cooking

We had a garden this year, for the first time in many. I planted two tomatoes, both of which I was assured did not need staking. Foolish me.

I am always looking for ways to use up leftovers, especially fish. Getting leftover fish into my family is nigh-on impossible.

Except this way.



These are salmon fritters. They're gluten-, dairy- and soy-free, though not corn- or egg-free. I want to give you a recipe, but the problem is, I'm a dibby dabby cook. So I'm going to give you close equivalents with some pictures to help.

Ingredients:
Leftover fish like salmon, cod or tuna--canned will do
Eggs
Sweet pickle relish (optional)
Masa harina (corn tortilla flour)
Green onion
Salt
Pepper
Fat for frying--I used olive oil, but coconut oil or bacon drippings would also work

Technique:
Everything depends on how much fish you have, or how much you want to pad out the fish. I'm going to give equivalents.

In a bowl, flake the fish. I just squish it with my hands until it's in small pieces. You don't want a paste, but you don't want huge chunks either. Chop one or two green onions, including both the white and green parts; add to the fish. Add a dollop of relish, pretty much to taste. If you like it, put in lots, if you don't, you can leave it out altogether. I like it. You can add grated vegetables to this, too, like zucchini or carrots. In the pictures, these have two grated zucchini. If you want that, put it in now.

I had a piece of grilled salmon fillet about the size of my hand, fingertips to base of my palm--maybe a little smaller. I used two green onions and about a tablespoon of relish. I broke four eggs into it and squished it together with my hands like I was making meatloaf. Then I added masa harina until it made a fairly stiff batter. The picture to the left should give you an idea; it's not a dry batter, but it's certainly not liquid. It holds its shape. I added salt and pepper to taste, a couple of shakes of each.

Heat your fat in a skillet. I like cast iron myself. It can be any size skillet; if you don't have much fat, use a smaller one and cook the fritters one or two at a time. The picture to the right should give you an idea how deep the fat should be. I guesstimate this is about a quarter-inch, but that's probably overstating it. Fry the fritters until golden brown on both sides, drain on paper towels or newsprint or your favorite blotter, whatever it is.

Serve with ketchup, cocktail sauce (boy I wish I'd had some), lemon, mayo, tartar sauce, whatever you like on fried stuff with fish in it. And I hope your family likes them as much as mine does!

Be-bop-a-re-bop Rhubarb Jam!

t’s that time of year again --- the mornings are golden, the nights still chilly, the blue jays are calling in the trees out back and the rhubarb has broken through the earth like it has for ten thousand years. Actually, I wonder how old some of these rhubarb plants are. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were the same ones transplanted from the Garden of Eden.

On Saturday a friend gave me a huge bundle of rhubarb, on Sunday I cooked it up into the jam that my mother made every year and every morning since I have been eating it on toast with my coffee for breakfast.

Click through for recipes and ideas from Kathleen Valentine

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We had the opportunity to buy a whole tuna the other day--just about straight off the boat. I think it had been in the ocean not eight hours before. It weighed 22.5 pounds. Beautiful fish, truly. But we had NO IDEA how to clean it. As it happens, it was much easier than we feared.

Read on for how we did it!

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