Filling our diet with cholesterol-lowering foods is our new mission. What better occasion is there to start our new healthy habit then with the infamous “dejeuner de dimanche.” (Sunday lunch). Sunday lunch is an institution in France. You just don’t mess with it. People spend all morning going to their local fresh market to stock up on fresh products. Restaurants on Sundays are for tourists! Most French people have Sunday lunch at home, and the whole family helps out in its preparation. The fun thing about Sunday lunch is that it is usually quite spontaneous. It’s only once you’re at the market that you decide what you’ll be eating. Because generally once you see it, you know that’s it! Once you have your main dish, you then scurry around to the different stands to get all the yummy fixin’s (fresh veggies, etc) that go around your main course.
The Sunday lunch centers around a protein choice: it could be duck, lamb, steak, or fish. But one thing’s for sure: no more Magret de Canard for us for a while. <<Sigh…>>
Today we were at the farmer’s market and coincidentally “in the market” (ha, ha…) for some fish full of Omega-3’s. Straight from getting stocked up on a week’s worth of fresh MaxiGrains and MaxiTradis from the Bonn’ Aire Sucrée in Menilles (hands down the best boulangerie in the region) we skipped on over (and our little one bounce-ran over) to the “poissonier.” I had read that the best kinds of fish to eat for people who want to lower their cholesterol are mackerel, tuna, sardines, trout and wild salmon. While there were some mighty mean looking sardines on display, neither of us were very keen on that idea. So when we saw there were two wild salmons, we dove in and ordered 2 thick pieces. The lady asked us several times to be sure of the cut we wanted before she went ahead. After, when I realized it was the same price per kilo as the lobster, (my favorite food) my heart sank. But I knew we’d be boosting our Omega 3’s like crazy and that our body would love us for making this ultra-healthy choice.
When preparing fish, the best choice is to grill it, bake it in the oven, or barbecue it. Avoid cooking it on the stove-top using butter. (Oops, we used to do that all the time…)
It doesn’t get any healthier than wild salmon. But wait! Big flashing red light “warning!” If you might think to go pick up some salmon, I need to warn you. The French documentaries I’ve watched on TV about farm-raised salmon have led me to steer clear of it unless it’s wild. Farm-raised salmon (often from Norway and Ireland) is pumped so high in antibiotics it’s frightening. And when you see all those fish swimming in those nurseries… well, you get the point. Just pay twice the price and stick with wild. The same goes for any fish, really. Farm-raised = bleh. Wild = yes!
Today’s wild salmon is prepared very simply over an outdoor barbecue made with old bricks. You can guess that Mr. took care of this part. I stood back and tried to avoid the smoke. Once the fire was out (real Frenchmen cook with the “breze” and not over flames, so I have learned) the salmon steaks went on. We lightly seasoned them with salt and natural “thyme citronelle” leaves from our herb garden. That’s it.
You could argue this is not a recipe, but that’s when fish is at its best. When you’ve got a 5 star fish in front of you, natural is best, and any Michelin Star chef will agree! Leave it alone!
And it was so full of its natural flavors and simply delicious.
If you can’t find wild salmon in your neck of the woods, or if it’s out of season, you can have it delivered straight to your door, still frozen. Here’s one supplier of Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon.
Until next time,