Monday, March 13, 2006

Fish Scrapple Jambo

It's rare that I actually invent a recipe. I far prefer to mutilate the published recipes of others, via self-imposed dietary restrictions, lack of essential ingredients and sheer laziness. But, unless it's something I didn't like the first time around, or it's wadded up in an identifiable crumple of tinfoil at the very back of the fridge, I can't bear waste and the other night, Greg came home with way too much raw fish for homemade sushi, even by my ambitiously hoggish standards.

We tried. We each made a valiant effort to eat more than our share. (At 2am, when Greg woke up with bed spins, he immediately leapt to the conclusion that I had poisoned him by intemperate quantities of improperly handled fish. He even woke ME up to see if I was dizzy! I have to say, I wasn't and once I'd ascertained that he didn't have shooting pains in his left arm, I went right back to sleep. If I were a forensic pathologist - and who are you to say I'm not - I'd conclude that he had water in his ear, a condition that often affects those in danger of getting too biggetty about the number of laps they swim at the Y.)

Even after that monster-feed, there was still a good 1/3 of a pound of mackerel and yellowfin tuna littering the counter, which of course made me miss Jambo. No way there'd have been leftovers with that maniac around. He didn't have much to recommend him as a pet, but I'll say this for the little demon: he would never have let me throw away so much as a single scrap of stlll-fresh surplus fish, not when some people in this world are so hungry , they'd eat a fucking computer screen if they saw a picture of food on it, and they had access to a computer.

This one's going out to my home cat Jambo, which is why it shall be known henceforth as:

Fish Scrapple Jambo

Cut your leftover fish using a french fry as your mental template. ( I recommend tuna! And mackerel! Make sure you bone 'em if you haven't already! The fish, not your husband and your boyfriend, though no doubt they'd appreciate a quick ride before succumbing to bed spins.)

Spread them out in a single layer in one of those plaster carry-out containers you can't bear to throw away.

Splash a whole lot of seasoned rice vinegar on them, enough to cover them and get the job done, you know what I'm saying? Remember that scene in La Femme Nikita where they splash acid all over that guy in the bathtub, the one who turns out to be not quite dead yet? Like that.

Sprinkle liberally with soy sauce. Exactly what counts as "liberal" in these troubled times? Two or three tablespoons, I guess, in conjunction with a continuing support of such usual suspects as the First Ammendment, freedom of reproductive choice, funding for public schools, the dream of fully subsidized health care...

Cover and refrigerate until cocktail hour the following day, at which point you will want to line the broiler pan with aluminum foil, and in the absence of a housecat, broil those leftover scraps into a state of extreme deliciousness, all the while insisting that last night's dizziness was a case of swimmer's ear and nothing more.

The end result made me nostalgic for those yakitori joints under the J Rail tracks in Tokyo's Ginza district, the ones where I was in constant peril of igniting my red craft fur purse on a bucket of charcoal that had been set out as a sort of low tech space heater. Greg said he was still to emotionally fragile following the previous night's ordeal to risk poisoning himself afresh, but when he saw me hunched over the broiler drawer, gobbling like an alleycat, he changed his tune pretty darn fast, I'll tell you that!


Blogger Stacey Greenberg said...

damn, you make dinner fun!

6:48 AM  

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