Month: August 2010

Elk Chili

I have the good fortune of having been born into a family of prolific hunters (read: unemployed men with guns).  My dad uses this as currency, bartering venison for visits with his grandson. He can never simply tell me he wants to see Zephyr. Instead, […]

Blueberry-Yogurt Coffee Cake

The Great Northwest is famous for many foods, and while hazelnuts and salmon usually come to mind as the obvious meibutsu, we also grow spectacular berries. Among them, Vacciniums – huckleberries, cranberries and blueberries – are Queen. These Ericaceous lovelies, to which my namesake heather […]

Spaghetti al Tonno con Limone

This is not your mother’s tuna-noodle casserole. Not mine, anyway. This is, though, a basic, easy thing: spaghetti with tuna and lemon. Perfect for a lazy weeknight dinner, easily accomplished between bouts of checking my Twitter feed, playing Words with Friends and other impatient, hungry nail-tapping at the kitchen counter. I often steal these moments with my iPhone while I cook, when the meal allows it. This one does.

This was one of the first meals made with the luscious albacore that I recently canned, using the pieces that don’t tuck neatly into half-pint jars. Hoisted from the chilly waters of the northern Pacific, and butchered (literally and figuratively) by my non-fishmongering, laywoman hands, the collar and scraps of belly meat – enjoyed especially by the Japanese – were poached in a delicate mirepoix broth on its way to becoming fish fume (with the addition of the tuna skeleton and head). Flaked with these same hands (more deftly, this time) into a tangle of spaghetti. Lubricated with a goodly amount of fruity olive oil; seasoned with parsley, capers and fat pinches of salt and pepper; and gilded with lemon – its zest and twangy juice.

These parts of the fish are not to be thrown away – they are silken and unctuous. This fish is so moist and delicate, and the sprightly lemon punctuates each fragrant-oily bite. The chorophyllic parsley and briny capers provide botanical polyphony. Serve with a crispy soave and crusty bread.