Author Archive

Mark Bittman – White Fillet a Dozen Ways –

Mark Bittman – White Fillet a Dozen Ways –

“If you’re serious about eating sustainable fish, you may have given up on the most fundamental of all: the white fillet. After nearly exhausting cod stocks 20 years ago, we have gone through a dozen or more alternatives, from red snapper to orange roughy to so-called Chilean sea bass, and fished them all practically out of existence.

Yunhee Kim for The New York Times Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop Stylist: Deborah Williams.

Now it seems difficult to know which fish are managed well enough to eat without guilt. (As it happens, cod, of all things, isn’t bad right now, as long as it isn’t caught by a trawler.) But if you buy from a reliable store, like Target, Wegmans or Whole Foods, which have adopted seafood-sustainability practices far more effectively than many other major retailers, or consult online sources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, you can eat white-fleshed fish without guilt.

The next problem is that you may wind up buying a fish with which you’re unfamiliar. Is it cod, catfish, sea bass, halibut, grouper, tilefish, haddock, some form of snapper — or what?

The good news is that it barely makes any difference. You can cook any white fillet the same way you cook any other white fillet: broiled, sautéed, roasted or poached, and teamed with just about any seasoning you can think of, from the obvious, like tomatoes and capers, to the semiexotic, like sugar and fish sauce. (In this recipe chart, I’m assuming you’ll always use salt and pepper.) And this isn’t just me giving you permission or a barely acceptable compromise. It works.

The chart on the following page provides ideas for cooking 1½ pounds of white fillet, whether whole or cut into individual portions. None of these recipes take more than half an hour from start to finish; thicker pieces of fish will cook in 15 minutes or less, thinner pieces in under 10. You can tell that any fillet is done when it’s opaque and a thin-bladed knife meets little resistance when you use it to poke the thickest part of the fish.

Cooking white fish is easy. The hard part — besides figuring out what’s sustainable — is choosing the recipe.”

Go to the article for tips and recipes to BROIL, SAUTE, ROAST, and POACH white fish!


Wave cocoon

Wave cocoon, originally uploaded by YoyoGrrrl.

One of my all-time favorite photos. This guy kept running into the water from shore and getting smacked by the waves. I kept waiting and shooting until I finally got this shot.

I wish I had gotten his name.

Black kids in the Black Kids?? Who’d’ve thought??

Racist crap after Black Kids show in D.C. « Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Click the link to read about what happened and to see photos I risked my camera to take… Sounds dramatic, right? A cop at the scene threatened to confiscate my camera.

Well said

Glenn Greenwald –
Still, her cartoon understanding of these matters, expressed in the language and with the analytical ability of a (poorly prepared) junior high student, is quite noteworthy (and kudos to Couric for conducting a relatively excellent interview in general and for pressing Palin on her Israel views specifically).

Polit Tsk Tsk Tsk: Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

Polit Tsk Tsk Tsk: Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

And you know PALIN isn’t any better.

“Eugene Robinson – Flunking Economics –
John McCain was telling the truth when he said that economics wasn’t his strong suit. In response to what many economists have called the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Republican nominee has sounded — and let’s be honest here — totally, embarrassingly and dangerously clueless.”

Click the op-ed title to read the entire article.

Ah, deregulation and conservative ideology (greed)


“Savings and Loan Bailouts

For a while, the system worked well. In the 1960s and 1970s, almost all Americans got S&L financing for buying their homes. Interest rates paid on deposits at S&Ls were kept low, but millions of Americans put their money in them because deposit insurance made them an extremely safe place to invest. Starting in the 1960s, however, general interest rate levels began rising with inflation. By the 1980s, many depositors started seeking higher returns by putting their savings into money market funds and other non-bank assets. This put banks and savings and loans in a dire financial squeeze, unable to attract new deposits to cover their large portfolios of long-term loans.

Responding to their problems, the government in the 1980s began a gradual phasing out of interest rate ceilings on bank and S&L deposits. But while this helped the institutions attract deposits again, it produced large and widespread losses on S&Ls’ mortgage portfolios, which were for the most part earning lower interest rates than S&Ls now were paying depositors. Again responding to complaints, Congress relaxed restrictions on lending so that S&Ls could make higher-earning investments. In particular, Congress allowed S&Ls to engage in consumer, business, and commercial real estate lending. They also liberalized some regulatory procedures governing how much capital S&Ls would have to hold.

Fearful of becoming obsolete, S&Ls expanded into highly risky activities such as speculative real estate ventures. In many cases, these ventures proved to be unprofitable, especially when economic conditions turned unfavorable. Indeed, some S&Ls were taken over by unsavory people who plundered them. Many S&Ls ran up huge losses. Government was slow to detect the unfolding crisis because budgetary stringency and political pressures combined to shrink regulators’ staffs.

The S&L crisis in a few years mushroomed into the biggest national financial scandal in American history. By the end of the decade, large numbers of S&Ls had tumbled into insolvency; about half of the S&Ls that had been in business in 1970 no longer existed in 1989. The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, which insured depositors’ money, itself became insolvent. In 1989, Congress and the president agreed on a taxpayer-financed bailout measure known as the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA). This act provided $50 billion to close failed S&Ls, totally changed the regulatory apparatus for savings institutions, and imposed new portfolio constraints. A new government agency called the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) was set up to liquidate insolvent institutions. In March 1990, another $78,000 million was pumped into the RTC. But estimates of the total cost of the S&L cleanup continued to mount, topping the $200,000 million mark.

Next Article: Lessons Learned From The Savings and Loan Crisis