Fish en Papillote and Herbed Carrots

Here are a few reasons fish (and carrots!) en papillote (or en aluminum foil, a la Nonnie) should be in your regular meal rotation, particularly this time of year:

  1. Preparing food en papillote, or inside a little sealed package, is an exceedingly easy, quick, and largely mess-free way to cook protein (and vegetables), making it ideal when you want to make dinner on the only weeknight you have free in between awards season screenings and holiday parties. (I know, I’m playing the world’s tiniest violin for myself.)
  2. But it also feels very fancy, mostly because it’s got a tres sophisticated French name, hohn hohn hohn.
  3. Plus, every time you slice into a little foil package with delicious things inside, you’ll feel like you’re opening a present you gave yourself—and after all, ’tis the season.

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Shrimp Sauté au Citron

Oo la la!

What, exactly, is “shrimp sauté au citron”? Is it a rustic French classic, a recipe passed from peasant housewife to peasant housewife to cartoon food critic to, improbably, my Jewish, Pittsburgh-born grandmother? Is it a home cook’s approximation of a fancy restaurant entree, something you might find in Chapter V of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1? Or is it, perhaps, a made-up name meant to gussy up a dish that might better be described as “shrimp in a frying pan”?

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Ceviche

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So I got married, went on my honeymoon, returned home, unpacked—and the whole dang world promptly fell apart. As such, it feels a little frivolous to concentrate on what I ate while I was away, much less to relay it all to you in excruciating detail. (If only I’d had the wherewithal to write this post on Monday!) But hey, as a wise Irish girl group once sang, c’est la vie—and this is a food blog, not a liberal whining blog, damnit.

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Baked Salmon and Crookneck Squash

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It’s Health Food: ’60s Style! We’ve got fish drowned in vermouth; we’ve got summer squash drowned in butter; we’ve got some vaguely spanakopita-esque greens baked with yogurt and a feta-free Greek salad, neither of which actually came from my grandmother’s cookbook because hey, who are we kidding?

The salmon and the squash, though? They’re about the upper limits of what Nonnie has by way of low-cal entrées and vegetables. (I apologize, by the way, for posting yet another salmon recipe— when you’re trying to eat stuff that’s relatively good for you and also trying to work your way through your grandmother’s saturated fat-saturated recipes, salmon frequently seems like the only way to square the circle.) Continue reading

Shrimp in Beer

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When I was 10 or 11, my family took a trip to Club Med. It was my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary (!); to celebrate, they brought their whole brood—four sons, three daughters-in-law, a whopping 12 grandchildren—down to Florida, where we enjoyed a week of sun, sand, and scheduled group activities.

Years later, I can only remember bits and pieces from the trip: the thrill of taking a ride on the flying trapeze, my cousins’ brief but passionate obsession with bocce ball, seeing a group of leotard-clad women (who were either much younger or much older than I am now) perform a passable rendition of the “Cell Block Tango.” (I think I laughed pretty hard at “Lipschitz!”) Continue reading