Top Stories of the Week in Connecticut

hookhahI was thinking about about cutting back on my medications when I received this news update from the Connecticut Patch in my inbox.  Mind you, I realize that a little rain must fall in everyone’s life, but if these are the week’s “top” Connecticut Patch stories, then I might as well start building an Ark and increase my medications.

 

 

QUOTE

Your top Connecticut Patch stories of the week:

Monroe Woman Beaten To Death, Cops Investigating

Vernon Man Arrested After Friend Killed in Russian Roulette

Bus Driver Accused of Driving Drunk with 20 Farmington Students

CEO Under Investigation for Puppy Abuse

Groton Father Accused of Abusing 2-Month-Old Appears in Court

Man Forgets Infant Child As He Shops at Wal-Mart

ID Made in Fatal Naugatuck Train Station Accident

Brookfield Police Find Woman Parked in Road, Unconscious with Children in Car

Kickboxing-Zumba Fundraiser for Trumbull Family Fighting Cancer on Two Fronts

Update: Suspect in Murder of Stamford Cabbie Held on $1 Million Bond

Police: Connecticut Care Worker, 77, Arrested for Kissing 8-year-old Girl

School Security Guard Loses Job For Posting Online Comments While On the Job

Elderly Fairfield Woman Strikes Bicyclist with Car

Man Accused of Assaulting 3-Year-Old Daughter

Police Stafford Springs Mother Leaves 2-Month-Old & 2-Year-Old in Car

Connecticut Woman Gives Birth After Being Seriously Injured in Interstate 95 Accident

Man Accused of Growing Nearly 140 Pounds Worth of Marijuana Plants in South Windsor

Woman, 18, Accused of Prostitution and Stealing Client’s Hookah Following Dispute

Gov. Malloy Expresses ‘Serious Concern’ Over CL&P Proposed Rate Hike

Landlord Accused of Turning His Tenant’s Power Off

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I am quite sure that other states and communities receive similar “uplifting” news, but really . . .   The only news of note that I can see is the humorous “high” I received after reading the article of the prostitute who stole  a John’s Hookah.   It doesn’t get much better than this in the fast lane of Connecticut:  just another detour on Interstate 95.

Mustard Roasted Fish from the Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten Mustard-Roasted FishLike most people, I prefer fresh fish to be cooked as simply as possible: quickly grilled with a dollop of olive oil and salt and pepper. Covering up the subtle taste of fish in a thick sauce is no way to respect our finned friend. Unless you are a fisherman or are dating a fish monger, it is unlikely that you will be fortunate enough to find a “fresh” fish to grill. Furthermore, the lingering smell of cooked fish in an apartment complex is roughly equivalent to mildewed workout clothes in a gym bag.

When our mercury levels are low, we will occasionally opt for seared tuna or swordfish, but – for the most part – we prefer to eat grilled or raw fish at a restaurant, preferably Japanese. As reported earlier, buying fish from a supermarket is courting hepatitis or worse and should be avoided. As such, I was not particularly thrilled to learn that Mamacita had bought some Branzino that was on sale at Whole Foods supermarket. (Editor’s Note: There is a reason why the stock price of Whole Foods is down over 30% this year).

Rather than subject me to the painful task of carbon-dating the age of the “fresh” fish, Mamacita had the good sense to bake the fish in a lovely mustard sauce. The recipe is from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Back to Basics.

Barefoot Contessa’s Mustard-Roasted Fish

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces crème fraiche
  • 3 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs whole-grain mustard
  • 2 Tbs minced shallots
  • 2 tsp drained capers

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425º
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (ovenproof baking dish is OK).  Place the fillets skin down on the sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Combine the crème fraiche, the two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl.  Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure that the fillets are entirely covered.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes defending on thickness, until the fish is barely done.
  5. Serve at room temperature with sauce from the pan over the top.

Frankly, I enjoyed it.

 

Duqqa: An Egyptian Gourmet Delight

duqqa300You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy Dakka or Duqqa, an Egyptian side dish consisting of crushed nuts, herbs and spices. There are many variations to this lovely side dish, but this particular recipe comes from The Union Square Cafe, courtesy of our good friend, Ginger B., who had the could sense to ask for it during a recent visit to USD.   It makes a lovely house-warming dish and is best served at room temperature with slices of bread or warmed pita bread.  Some of our friends will often use it to raise the taste profile of a grilled skinless chicken breast or farm-raised tilapia or catfish.  Even vegetarians are surprised that vegetables taste better when dipped in Duqqa.

Duqqa from Union Square Cafe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups toasted pistachios
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped oregano
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary

Preparation

  1. Roast the pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds separately. Lightly grind the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a food processor.
  2. Crush the pistachios with the side of a knife or a rolling pin and mix with the seeds.
  3. Dissolve the salt in the lemon juice and toss with the nut mix.
  4. Then toss the nut mixture with the fennel, coriander, and black pepper. Set aside.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan until just hot to the touch. Add the oregano and rosemary and stir til you hear it crackle.
  6. Immediately pour the oil over the nuts and mix evenly.
  7. Let the Duqqa cool to room temperature, then the wrap tightly and refrigerate.
  8. When serving allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

Used occasionally, this mixture should last three months or so.