Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Salmon Tartar dressed in Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

This is an easy and versatile dish that takes minutes to make. Buy the freshest salmon you can find, this is the key to this dish. You can use any style of vinaigrette you like or just lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper works fine. I did this version for an opening salad with simple mixed greens.

Serves four

16 ounces fresh salmon
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh parley
1 large garlic clove
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mixed greens

Remove the skin from the salmon and and cut into 1 inch cubes.
Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
Chop the garlic clove and make into a paste using the side of you knife. Finely chop the herbs and the capers. Place all the ingredients I'm a jar and shake till emulsified.
To make a salad put 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette in the bottom of a plate and place greens on top. Add the rest of the vinaigrette to the salmon and toss. Add the dressed salmon on top of the greens and serve.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gros Pain

I never bake. I don't have the time. I watched one of the greatest French chefs ever,Jacques Pepin, make the simplest and tastiest bread ever! Here it is!

4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 cups water
1 pack of yeast
1 tablespoon salt

Mix it all in a food processor of 30 seconds. Turn into a bowl and let proof for at least 3 hours. Turn the sides of the dough in on it self ,this is a very important step, for at least 10 go arounds the ball to make a seam in the middle. Turn
it over and pull the ball tight. Put it down on a baking sheet, seam side down, covered in corn meal and proof again covered until it doubles. Score it and flour, then shove it into a steamy oven till its dark brown and beautiful. 400* for about an hour. You will know when it is done by the hollow sound it will make when you tap the bottom. Please enjoy all the ways you can make this simplest of pleasures!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cured Country Ham Pâté

I love food that is spreadable. I found the basis for this recipe in an early 1970's Cajun cookbook and tweaked it. Whole cured country hams are very expensive and this recipe only calls for two cups of ham. I use a cured ham steak. It's the perfect amount, price and availability for this recipe.

1 country cured ham steak
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of mixed fresh herbs, I used rosemary and oregano
2 tablespoons Rye whiskey

Cook the ham in a skillet with a little oil until cooked through.
Cut ham into pieces until you have 2 cups. Pulse in the food processor until finely chopped. Add butter and pulse until smooth.
Add all the dry ingredients and pulse until well mixed.
Refrigerate over night to let flavors settle and mix.
Take out of the fridge at least one hour before serving so it becomes spreadable. Trust me it won't spread straight out the fridge.
Serve with crusty bread.