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Recipe: Bangladeshi Curried Carp

Bangladeshi Curried Carp with rice

Carp have been eaten in various cultures around the world for millennia. In the U.S., not so much. Here, most people consider it a “trash fish,” if not worse.

My inspiration for this recipe was a YouTube video by Luke Nichols at his Catfish and Carp channel. His friend Jay cooked Luke’s very first eaten carp for him. So it’s Jay’s recipe.

Before I forget, I must tell you that you will find some bones in most carp filets. No easy way around it. So you have to be careful when you eat it, and I would not give it to children or scatter-brained adults. The fish we cooked was small and therefore had small bones. They were very thin and flexible and I think I swallowed a few without concern, rather than fish them out of my mouth. When eating fish like this, look at your food well and eat small bites. The bones are one reason carp aren’t eaten widely in the U.S.

From an article at The Florida Times-Union:

Don’t gobble fish off the bone. Rather, put a small piece in your mouth, and work it around a bit to be sure you have all flesh. If a bone sneaks in, you’ll notice right away. Simply remove it with your fingers or napkin and place it on the side of the plate.

Ingredients

carp filets, cut into chunks ~1 x 2 inches (we had 12 oz total uncooked, and the ingredient amounts below are for 12 oz of fish)

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning to taste (this latter is Jay’s recommendation but my local supermarket didn’t have it)

cooking oil (we used olive oil, about 5–6 Tbsp)

salt to taste

medium onion, diced or chunked

curry powder, 1/2 tsp

coriander powder, 1/2 tsp

turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp

garam masala powder, 1/2 tsp

cumin, 1/2 tsp

paprika, 1/2 tsp

garlic powder, 1/2 tsp

water, 1 or 1.5 cups

Instructions

Sprinkle the carp with Creole or Old Bay Seasoning and set aside for 10–20 minutes.

Sauté the onion chunks in the cooking oil over medium heat until slightly brown. Add some salt while cooking if desired (we didn’t). Then remove half the onions and set those aside.

Add the fish to the frying pan with the remaining onions and cook over medium heat for perhaps 2-3 minutes. Add a little more cooking oil now if desired. I think the idea is to sear the fish rather than cook through and through, so don’t flip or toss the fish too much. It will finish cooking later.

Turn the heat down to low and add 1 or 1.5  cups of water to the frying pan with the fish. Then add all the non-salt spices to the pan and gently stir and flip the fish until spices are evenly dispersed.

Time to cover the pan

Keep heat on low, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes (or a little less if your filets are thin?).

Finally add the remaining set-aside onions and some cilantro to the pan, stir briefly, remove from heat and enjoy!

Servings: Two. Often served with rice in Bangladesh.

My son and I had a great time catching this carp, cooking it, and eating it. Thanks, Paul!

Steve Parker, M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Carp Fishing at Bartlett Lake, Arizona

Fishing pier at Rattlesnake Cove, Bartlett Lake

The leading edge of a  cold front had finished coming through, dumping about 1/2 inch of rain on the area and dropping daytime highs to 50° F and lows to 40°. December 28, 2019.

Our first view of Bartlett Lake, uphill from the marina

Paul and I had our lines in the water at 2PM, from the fishing pier at Rattlesnake Cove Day Use Area. The rain and sleet had just stopped but the pier had a covered area if needed. We offered the fish two kinds of bait. The first was what I used last about 45 years ago and I’ll call Oklahoma: a dough made from simmering water, flour, cornmeal, strawberry jello (3 oz), vanilla flavoring, and sugar. The second bait I’ll call Captain Carp’s: Panco, sweet corn from a can, and strawberry jello (6 0z).

Captain Carp is actually Luke Nichols, a criminal defense lawyer. At the start of his videos he often gives his website, CatsAndCarps.com. I watch most videos at 1.25 times normal speed, so Cats and Carps sounds like Captain Carp.

