Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back Again to Torment You All...

Hello, everyone. I'm back from Peru and I've been back 72 hours and though I have thought of you I have not been able to write.
I'm finishing a very nasty bout of hemorrhagic dengue and the stupid septic flesh eating bacteria are back on my calves and my feet are all cut deeply and so I can't walk without extreme pain...
What a sissy I'm turning into!
But then, it's to be expected, says my Madeleina.
"Dad, you turned 60 while you were away. Let's face it: You are old. I mean, you could just die sort of old. I mean, I don't want you to die but in another month I'll have to learn to cook so I can spoon feed you because you won't be able to take care of if you ever could..."
"I'll kill you, beautiful...."
"No, dad. You won't. Why? Because you're officially an old man and old men can't kill anyone. They can't even dream of it because they can't think straight. I'm sorry dad. If I had money I'd put you in a home where people would be paid to pretend they like you.
"Oh, and speaking of money, can we afford piano lessons now? Better now than later because I read that old people go deaf and what's the point of practicing for you if you can't hear me? So can I?
I love my kids. I didn't love coming home to a house without heat and water. To a house with dirty dishes and pots and pans piled up not only in the sink but on every surface in the kitchen and living room. Marco, my beautiful son, explained it this way: "Dad, let's face it. We always expect you to die in the jungle so why bother to clean up if you're never going to see the mess?"
My son Italo explained it this way: "I told Marco to clean up but he's a lazy son of a bitch. He didn't even fix the water pipes. Why can't you just beat some sense into him?"
They each blamed the broken rear window on one of my trucks on each other.
Good to be home. I missed you guys. I mean you, the readers. You're the only ones I can relate to and that's probably because you don't write to me to express your disappointment in me. Doesn't matter. I'll take that as love.
What else happened? Well, I had two trips with wonderful people who put up with me and more than that, loved the jungle, the medicines, the whole damned thing. Oh, and the IRS wants more than $6000 for 2009, when I was raising Madeleina and Chepa's two babies, plus Chepa, on $30,000. i don't like their math. And the City of Fort Worth claims I had a ticket I was never told about back in 2004 and that the $10 fine for not having my insurance card with me is now nearly $700. Which is about 25% of what I made doing two jungle trips.
And there is more to come, says Madeleina: "Except you don't want any more bad news right now, so I'll wait a few days and then, when you're calm, I'll tell you. Cause it's much worse than you can imagine..."
She wouldn't even give me a hint. So I checked everything I could check and didn't find what she's talking about. Which means it's something more serious than I can imagine. I can't wait.....
And then one of the most wonderful people in the world asked me to get involved in sharing recipes. Well, I didn't get the email till today as I don't do email well when I'm in Peru and it was dated Jan. 17 and had a 5-day window on it which I missed by several weeks.
I sent her three recipes anyway.
And here they are. And I would love to be cooking any one of them right now except that Chepa and Italo and Sara and Marco and the babies were all due for dinner so I made ribs and chicken instead of the fish I love (Cause I didn't have enough fish for everyone) but then Chepa called to say she was dying from a hangover from drinking Tequila last night at a club till 8 AM this morning and since she is not coming over, no one is, so now I'm not only not eating what I wanted and what my body craves, I'm stuck with five pounds of baby back ribs and a chicken and pasta salad that no one is going to eat.....
Not complaining, just noting how it is around here, hear?
So these are the three recipes I sent. I didn't double check them but I think they're pretty accurate considering that I never measure anything in teaspoons or tablespoons but prefer to use cook terms like "Two-finger bit" or "three finger dollop" to signify amounts. So take these with a grain of salt and check your seasoning. All three are strong recipes and you will love them if you make them with fantastic courage and the willingness to fail. Just take the step and you'll be fine.
And thanks for listening and I'm glad if you're still reading and all that jazz. I'm back, so I'll be back soon.
1) Swordfish and capers: Saute 8 ounces of swordfish steak per person in scalding olive oil. When you turn the swordfish, add one tablespoon of fresh, minced garlic to the pan per portion, and add 1/4 of a diced red onion per person at the same time. When the garlic and onion are cooked through, add 1/4 diced red bell pepper per person, and continue to saute.
When swordfish is done, remove from pan. To the garlic, onions and redpepper, add minced scallions and 1/2 of a small jar of capers per portion.
When boiling, add 1 tablespoon of sweet butter per portion.
Season with salt and pepper and lime (if necessary) to taste.
Pour sauce over fish.....excellent.
SIDES: Basmati rice with garlic
Spinach or asparagus (steamed) and then sauteed in a bit of olive oil with fresh minced garlic. Finish with a touch of balsamic vinegar.

2) Sesame Salmon: 7 ounces or so of salmon filet per person.
Heat a saute pan. When hot enough, put a little olive oil with freshly minced garlic in pan. When garlic is cooked, remove and save.
Place salmon filets in pan skin side up. Scald flesh in garlic infused olive oil. When black, or close to it on the meat side, turn over with skin side down. Place cooked garlic on meat side, toss 1/4 cup of diced red onions, 1/4 cup of diced roma tomatoes and another tablespoon of minced garlic into pan with fish.
Place roasted sesame seeds (one tablespoon per portion) in with the veggies cooking around the fish), and one tablespoon of sesame oil on top of each cooking portion of fish.
When fish is done, remove and place on plates.
To the veggies and oil in pan add 1/4 bunch of diced fresh cilantro and a dash of Teriyaki sauce per portion of fish. When sauce is done, pour over fish.
SIDES: Basmati rice with garlic OR roasted red potatoes with a dash of butter
Steamed broccoli/cauliflower/cut string bean melange with a touch of cilantro and teriyaki sauce.

3) Jungle Guacamole:
For 6:
Three large, ripe avocados.
Place avacado meat in bowl, mash thoroughly.
Dice 3 cloves of garlic per avacado and saute in pan with 3 tablespoons of good oil.
Add 1 diced red onion (about 5 ounces) to garlic in pan.
When garlic and onion are cooked, add one diced roma tomato per avocado to the garlic/onion mix and continue to saute.
Season garlic/onion/tomato mix with salt and cracked black pepper to taste (less is better here; you can add more later but you can't take it away.
When garlic/onions/tomato mix is thoroughly done, ADD to mashed avocado.
Wait 10 minutes until guacamole is no longer scalding. ADD juice of TWO limes.
Stir. Correct seasoning, serve with good crackers.


Kuchinta said...

Welcome back!
So glad to be reading your blog again. Going to get myself a cup of tea and start with this one and work my way down to the most recent post.

The Grudge said...

Welcome back Peter! I was getting a bit antsy. I hope all gets better. I am glad you are back.