While I was watching a cooking segment on the local news the on-air chef referred to a food he was using as “ethnic.” I must confess that this raises the hairs on the back of my neck. The term ethnic encompasses a whole set of characteristics of a society including their language, religion, and race. I am committed to redirecting our thought to realize it is culturally distinctive foods we are playing. Culture includes the expression of art, manners and scholarly pursuits. Food and cooking is a cultural influence allowing me to further expand on an artistic expression and forge new avenues of creation.
I find ethnic to be “an us and them” conversation while the experience of culture allows us all to view it, participate in it and enjoy it (or not). All foods deserve my attention and possible incorporation into my culinary repertoire. Nothing should be relegated to the International Aisle of the grocery store – what does that really mean? Only foods indigenous to the North American continent are found throughout the rest of the store? Or, do we elevate certain foodstuffs to acceptable to our culture? Yet, our culture is comprised of many different ethnic tones all worthy of our attention and understanding.
Moving forward don’t view new items as belonging to an aisle that makes us think it is unusable, specific or too far from your ethnic identity – for in realty it is now part of out cultural fabric.
Salmon Fillet encrusted with Pistachio – yields 6 servings
6-4oz salmon fillets
1 cup ground pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 egg whites
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together all the dry ingredients.
In a bowl lightly beat the egg white to just frothy.
Dip the salmon fillets into the egg whites to completely wet the fillets. Then remove the fillets to the spiced pistachio mix, and roll the salmon in it.
Place the salmon a parchment lined baking tray that has been lightly greased with olive oil. Bake the salmon for 12 to15 min. Serve immediately.