Top Picks This Week

In Season: Grilled Salmon with Basil, Watermelon & Tomatoes

Cooking seafood at home can be intimidating. At least, it has been for me. And yet, whenever I’ve pushed myself to try a new recipe, I’ve been well-rewarded. It’s something I’d like to include more in our meals.

We’re lucky to have an incredible family-owned and operated grocery—Nugget Markets—right around the corner, with knowledgable fishmongers who are happy to help in this regard. We will again be partnering on a series of posts this year so, to start, I asked if I could visit the seafood department to get some advice about how we can all have more confidence when it comes to choosing the best fish and preparing it at home.

What I’ve learned in the process is that the surest way to get a delicious result is to start with quality, fresh fish. There are three main factors to consider:

First, when it comes to freshness, the place you buy your fish matters! Nugget Markets, I learned, receives fresh seafood deliveries six days a week, and is in constant contact with their supplier so that they only order as much as they can sell that day. Ask your local store about their delivery schedule. Seafood is the most perishable item in the store, and they should be willing to run out of something rather than overstock a display.

Second, shopping day is (ideally) cooking day. If you’re not cooking your seafood the day you purchase it, you can store it in portions in a sealed bag with the air pushed out in your fridge for up to 3 days. Some recommend placing ice on top (being careful not to let the water touch the fish). Freezing should be a last resort.

If you have a specific recipe you’re hoping to follow for dinner, bring it in to the market. If the fish you had in mind is unavailable—perhaps it’s out of season—a good fishmonger can suggest an alternative. They may even be able to give you some cooking tips—or season a fillet for you!

Third, sustainability counts. When you purchase seafood that is sustainably farmed or harvested, you are supporting things like: biodiversity, habitat health (clean oceans and land), and the livelihood of fishing communities.

Your fishmonger should be informed and able to explain the impact of their products. Nugget Markets follows Best Aquaculture Practices and partners with FishWise, a non–profit, science–based, sustainable seafood labeling program that incorporates green, yellow and red color designations indicating whether sources are well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally responsible ways. The labels also tell the origin of the fish and the catch method. I was interested to learn that wild-caught seafood is not necessarily better than farmed seafood, or vice versa. It depends entirely on case–by–case basis assessments.

I’m happy to say that Nugget tries to carry all green and yellow labels—and little to no red (which means that the seafood is over-fished and/or its farming or catch method is damaging to the environment).

Of course this doesn’t address what’s perhaps the most common home-cook question (and fear): How do I avoid making my house smell like fish?

The simplest answer? Cook it outside! Here’s a recipe for grilled Salmon that’s perfect for making outside this summer…

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Scenes from the Weekend (& Friday Links)

We showed our wedding dance to the kids last Saturday, our anniversary, and it was so sweet! Hudson turned around and gave me the biggest smile about half-way through. I’d love to share some more favorite photos from the weekend, below.

Our house has been in chaos. It’s all good stuff, but we’re working on the front yard and the bathroom simultaneously. Brilliant or big mistake—the jury is still out; but it’s going to be done soon!

At least this weekend we’re all getting to escape the dust and spend some time in San Francisco. The American Urological Association is having its annual meeting there, so Aron and I will go out early and then the kids will join us for one night in the city. We can’t stay for too long, however—there’s a Frozen-themed birthday party and Skyler has literally been counting down the days. Hudson will have his first violin recital that afternoon!

Here’s hoping everyone has a good one!

Some links of note…

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Thinking About: Career Advice for Graduates

Tina Fey Career Advice Graduates Jobs

Many graduates will be starting first jobs soon. Any good advice to share?

I used to turn on the television late at night to watch MTV or VH1 in high school, and it seemed like there was always a Suze Orman special starting. I feel like some of the best advice I held onto came from there: “Be indispensable.” This means paying attention and knowing what your boss needs before they tell you—and making it happen without being asked. “They’ll come to rely on and be grateful for you.” It also means saying yes to all the tasks asked of you—at least to start.

More recently, some of my favorite advice comes from Tina Fey’s Bossypants and the rules of improvisation. One of the rules is to say “YES, AND” which means “don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute.” In other words, “whatever the problem, be a part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

Of course if lists are their thing, you might hand over Seth Godin’s list of responsibilities missing from [their] job description:

  • Add energy to every conversation
  • Ask why
  • Find obsolete things on your task list and remove them
  • Treat customers better than they expect
  • Offer to help co-workers before they ask
  • Feed the plants
  • Leave things more organized than you found them
  • Invent a moment of silliness
  • Highlight good work from your peers
  • Find other great employees to join the team
  • Cut costs
  • Help invent a new product or service that people really want
  • Get smarter at your job through training or books
  • Encourage curiosity
  • Surface and highlight difficult decisions
  • Figure out what didn’t work
  • Organize the bookshelf
  • Start a club
  • Tell a joke at no one’s expense
  • Smile a lot

What would you add? Any advice to share? Congratulations and best of luck to all the graduates! 

P.S. More Thinking About posts.

(Found via Swiss Miss, who quoted Seth Godin. And if you haven’t listened to Tina Fey read Bossypants, you’re missing out.)

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