People often make rash assumptions about me. For instance, people often assume that because I’m tall, I should play basketball. Then I fall in front of their face and they reconsider. But until they see me fall/drop something they believe me to have wasted years of potential talent. Talent I promise I do not have (much to the chagrin of my high school history teacher, the basketball coach). Another assumption people make about me is that because I cook well and run a food blog that I am knowledgeable about all food. People, I am a SOUTHERN food writer. I can also talk comfortably about Mexican and Italian food, but that is only because I eat a lot of Mexican food and my mother is Italian. She’s also Irish, but I can’t say I’ve ever been served a traditional Irish dish. If you met my grandmother, you’d understand why. She doesn’t even make my poor grandfather cookies, let alone potatoes (just kidding, Grammy. Wink, wink, Poppie.)
One of the things I’ve noticed about the south is that European ancestry is not as important within the caucasian population as it is in other parts of the country. In the northeast people define themselves by their immigrating forefathers, holding tight to their customs. In the south it seems that people have shed a lot of those ties to Europe and are simply southern. The southeast was heavily settled before the Civil War, but after 1892 people were funneled through Ellis Island in New York City. As a result, the northeast had an influx of immigrants more recently and more heavily than the rest of the country. On my father’s side the name-bearing European immigrant was a man named John Kwiatkowski. He was Polish, and he immigrated indirectly to North Carolina, where he eventually married into a settled family. When he arrived, he changed his name to Rosemond, because Kwiatkowski meant “man of the flower.”
As a participant in all the hype surrounding Julie & Julia, I keep being asked a) what my favorite Julia Child recipe is and b) questions about French cooking. Questions that I can’t answer because I don’t know the first thing about French cooking. The only Julia Child recipe I’ve ever cooked are her biscuits. This usually makes me feel like a foodie fraud. Which I don’t think I am, I never claimed to know the first thing about French cooking. I write about what I know, which is southern cooking. Though I do love moules frites.
This is all a round about way of admitting that another thing I know very little about is wine. Dan and I have been trying to educate ourselves, but we are totally guilty of buying wine based purely on the label. What do you expect, we went to art school. While I’ve had sips of white wine here and there over the years, I’ve always preferred red. However on a recent trip to Williamsburg I realized how refreshing a glass of cold white wine could be in the summertime.
There is a Polish proverb that says “fish, to taste right, must swim three times- in water, in butter, and in wine.” So this week I made dolphin fish sauteed in lemon and butter, and served with a cold white wine. And an arugula salad, which is so Italian of me.
Lemon-Butter Dolphin Fish
1 dolphin steak, skin on
1/8 cup butter
Salt & pepper
Rinse off your fish and pat dry. Sprinkle the meat side with salt and pepper and squeeze lemon juice over.
In your pan, melt your butter. Place skin side down and cook 8 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 8 minutes.
Serve. The fish should flake easily off the skin, you should not eat the skin.