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Monday, March 14, 2016

Fat is good for you

     “To know how to eat is to know how to live”, claimed Confucius.  And he was absolutely right.  For all the food culture growing steadily in America, I still find, time and time again, that there is no true conscience of nutrition and what eating well is.  Eating well will change your life, but not because you will feel better and healthier – although you will, undoubtedly – but because it will just give you a new perspective by being selective, and by not eating for instant gratification or as an excuse to deal with a problem.  Instead, it will shape your life and your character, enabling that better person that we all want to become.

     I’ve been told I have high cholesterol.  I do, yet my doctor is not worried.  Why?  Because although my low density levels (the bad cholesterol) are bit high, my high density levels (good cholesterol) are SO high that they break the bank.  How is this achieved, one might ask?  Simple.  I follow the diet of the Cretians.  I eat lots of protein… and fat.  I admit I do like butter quite a bit, and when I eat it I eat it with gusto; but mostly on weekends.  Otherwise, I eat loads of olive oil, olives and raw fish.  My favorite course after a day at work is an open-faced sandwich with a base of crème fraîche and a slice of salmon topped with a sprinkle of lobster oil, or some delicious “pan con tomate”, sprinkled with garlic and olive oil.  I even marinate my cheese in olive oil.

     Sardines are always a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.  I love the ones that Connétable has, and they meet their match with a dry Vouvray from Domaine Clos Naudin.

     For your appetizer, here is a dip worth plunging into, both for its benefits and its flavor:

  • 18 oil-packed cured, sliced anchovies
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped flat parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. chopped shallots
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Mix it all and dip your best baguette in it.  And tell me how your heart – and soul – smile.

    For a quick snack, or even a light lunch when accompanied with a green salad, try rye bread spread with a very good sweet butter and smoked cod, a highly fatty fish made highly palatable in this way and which melts in your mouth.  Sprinkle chopped chives to finish for a spark of flavor.  Or even go for a slice of sourdough spread with cream cheese and lax-style salmon.  I particularly enjoy the Darjeeling-marinated one found at my local Whole Foods, which has a hint of sweetness to it.  This time, top with red caviar or salmon roe.

     Fish is always well-paired with white wine.  I found a particularly inexpensive one yet ideal with this type of food, a white Bordeaux by Baron de Rothschild 2014 Réserve Spéciale, which accentuated the flavours of the fish in a truly unique way, without the acidity characteristic of a Sauvignon or Chenin.  It is also a great wine to savor with a splash of cassis for the classic kir.

     I like to serve an amuse-bouche like peppered-filled green olives wrapped in anchovies, this time not cured, yet to add even more amino acids to my diet.

     I definitely encourage you to try these suggestions often with the next 3 or 4 months, then go and have your cholesterol checked again.  I am sure you will see considerable improvement.

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