Notes on a Tinned Fish – Mackerel Fillets in Tom Yam Sauce

Mackerel Fillets in Tom Yam Sauce comes in an attractive, full color cardboard box.

This tin of mackerel fillets was discovered in 99 Ranch, one of a chain of Asian markets in California. It was about $2. I consumed it atop a bed of instant tapioca noodles, which came with a dehydrated vegetable seasoning packet and a sachet of XO sauce. Continue reading


Recipe: Red Hot Salsa by Jacques Pépin

The following is a basic enough recipe for fresh salsa, from Jacques Pepin’s book Fast Food My Way. It’s good stuff, but darned if your choppin’ hand isn’t sore afterwards. Blogging about it here so I have it forevermore.


  • 2 cups diced (1/2 inch) tomato
  • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapeño or serrano chile pepper (more or less depending on your tolerance)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion, put in a sieve, rinsed under cold tap water and pat dry
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Discovered via Fast Food My Way. Great book, great series.

1 Page Recipe: Split Pea Soup with Bacon

Split Pea Soup with Bacon recipe on a tiny sheet of paper, so you know it’s easy. I synthesized it from several other recipes in an attempt to empty my fridge a little and to pretend that I have mad kitchen skillz.

Please wait for the image to load (or click on it), and scroll down for a translation of my chickenscratch.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon 1Page Recipe


Split Pea Soup with Bacon – easy!

  • 6 slice bacon, cut to 1″ pieces
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • tons of minced garlic, 6 cloves (or MORE)
  • 5-6 cups water (or a few cans of chicken broth if you have no guts)
  • 2 cups dry split peas, rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp. dill, cumin


  1. in a lg. pot, cook bacon
  2. stir in all veggies (not peas) until soft
  3. pour in water
  4. stir in peas, garlic, spices
  5. bring to boil
  6. simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally

And how does it taste???

I’m not sure yet, it’s still sitting on the stove, simmering…

(note: the image, not the recipe, is copyrighted. So do whatever you like with the recipe!)


It tasted pretty good with a little salt, pepper, and a dollop of sour cream, but it didn’t knock my socks off. Next time, I’d use pig bacon instead of the turkey bacon I substituted, or some mildly spiced sausage. I’d also use a little less cumin, and maybe some fresh rosemary and a bay leaf, but fresh herbs cost money, friends. Damned healthy though, and green as the day is long. The texture could pass for pureed muppet meat, and you could delight your children by suggesting that it really isn’t easy being green…