Gratuitous food porn shot of the day – oven baked salmon, squash soup, garlic bread, strawberries and melon

Farmed salmon fillets with oil, lime, garlic, rosemary and white wine, baked in a 400F oven. Roasted butternut squash soup with apple, cinnamon, nutmeg potato and carrot, pureed, and using a homemade chicken stock (the stock makes the soup). Cheap whole wheat buns I picked up at Dillion’s at 7 a.m. after dropping Chapman off at the airport, topped with roasted garlic in butter, rosemary and some shredded Italian cheese (the bread, not the Chapman).

She’s also eating whole strawberries and chunks of melon. Her six teeth are helping with that.

Gratuitous food porn shot of the day – roasted chicken with garlic sage stuffing

Sorenne eating dinner with dad, Oct. 3, 2009.

Take whole chicken, stuff with 30 cloves garlic, sage and bread crumbs (I use whole wheat leftovers in the freezer).

Serve the roasted garlic with brie cheese on French bread.

Make stock and soup with the bones and leftovers.

A weekly ritual.

Bittman article updated: now includes safety information

Maybe it was barfblog influenced, maybe not. My previous post on Mark Bittman’s garlic and other stuff in oil was a letter to the editor I submitted to the New York Times on Friday night. As the Times likes to have exclusive first printing right I held off on posting the letter until last night (since I hadn’t heard whether it was going to be printed).

This morning, esteemed New York Times watch-dog blogger NYTpicker, noted that the botulism-promoting Bittman article has been updated to include some safety tips:

Correction: July 1, 2009
A recipe on Page 4 today with the Minimalist column, about infused oils, corrects two errors that appeared in the recipe when it was published at on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The online recipe misstated the amount of time the oil should cook after it bubbles and the length of time it is safe to use after being refrigerated. The oil should be cooked five minutes, not “a minute or two,” and it should be kept in the refrigerator no more than a week, not “a month or so.” The corrected version can also be found at

New York Times’ Bitman promotes unsafe practice

In the June 26 Minimalist column and accompanying video about herb and garlic flavored oils barfblog favorite Mark Bittman suggests a frugal trick to add flavor to a meal. And possibly a frugal method to create a serious foodborne toxin.

The pathogen of concern, Clostridium botulinum, could exist as spores on the suggested ingredients. Heating the foods may activate the spores and placing the flavor-making components into certain oils can create the perfect environment (oxygen-free and low acid) for cell growth and botulinum toxin formation. Mr. Bittman’s suggestions of a little of this and a little of that into oil could create a nasty situation.

Information missing from the print article, but included in the video, is that he keeps his oil in the refrigerator. Keeping oil mixtures below 41F is a critical step and will not allow the botulism spores to form cells. Holding the oil mixture at room temperature allows for cell formation and growth.  In 1999, three Floridians were admitted to hospital with nausea, blurred vision and eventual paralysis after eating a home-bottled infused oil concoction similar to what Mr. Bittman suggests. The commercially available (and more expensive) flavored oils that Bitman scoffs at include U.S. Food and Drug Administration-mandated microbial inhibitors or acidifying agents.

Flavored oils made right are scrumptious, botulism is not.