Tag Archives: Elton John

Pasta with Baked Salmon Cream Sauce

Since the Diario de Yucatan reports that Jorge Esma from Cultur is not saying a word about how the financial situation is after the Elton John concert, I thought I would post something completely unrelated and different. Even unexpected. It’s my recipe for the lunch I made at home today – spaghetti topped with salmon and cream.

Cook as much pasta as you want (this recipe is idea for 2-3 people) al dente or however soft or hard you like. There was this lady who used to keep leftover pasta in a Tupperware container in her fridge, soaking in water. Really. Whenever she felt like pasta, there it was! Just reheat and serve. If you do this also, take it out of the fridge and throw it away, for gods sake and make some up fresh!!

As the pasta is cooking, finely chop half an onion and two garlic cloves. If you are lazy like me you can now buy chopped garlic at an upscale supermarket like Superama where only the salchichoneria staff are as unfriendly and overly familiar as they are in any other supermarket. The rest of the staff is more or less friendly and helpful.

Throw the chopped onions and garlic into some olive oil in a pan and simmer over low heat. In the Yucatan, you are using a gas stove instead of one of those horrendous electric jobs they sell you in Canada or the USA; gas is the way to go if you want better control over your heat. Unless of course the brand is Mabe, which in my house is synonymous with absolute crap; if you turn the flame down to simmer those onions and garlic, you will be driven mad by the ‘tick tick tick’ sound it will continually make until the heat is back up to full power. That’s the spark/igniter doing it’s thing and, well these aren’t Viking stoves, people.

While the pasta and the onions are doing their thing, get some of those great Kalamata olives you can now find at Costco, already pitted and full of real flavor. Use about a handful, and chop ’em up and throw those in with the garlic and onions. Check the pasta while you’re at it.

Two tomatoes, also chopped, can then be added to the sauteing goodness in that pan. Stir it up a little to mix everything and ensure nothing is burning.

Remember that salmon you made yesterday? The one from Costco, a whole half fresh salmon. You roasted it in the oven at 180 degrees (C) with Montreal Steak Seasoning on it and didn’t finish it, remember? Well take a chunk of that from your fridge; about the size of a large hand, and with a fork or whatever’s handy, break off bite size pieces and throw them and all those little pieces that break off, in the onion/garlic/olive/tomato mixture and continue over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Don’t over cook that pasta. Strain ‘n’ Drain when ready and cover while you finish the sauce.

To the simmering salmon, add a half container of fresh cream. By fresh I mean not the canned variety. Alpura makes the best dairy products, from yogurt (also spelled here as yoghurt, yoghur, yoghurth, yogurth, among others) to milk to butter to cream. Speaking of dairy products, one of my favorite awful names for cheese is a brand called Gonela. What does THAT name conjure up in your mind? Anyway, stir it up until it mixes nicely and acquires some consistency. Add salt if you wish.

Serve pasta in bowls and spoon over the salmon cream mixture. Enjoy!

Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

Ahh yes. Sir Elton John is at Chichen Itzá tonight.

I didn’t go – and I am thinking that I should have gone, to get a first hand account of what goes on at one of these fund-raising events – to what will undoubtedly be a very interesting night, for various reasons:

1. I have had the fortune to see Elton John in concert up close and personal in Vegas, where he was filling in for Celine Dion when she went on a month-long break from her stint at Caesar’s Palace. He is a great performer and with all those hits, you can’t go wrong. So I didn’t need to actually see him again.

2. The prices were through the roof, IMHO.

3. The whole Chichen Itzá as a Sala de Fiestas concept, which I am not a fan of. Besides the possible damage (or not) caused to the site by all those trampling feet and the vibrations or whatever some people are saying, the fact that the site is being used for commercial purposes like this one when there is no benefit to the Yucatecan taxpayer or average citizen.

4. The idea that Elton can come and play and the story about the Mayan elders who can not perform their ceremonies there, probably because no one can make a buck off of them. Seems a little strange to this neurotic foreigner.

5. An abhorrence for crowds and dubious organizational skills as relayed to me by a friend who was at the Sarah Brightman concert. I guess all those volunteers who were recruited a week before the concert didn’t really have the training to handle crowds of this size.

So I am not going. But I look forward to the comments that will surely appear in tomorrow’s papers!

Volunteers needed for Elton John

As I mentioned earlier, Elton is on his way to Chichen Itzá, where he will perform April 3 under the auspices of the state government, Jorge Esma etc.

It seems that they are now ready to contract volunteers to help in the organization/running of the concert itself; I suspect these people will help direct people and cars and that sort of thing, in exchange for a view of the concert or Elton up close or even to shake Jorge Esmá’s hand which would be the best thing of all.

Tickets are still for sale, from $70 USD to $700 USD (seven HUNDRED dollars, yes) and there now young people, presumably volunteers also since there is no budget to pay these earnest youngsters, handing out leaflets at intersections in Merida’s fashionable north, where one supposes that those who could afford these ticket prices habitually circulate in their late model vehicles.

But, let’s not criticize; it’s all for the promotion of the state (people have probably forgotten about Chichen since the Seven Wonders thing) and tourism. Or is it?


In a related-but-not-really note, there was a tiny ad in the Diario de Yucatan offering an excursion to see Elthon Jhon. I wonder if this is the same guy as Elton John or an imposter? It is normal for Yucatecans to add an H where there really isn’t a need for one, ie JanetH, WilbertH, YanetH, HumbertHo,  etc. but one would think that if you are going to promote this excursion you would probably have seen Eltons’ name SOMEwhere, no?

Elton John is Coming! (coming to the Yucatan)

Sorry about the headline if it threw you off there for a minute.

Since I wrote about Sarah Brightman and her concert at Chichen Itzá, I should probably do the same about Elton John. I only wish that I could announce that Sir Elton’s visit will result in a great increase in tourism which in turn will benefit someone other than a few officials.

In a few weeks – April 3 to be exact – Elton John will present a concert at the Mayan site of Chichen Itzá, supposedly to ‘promote Yucatan’ in some vague touristy sort of way. I am pretty sure that Yucatan is already on most people’s tourist maps and that the money paid to bring Eltom (as he is know locally) could be better used elsewhere.

But whatever. Who am I – a neurotic foreigner – to question the infinite wisdom of the sage decisions made by the higher-ups?

All that exposure will mean more people coming to the Yucatan and then wondering how the hell you can have such a huge tourist attraction as Chichen Itzá next to the dirt covered poverty of the nearby hamlet of Pisté, whose residents evidently receive little to no benefit of having this cash cow next to their village.