, taught by my father, practicing on the sunnies, perch and bass my brothers and I caught in rural Michigan.  Cleaning fish is a tripartite affair–scraping the scales off while grasping a slippery tail, gutting and removing the viscera, and cutting out the gills and fins, …