One of Paul’s first ever carp

I got definite nibbles on Oklahoma in about 10 feet of water, but no great bites or landed fish. On Captain Carp’s bait in ~ 20 feet water, we caught four carp ranging from 2 to 4.5 lb. The linked video above explains how to use Captain Carp’s “pack bait” method. A “slip sinker” rig is also probably important. CC explains his rigs in much more detail in other YouTube videos.

This was our basic rig. 2- or 1-ounce pyramid sliding sinker. Before casting, sinker is coated with pack bait, ending up about the size of a lime or lemon. And the hook is embedded in the pack bait ball. We should probably also get some plastic line protectors that spread the pressure of the sinker over 2 cm; you connect the sinker to the plastic instead of directly to the line. Captain Carp also is a huge proponent of the “hair rig,” which we should probably adopt.

I only caught one compared to Paul’ three

Five total hours of fishing, and nearly all the landed fish were from the same spot over 30 minutes, about 45-60 minutes before sunset at 5:30 PM. It was around 37° F when we quit at 7 PM. Fortunately there wasn’t much wind. We’re not used to that cold.

From that same recreation area you can easily walk along the shore northwards  for perhaps half a mile,  casting lures for bass and other fish. Not sure if walk would be that easy when lake level is higher. I’m guessing it’s about 15 feet below max now. There are man-made fish habitats along that route. One of these days….

Our honey hole was off this end of the pier, casting toward the center of the lake

Another half-mile north of that is Bartlett Flats, where the Verde River’s flood plain is indeed flatter and wider, and often under water depending on lake level. Perhaps best to have a pick-up truck or sturdy car to explore here. Lot’s of room to walk along the bank casting lures, or stay in one spot.

Pro Tip: Hold your fish in front of your body with outstretched arms to make it look bigger!

The next lake on the Verde River not much further north is Horseshoe Lake. When full, it’s a large lake. But its primary purpose seems to be holding excess river water until it’s needed further downstream. I guess for Phoenix metro area residents or agriculture. So it’s not managed as a fisheries habitat. It’s often drained close to dry during summer. Probably not a great place to fish.

I filleted the largest fish right there on the banks of lake and we’ll cook it up tomorrow. The smaller ones we released and we’ll come back and catch them in Spring when they’re bigger!

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Carp are not one of the Mediterranean diet cold-water fatty fish loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Healthcare Lessons from Dr. Keith Smith

Russ Roberts interviewed Dr Keith Smith who has revolutionary thoughts about healthcare reform. From Medium:

The Surgery Center of Oklahoma provides a wide range of surgical procedures. All their prices are transparent, all-inclusive, and can be viewed online. They take no insurance. Their prices are considerably lower, often by many multiples, than the prices charged by hospitals. Smith claims they have not changed their base prices for 20 years. This is in a world where health care costs have risen relentlessly everywhere else. Patients of the Center seem to be very enthusiastic about their treatment.

You can listen to my conversation with Dr. Smith here:https://www.econtalk.org/keith-smith-on-free-market-health-care/

There were two aspects of the conversation. The first was how the surgery center worked — the incentives it faces, the ability to offer a cash price that enough people can still afford to pay, how the surgeons are monitored for quality, how the surgeons reach out to patients and work with them, how surprises on the operating table are handled and so on. The second thing we talked about was how the rest of the health care system works — the fake prices, the incentives to inflate these fake prices, the bizarre interactions of hospitals and insurance companies, the lack of transparency and so on.

Source: Health Care Lessons from Dr. Keith Smith – Russ Roberts – Medium

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Until the U.S. has a better, more affordable healthcare system, you should take action NOW to stay healthy. What are you waiting for?

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Merry Christmas!

Credit: Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

Improve Diet Quality With Salads

A masterpiece by Sunny Parker

I’m not generally a fan of U.S. federal government committee recommendations on what we should eat. They’ve led us astray before. For what it’s worth, the USDA and National Cancer Institute have put together a Healthy Eating Index. Salad-eaters score higher on the Index. I do believe the best salads are better than the crap most Americans eat.

