I’d wish you a Happy New Year and all but I’m done celebrating. Yesterday I returned to work, bent over to pick up a small dog and heard my pants rip. It marked the first time since mid-December that I didn’t have a drink in one hand and a piece of salami, or cake, or a plateful of heart attack in the other. It’s time to come up for air.
I hung out with and old friend on set yesterday. I started food styling, in large part, because I had a couple of generous friends in the photography business. If it weren’t for their advice I might never have begun, nor succeeded. Jenn, one of the two, was on the same job as me yesterday and it was her little Gracie, part miniature Greyhound, part Chihuahua that caused me to bend over. She gives good face. Save for the unwelcome breeze, Jenn and I spent a great day reconnecting though she complained more than once that she too had a glutton’s holiday-hangover and some newly swollen parts. She’s sworn off anything but salads until next Christmas.
While I’m not much for a bandwagon, I am anxious to restore some fledgling pre-Christmas habits. When Douglas and I met some 9 years ago he was a dedicated carnivore. It was unthinkable that he wouldn’t have meat at every meal. Over the course of those years, eating meat, a lot of it and with alarming regularity, became a dinnertime ritual. In late November, we decided enough was enough and set out to limit our meat intake to two dinners per week. Three others were to feature fish, and the other two would be vegetarian. Much to my surprise, we pulled it off for at least a few weeks until all hell broke loose mid-December. As it does.
The secret to sticking with it I think is a killer vinaigrette. Fish, particularly fatty ones like salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, and tuna, beg to be eaten with something bracing and acidic. Here’s a blood orange, shallot, and raisin vinaigrette that will turn the most outrageous meat-eaters into virtuous almost-pescatarians. Though I can’t make any guarantees about their pants.
- ¼ cup (60 mL) blood orange juice
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated ginger
- 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cumin
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) grapeseed oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup (60 mL) golden raisins
- Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the blood orange and lemon juices, honey, garlic, and Dijon; whisk until honey is dissolved. Whisk in the salt, cumin, and both oils. Stir in shallots and raisins; let stand for 1 hour before using. Finished dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated for a day or two.
- spoon over oily fish cooked virtually any which way
- great over simple salads of peppery greens
- grain and nut salads
- fish sandwiches on toasty bread
- roasted cauliflower, broccoli, or rapini