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Archive for December, 2006

Salmon Parmentier

I first tried this interesting dish back in in spring 2003 when i saw the recipe in Cuisine et Vins de France, a french food magazine. Came out quite good and i made salmon parmentier on several occasions, and then as it usually happens forgot about it. Until recently when i was contemplating variations on Hachis Parmentier (see the blog entry on Mashed Potatoes). So today i pulled the magazine and made it again.

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The usual story of our life: long drive home discussing different ideas for dinner, and eventually agreeing that dumplings are in our thoughts; resulting in a swing by asian grocery for wonton skins, ingredients for filling, and some sides. This time we were extremely lucky – elusive chinese leeks were in stock, so it would be Meat Boxes!

Chive_boxes

Our first encounter with chinese leeks happened about three years ago (they usually available during the winter season). I don’t have a picture but they look like a young garlic, with a wonderful fresh smell that reminds of ramps.

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I was meaning to make rice and pork steamed in lotus leaves for as long as i have Dunlop’s Land of Plenty cookbook, guess about two years. The seeming fragility of dried lotus leaves was a main intimidating factor though.

Steamed_rice_1

But somehow yesterday this sounded like a perfect dinner so i took a plunge…

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This dinner was created from a vague memory of the picture in Red Cat cookbook, the chef Bradley reimagining a classic Portuguese dish by preparing clams with a large patty of pork sausage. No clams in my version but Rancho Gordo’s marrow beans cooked in a lot of olive oil (fagioli al fiasco mentioned in some other post here).

Port_soup_1

And another twist – the aromatics for the bean stock were  dill and scallions, like in a typical greek stew. And with a small head of escarole chopped and added towards the end when beans were practically done. I searched for linguica recipes to make pork patties but ended up fusing several of those found mostly from Emeril and Mario (ok he didn’t have the linguica recipe just a good idea of using pancetta).

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Xmas at Stowe

Just a sneak preview: sa far we had two blissful days of skiing at Stowe, Vermont. More later.

St

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Rancho Gordo is begging to cook his Good Mother Stallard beans simply and he’s right – i slowly boiled them with just couple of garlic cloves and some olive oil, and the beans and their so called pot liquor came out incredibly rich, and beautiful.

Good_mother_stallard

The beans were accompanied by Zuni’s romesco cooked shrimp over wilted spinach: the season of Maine shrimp is started and i used them for the dish – it came out totally unphotographable but very tasty, although the romesco sauce is quite involved – i probably spent about an hour roasting this and pounding that…

After the dinner we had an excellent Basilisco wine and Malvarosa cheese, and Jet Li’s movie.

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I was craving something basic like meat and potatoes, like the russian dish i grew up with – zapekanka, of cooked and ground beef meat baked between layers of mashed potato. On the other hand it sounded too plain to bother, so i started raking through my culinary memory (i was driving with nothing better to do anyway): of course Moro potato cakes stuffed with lamb and pine nuts was exactly the idea i was looking for.

Lamb_potatoes

and the middle eastern hachis parmentier was born. Followed the Moro recipe but didn’t use any flour for the top – just crushed yukon gold potatoes. Baked it covered in cazuela for about a 45 mins. To finish, i mixed some creme fraiche with an egg and an egg yolk, brushed it over the top, and broiled until browned and slightly puffed.

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