Nuts [Fierce Foodie]

Is anybody really normal? Sometimes I think there is such a thing as normal, or even well adjusted, whatever that means.  Other days I think everyone is nuts, and that some people are just better at hiding their crazy while others wear it like a badge for all to see. Those of us with eating disorders generally fall in the latter category. That my personal brand of crazy persistently believes despite copious evidence to the contrary that one may permanently assuage negative emotions like fear and anger by inhaling cookies and French fries will come as no great shock to anyone I meet. It’s the kind of crazy that makes a girl a big fan of elastic waistbands. The problem with using food as a way of dealing with emotional turmoil is that it will kill you, sooner or later. It’s nuts to believe it won’t. This recipe is my way of trying to avoid that most evil and beautiful of very, very bad ideas, the $6.99 Chinese buffet, which is ubiquitous all over the Lehigh Valley region. They are everywhere, they are full of fat and sodium and fried deliciousness, and they taunt me. Hence this sauté: the slivered almonds make the dish special – they give it crunch and healthy protein. And you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, even that dying bag of mixed salad greens hiding in your fridge drawer will work. Slivered Almond and Broccoli Sauté ½ cup slivered almonds 2 cups broccoli florets 1 onion, coarsely chopped 3-4 cloves garlic minced 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce 1 Tbsp olive oil pepper to taste Heat olive oil in pan on medium low, add onion, sauté for 2 minutes, and add garlic. When onion is translucent add almonds and soy sauce. Stir and sauté until...

The Joys of Venison; or What to Do If Someone Gives You Bambi Meat [Fierce Foodie]...

Pennsylvania is a weird and wonderful state. Two relatively artsy and liberal cities are surrounded on all sides by mainly conservative folks who enjoy the local wildlife, albeit often on the wall or in a stew pot. Venison was never on the menu at my house when I was growing up. The only thing my father, an Iranian psychiatrist, ever hunted was cashews in the bowl of mixed nuts he enjoyed with his nightly martinis. My mother, a Filipina psychiatrist, would eat octopi ink and fetal ducks over deer meat any day. So after falling for a Pennsylvania boy from the red part of the state, I found myself a little mystified the first night I stayed in a guest room populated with antlers and shotguns. I learned to eat venison in stages. At first the gaminess of venison turned me off. But a little research soon revealed the secret to properly cooking wild meats: garlic, herbs, and red wine. Marinating or slowing stewing venison in a combination of the three removes much of the gaminess while tenderizing this very lean meat. For steaks, I recommend a long wine bath and a short searing on the grill, while stew cuts need 24 hours of marinade and a slow cooking. Here is a recipe that honors both the sacrifice of the animal and the palate. Venison Stew (Adapted from Provencal Venison Stew at http://andreas.com/susan/venstewp.html) Marinade 6 ounces of olive oil 1 carrot, sliced 1 onion, sliced ½ bunch of celery, cut into one inch chunks ½ cup red wine ½ cup red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp tomato paste 4 or 5 stalks of parsley 4 shallots 5 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon rosemary 6 black peppercorns Salt Heat the olive oil and slightly brown the...