Thursday, January 13, 2011


So in frisbee, it's when the defender
Floats on into the lane -- a game-ender
Only when it's done right;
Otherwise, it's just tight
For the offense's open contender.

But this poem's off the mark just a mite;
Poaching food's about what I should write.
That simmering splendor
Cooks proteins so tender...
They don't float, but it's love at first bite!
So...I had grander plans for this post.

I was gonna write a whole thing about my new year's resolutions, about how I've been resolving to be a good person for the past three years or so, but that this year, I was making some more concrete resolutions, too.  I was gonna publicly declare, on this here blog, my intention to do things like work out every day and not eat after midnight.

But then I got sick, and despite my best efforts, I stopped working out completely.  Actually, I stopped doing everything completely.  I've been in an exhausted, slow stupor for 72 hours, at least 50 of which I've spent deep in fever-dream sleep.  You'd think I could've at least written a blog post or two from bed, but no...I was so tired, even getting up to make toast and soup seemed to require a little too much effort.

I'm starting to feel better now, but I still have a lot to think through.  This quarter, I plan on devoting myself completely to making every single film I work on the best it can be, and that's gonna require a number of sacrifices.  Sacrifices like my health, if this week's been any indication.  And seeing as the short almost-day I just spent in Santa Barbara was the last time I'll see Albert for the next ten weeks, sacrifices like my (and his) happiness.

So no biggie -- just sacrificing a little health and happiness here.  But so I don't go changin' too much, I've modified my 2011 resolutions accordingly:
1. Be a good person.  I always resolve this, but never by rote.  I'll always try my best to live with compassion and integrity.

2. Be a baller in the following arenas: family, friendship, girlfriendship, filmmaking, and ultimate.

3. Be happy.  Don't forget that there's a big, beautiful world out there that demands exploring!
This food experiment exemplifies the spirit of my resolutions perfectly.  I made it with Albert, and though I'd never poached fish or peanut-buttered vegetables or attempted African fusion before, it turned out filling, delicious, healthsome, and absolutely worthwhile.  Plus, getting to spend some time cooking and eating with company was therapeutic and awesome.

African Tea-Poached Salmon with Curried Peanut Butter Broccolini
based loosely on a traditional Tanzanian recipe

Ingredients for Salmon
  • 2 6-oz salmon fillets
  • 2 packets African Red Bush Tea
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder*
  • 1/2 tsp dill, chopped
  • 2 lemon wedges, for garnish

Ingredients for Broccolini
  • 1 bunch broccolini (about 16 spears)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 4 tbsp organic peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp curry powder*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Cut open the tea packets and, in a medium pot (or, if you're like me, a scavenged Pyrex bowl), cover the skinless side of each fillet with the contents of one packet.

In a separate bowl or hot pot, boil 6-8 cups of water, and pour over the salmon.  Place on stove and let simmer (gently!) for 10-12 minutes.  Don't overcook!  Remove fillets from water.

In the meantime, mix the Greek yogurt, 1/2 tsp curry powder, and dill together.  Then mix the peanut butter with the soy milk.  Dice the onion, and wash and separate the broccolini spears.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and curry powder, and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Then add the broccolini and peanut butter mixture, and cook for another 7-8 minutes, until the broccolini is tender and the peanut butter mixture is reduced to a thick sauce.

Place half the broccolini spears onto a plate. Spoon over a generous portion of the peanut-buttery onion sauce.

Place a salmon fillet on top, spoon over some of the curry-dill yogurt sauce, and garnish with a lemon wedge.  Repeat with the other half (serves 2, obviously).

*If you want this dish to be gluten-free, make sure the curry powder contains only spices, and no added fillers or MSG.

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