Can’t skimp on quality

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There are certain ingredients I will just not skimp on. I’d rather not eat them at all then eat the low quality versions. One of the best examples of this is produce. Now, I’m not just talking about organic versus non-organic because lets be honest, a stamp of “organic” is meaning less and less these days. It seems like everything is labeled in this fashion and until the regulations are set more strictly and with more transparency, it will often be hit or miss. For example, the D’agastino one block from my apartment has plenty of “organic” produce, all of which is brown, wilted, or bruised. I’d rather pay a bit more at the Green Market or even at Whole Foods (in fact Whole Foods is often cheaper) to ensure the flavor and the quality of my fruits and veggies.

Or take fish as another example. If you walked into a sushi restaurant and immediately were struck in the nose with that pungent fishy smell, would you pay $8 for a hand roll? Or what about if you ordered the salmon at your favorite French restaurant and what you were served was bright in color but completely dull in flavor? Would you be happy paying the $25 for the entree? Hopefully your answers to both of these questions are resounding no’s. But most of the “data” and information coming out about seafood available for purchase whether it be farm-raised or wild is more confusing then helpful. Are any farm-raised fish safe to eat? Does wild mean less mercury and higher quality? With all of the questions out there, the best thing to do is find a place you trust and don’t be afraid to ask questions. But most of the people you can trust aren’t going to be cheap which is why I’ve stayed away from some of my favorite fishes…

But yesterday I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to cook with my favorite fish. Halibut was on sale for $12.99 a pound compared to its normal $20.99. Two great size portions for ten dollars later, I was on my way home with a few select ingredients and a ton of excitement. Halibut is such a delicous fish with great flavor and texture that holds up to many cooking processes. I didn’t want to mess with the fish much; let it stand on its own and compliment it with a few high flavor components. Pairing these halibut filets with a shitake mushrooms, artichokes, roasted red peppers, and white wine sauce with red rice (much nuttier than brown rice) was a perfect way to enjoy my splurge!

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