Socializing to any degree revolves around food or drink or both. I hate politics but I love food. Both just happen to go together.
This past month was yet another heated debate on the future roadway of Atlanta. Then of course, there was the fast food chicken debacle. No matter the outcome, food was a part of those debates. If a dialog can remain pleasant, one doesn’t have to leave the table with indigestion.
For me however, if I see a dialog heading south…I discreetly reach up and turn off my hearing aids and focus on the food before me. Rude as this may sound…rude is people who defy compromise and I don’t like indigestion.
The book, Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde, consists of essays written by a mixture of people whose hearts and souls are part of or remain in New Orleans.
I’m embarrassed to say that I have never been to New Orleans but after reading what everyone was saying about their fair Southern City, a road trip is inevitable.
I love to read about people and where they came from and finally, how they arrived to their destination in life. I’m fascinated with the obstacles one must hurdle to achieve a goal.
The book is premised around the historical landmark in New Orleans, Café Du Monde. Dedicated to serving beignets and café au lait. That is all they serve. From the stories in her book, Peggy gives readers an inside view of this extremely popular stop in, rest a bit, converse a while and don’t worry about that powdered sugar on your face…it reveals where you’ve been unless you skipped out on work and run into your boss.
Individuals who provided stories also leave you with their favorite recipe.
I decided to re-create a recipe derived from Chef Tenney Flynn of GW Fin’s. His story was on the quick re-opening of his restaurant after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Chef Flynn along with a few selected other restaurants were able to return for a hurried clean up so they could get food out to the many responders and the heroic rescue workers.
Chef Flynn used Pompano as his protein but I used Tilapia as my choice in fish because Pompano is not readily available this far north.
With fish at room temperature, season both sides with a combination of ground spices and herbs such as salt, peppers, chili, cardamom, cinnamon, oregano, thyme. Or, buy a pre-mix blend of ingredients from the Grocery Store or Fish Market.
I you do make up your own blend, start with an 1/8 tsp. of each ingredient…taste and add, taste and add, taste and add. You want a blend of ingredients that compliment each other and not overwhelm. It’s fun to put together. My husband and I have labeled various jars of dry mixes made for specific cuts of beef, chicken and fish. We even use on vegetables and fruits.
On a stove-top, set to medium high, heat a skillet first, then, pour in enough Canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil begins to swirl, carefully place the filet of fish in the pan. Allow to sear at least three minutes before turning. Sear the other side the same amount of time.
For the fruit...
Make a combination of melon and mango chunks and place in a bowl. In a separate, small bowl, pour an 1/8 cup of Raspberry Vinaigrette, add juice from 1/4 lemon, a pinch of chili powder. Mix together and pour over melon and mango. Garnish with Cilantro. Allow to marinate in the fridge for just a while before serving.