Despite the muggy weather and relative absence of olive groves, I like cooking with Mediterranean intent when I’m home from school. I’ll spin some Grateful Dead, decompress, and put a yellow onion on mellow simmer. Without the usual time constraints of college cooking, I can tinker with technique and ingredient proportion. For example, I enjoy working with salmon, but have struggled on previous attempts to achieve pork-cracklin-crisp skin. Thursday night, I let the cast iron pan reach truly incendiary temperatures before laying down a fillet. The skin tightened into a sheet of pure crunch. I served the salmon over an orzo salad—I mixed a stew of onion, raisins, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and olives with the warm pasta. If cooking fish is a matter of precision, pasta salad is an issue of instinct. Be careful seasoning the salad, because its individual components already contain salt. I thought about adding anchovies or anchovy paste, too, but alas, the cupboard was lacking any little fishes. No lies: I have no emotional connection or special interest in the following recipe. It just tastes good, which ought to be argument enough. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Salad
Who knew that Baudrillard hated foodies?
More precisely, Jean Baudrillard, intellectual celebrity, dead Frenchman, and “radical thinker,” hated collectors. Finding that they “invariably have something impoverished and inhuman about them” (The System of Objects 114), Baudrillard launches an extensive critique of collecting based on his “system of objects” theory and a psychoanalytic grab bag. As I will argue that foodies engage in the active collecting of restaurants and dining experiences, by the transitive property of philosophy, foodies must have something impoverished and inhuman about them. Yes, I read Baudrillard for fun. On my vacations. What that indicates about my personal richness and humanity remains inconclusive. Continue reading
Back home, I’m able to cook much more frequently and with greater creativity than at college. Whether living in an apartment, traveling, or just hanging around with the parents, you can easily take the initiative and put together an unusual dish that shows off your newfound sophistication and faux worldliness.