From the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Abstract

Background

Consuming salad is one strategy with the potential to harmonize diets more closely with national dietary guidance. However, it is not known whether nutrient intake and diet quality differ between people who consume vegetable-based salad and those who do not.

Objective

The objective of this study was to compare nutrient intake and diet quality between salad reporters and nonreporters.

Design

This study is a cross-sectional analysis of 1 day of dietary intake data collected via 24-hour recall.

Participants/setting

Adults 20 years and older (n=9,678) in What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014 were included. Respondents who ate salad on the intake day were considered salad reporters.

Main outcome measures

This study estimated nutrient intake from all foods and beverages (excluding supplements) and evaluated diet quality using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2015.

Statistical analyses

Nutrient intake and HEI scores were compared between salad reporters and nonreporters using paired t tests with regression adjustment for confounding variables. Results were considered significant at P<0.001.

Results

On the intake day, 23% of adults consumed salad. Energy, protein, and carbohydrate intakes did not differ between salad reporters and nonreporters. Salad reporters had higher intakes than nonreporters of dietary fiber, total fat, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A, B-6, C, E, K, folate, choline, magnesium, potassium, and sodium (P<0.001). Total HEI 2015 scores were significantly higher for reporters (56 of a possible 100 points) than nonreporters (50 points) P<0.001. Reporters also had significantly higher scores for eight of 13 HEI components: total vegetables, greens and beans, whole fruits, total protein foods, seafood and plant proteins, fatty acids, refined grains, and added sugars (P<0.001).

Conclusions

Incorporating vegetable-based salad into one’s diet may be one effective way to increase nutrient intake and improve overall diet quality. Regardless of salad reporting status, HEI scores show that diets of US adults need improvement.

Source: Consuming Vegetable-Based Salad Is Associated with Higher Nutrient Intakes and Diet Quality among US Adults, What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014 – Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Fake News: Bee Colonies NOT in Decline

We had one of these swarms in our front yard a few years ago for several weeks. Yes, that’s hundreds of bees. And most in Arizona are Africanized.

Remember 8–10 years ago when scientists told us that bee colonies were mysteriously disappearing. They called it Colony Collapse Disorder. Maybe caused by pesticides or other pollution. If the trend continued, crops wouldn’t be pollinated and we’d starve to death. Apocalypse within a few years.

Looks harmless enough, right?

Turns out it was Fake News. Thank God.

More reason for science skepticism.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: See details at Issues & Insights, the source of the graphs above.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

 

Google Now Has Sensitive Medical Data on Millions of People

…according to Daily Mail:

Lawyers, medical professionals and tech experts have reacted with a mixture of horror and fury after it emerged that Google has been secretly acquiring sensitive medical data on millions of people without their knowledge or consent.

Questions were immediately raised around the ethics of the data-gathering operation – code-named Project Nightingale – as well as the security of patient data after the program was first reported on Monday.

Others called for an immediate change to privacy laws after Google and Ascension, the healthcare organization it has partnered with, boasted that the scheme is completely legal.

Dr. Robert Epstein, an author, medical researcher and former editor-in-chief at Psychology Today, summed up the mood when he tweeted: ‘You can’t make this s*** up. #BeAfraid.’

Source: Furious backlash after it emerges Google has secretly amassed healthcare data on millions of people | Daily Mail Online

The “confidential” data reportedly included names, dates of birth, lab results, diagnoses, and hospitalization records.

Thanks, Ascension. How much did you make off the deal?

I’ve increasingly noticed that I have to depend on Daily Mail or other non-U.S. sources for news that “the powers that be” apparently don’t want me to hear about.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Keep your sensitive healthcare data out of Google’s  and Ascension’s clutches by getting healthier.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.