Mary’s Memo #2265

     If you’re like most health-conscious people, you’re probably eating more fish these days but you may be getting something in your fish and seafood that’s not so welcome: contaminates. This cautionary note regarding drug residues in imported fish comes from a study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. It analyzed government-collected seafood inspection data from the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada between 2000 and 2009.
     Hopkins' researchers found that shrimp and prawns, overall, exceeded drug residue limits most frequently. Other problematic imported seafood included crab, basa (a type of catfish), eel and tilapia, most or all likely farmed. Vietnam had the most violations, followed by China and then other countries in Asia including Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, India and Malaysia.
     Antibiotics, antifungals and antiparasitics, as well as pesticides and disinfectants, are often used in fish farming to control diseases that can spread rampantly in crowded conditions. While routine exposure to such substances can pose a risk to aquaculture workers, the health effects of chronic low-level exposure in fish eaters are not fully known. At the very least, widespread use of antibiotics can contribute to the
development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and cause important antibiotic drugs to become ineffective in people.
     Vary your seafood choices to minimize overexposing yourself to any particular contaminants they may contain. It’s okay to eat some farmed salmon, but perhaps not every week. Wild salmon is always a good option and most canned salmon is wild (and cheap).
Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, May 2012.


     Speaking of salmon, I have two new toppings, at least to me, that elevate its flavor. Roasting time is the same for both recipes.
     The first one is brushing 6-ounce salmon steaks with a mixture of 2 parts barbecue sauce to 1 part honey. The friend who shared this recipe used Jack Daniels® barbecue sauce. My favorite “store-bought” barbecue sauce is Montgomery Inn® brand, available at Chief and Rays. Montgomery Inn® barbecue sauce is always heated before using. Brush mixture on salmon steaks. Bake in preheated 450ºF oven until salmon is opaque throughout and flakes easily, about 15 to 20 minutes.
     Roasted Salmon with Herbed Yogurt is an Everyday Food recipe. My Mary Ann served it at our Good Friday meal last month.

1/2 cup Greek yogurt2 tablespoons Dijon mustard2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsleyCoarse salt and pepper to taste(8) 6-ounce salmon steaks
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Combine yogurt, mustard, dill and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on rimmed baking sheet. Spread yogurt mixture on salmon. Roast until opaque and flakes easily, about 15 to 20 minutes. Recipe makes 8 servings.


      The package of organic fresh basil in Chief and Rays produce department actually says this but I confess to refrigerating it. But no more, not since seeing how fresh and crisp it stayed for several days on Mary Ann’s windowsill. A good cook is always learning and that includes me.


     I’ve been making Snickerdoodles for years but never as a bar cookie. I discovered this recipe on the Betty Crocker® website.

2-1/3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt3/4 cup butter, softened1-1/4 cups sugar1/2 cup packed light brown sugar3 eggs1 teaspoon vanillaCinnamon Filling:1 tablespoon sugar1 tablespoon cinnamonGlaze:1 cup powdered sugar1 to 2 tablespoons milk1/4 teaspoon vanillaPreheat oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottom only of a 13x9-inch baking pan. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in sugars. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla into sugar mixture until combined. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until combined. Spoon half the batter
into pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over batter. Dollop teaspoon amounts of remaining batter evenly over cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes 0r until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In small bowl, stir glaze
ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bars. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Recipe makes 24.
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