It’s 9:17 pm, and like clockwork, a siren is going off in my house.
Technically, it’s not a real alarm or mechanical reminder: it’s the persistent, plaintive, demanding meow of a small stripey cat reminding me that he wants to be fed “nooooooooow!”
He arrived as a four-month-old kitten, all ears, eyes, and flexy paws, and grew into a snuggle machine with tiny rumbly purrs, whiskers longer than Sam Elliott’s mustache, fur softer than a chinchilla, and a fiercely willful streak.
Somewhere along the line, Lenny also became a sneak.
No longer satisfied by his stupidly expensive prescription food, he’d start stalking the kitchen counters, waiting until we were out of sight to ascend noiselessly on ninja pawpads.
It wasn’t until we’d hear the soft “thud!” of paws hitting the linoleum that we’d realize Lenny had struck again.
What’s he looking for up there on the counter? Well, much like Harry became his mother’s son with his omnivorous appetite, Lenny takes after me in a different way: he lusts for cheese, cream, butter, and bread more than anything else.
Once or twice, we’ve caught him fully crouched in the sink, his tiny body bent to lick whipped cream out of bowls and butter off (thankfully dull) knives.
He’s stolen cheesy baked croutons out of salad bowls, dragging them onto the floor in triumph.
He perches on my shoulder or commandeers my lap and stretches his neck out like an eel to sniff the milk foam on my morning coffee.
Where this desire for dairy came from, I have no idea, but I can’t give in, no matter how much or how loudly complains.
What I can do is give Lenny his formerly favorite food, salmon—after all, today is his sixth birthday, and even I allow myself a little something special one day a year. Why shouldn’t I do the same for my boys?
For humans, there’s no need to wait around for a birthday to make salmon. The recipe below makes for a virtuous weeknight dinner for one, but is elegant enough to double or quadruple for company.
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon brown or white miso, divided
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 (4-ounce) wild salmon fillet
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Add 1 tablespoon miso, along with the mirin and rice vinegar, to a quart-size zip-top bag.
- Seal tightly, then mush the miso around until combined with the liquid.
- Add the salmon, re-seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Remove the salmon from the marinade, discarding the bag and excess marinade.
- Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until the salmon is just cooked through and flakes easily when prodded with a fork.
- While the salmon bakes, whisk the remaining 1 teaspoon miso with the yogurt, olive oil, and parsley. Dollop on top of the baked salmon (you'll have extra if you want it).
- Take two bites of the salmon and realize yet again that despite your best efforts, you still can't convince yourself to like this fish.
- Rue the fact that you didn't buy cod, or a whole branzino, or any other fish that you really do like, since you'll eat pretty much any of them except salmon.
- Scrape the yogurt off the fillet, flake it into tiny bits, and feed it to grateful (well, not so much grateful as expectant/excited beyond their wildest tiny cat imaginations) felines.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 793Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 43gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 394mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 56g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.
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