Salmon Slow-Poached in Olive Oil

Got intrigued this week with the idea of poaching a salmon in olive oil, which basically involves longer cooking at a pretty low temperature (as oil goes).

Here’s an Epicurious recipe to give you the idea, although it’s not the one I followed.  Mine came from a (shudder) legacy printed cookbook that my cousin Nina gave us a couple of years ago (before the CrummyCook phase began, but after I had begun to express an interest in cooking better).

The book is The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, from which Debbie had made a slow-baked salmon recipe some time ago that we had liked.

The promise of oil-poached salmon is that the fish looks very fresh, perhaps even a bit uncooked, and is not dried out, but is properly-done.  Sort of a cooked-sashimi blend.

Verdict?  Debbie and I were a bit disappointed.  It used up a boatload of oil (although, to be fair, they claimed you could reuse the oil since the cooking temperature is so low) and didn’t turn out much different from the slow-baked recipe.

I’d like to try it again, since the Web is loaded with paeans to the deliciousness of the technique.  But probably not for a while.

Greek-style dinner

My zeal for WeightWatchers has been flagging in the last few weeks, and, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I have to pick a new diet every 6-12 months.  Something about the new diet restores my obsessiveness and zeal to adhere.  Serial monogamy with diets, I guess.  In any case, it has worked so far.

So the latest thing I’m going to try is the “Mediterrean diet”.

I ordered "The Mediterrean Prescription" from Amazon using my sophisticated algorithm of picking the most popular book that meets my search criteria (“Mediterrean Diet”).

And for this week’s CrummyCook I searched for “Mediterrean Chicken” on WeightWatchers and came up with a recipe for Greek Lemon-Chicken Thighs and Potatoes.  Basically marinate chicken thighs (boneless & skinless of course) in a lemon-oregano marinade and bake with small potatoes.   I only had chicken breasts, but what the heck.

When Debbie saw the marinating chicken, she said “why not have Avgolemno soup to start"?  She’s big on starting with soup after coming back from Canyon Ranch, where soup quells the demon of gluttony in part.  So I looked up egg and lemon soup in the Joy of Cooking, and it was pretty simple.  Cook rice in chicken stock and slowly stir in an egg and lemon mixture.

Avgolemno soup

Voila!  Not too shabby.  Needed salt, but tasted pretty good.

Not so much the main dish.  It tasted like diet food: light on fats and heavy on lemon and oregano.  And I overcooked the chicken breasts (which, of course, turn to sawdust at the drop of a hat).  Not terrible, but not my best effort either.