July 9 – July 15, 2018
Monday: Grilled Fatoush with Grilled Pita, Haloumi and Eggplant
Tuesday: Il Pizzaiola Restaurant with John and Linda
Wednesday: Spaghetti al Limone
Thursday: Beer, Hamburgers, Potato Chips and Pirates at PNC Park
Friday: Poached Salmon with Zucchini
Saturday: Black Pepper Shrimp with Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Sunday: Herbed Cheese with Crudités and Crackers / Pizza
‘I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.’
– W. C. Fields
We have gotten so used to the more telegenic methods of cooking – searing over high heat and grilling – that we are in danger of forgetting some of the simple, less messy and quite satisfying ways our mothers cooked – roasting in the oven, boiling on the stove top, or, as in this week’s “Keeper” – poaching in hot tap water!
Before we get to that, however, here’s a basic review of the blog and how you can use it for new followers:
You will notice that there are a number of tabs at the top of this posting. In addition to “Home” which is where you are you can click on the following:
“About” – a little autobiographical information on our life in food and cooking from Beez and myself, occasionally funny and, sadly, true.
“Keepers” – a listing of the top recipe or recipes we choose to share each week and a link you can click on to go to the week in question and find the recipe (at the bottom of that post).
“Restaurants” – comments on some of the restaurants we’ve visited over the years. Most of these restaurants are in Pittsburgh, but San Francisco, Yountville, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York and other cities figure in.
“Cookbooks” – a listing of some of the cookbooks and manuals that have been most helpful to us.
There is another tab (“Recipes from Family and Friends”), which we have yet to populate. You can click on this tab, but nothing will happen. Very much like arranging with a contractor to perform a repair or remodeling job at your house.
In addition, you will notice, along the right-hand side of this posting, a listing of recent posts which you can click on to take you to those posts. There is also a comment list which you may click on. Finally, at the bottom of the posting, you will see the listing of recent posts again and then “Archives” – a listing of every month (going back to May, 2015). If you click on any particular month, it will take you to one of the postings for that month, and from there, you can navigate (through the ‘recent posts’ list) to any of our previous posts. You can also do that from the “Keepers” list. (Each “Keeper” bears a date.)
One more thing – olive oil always means extra virgin olive oil in our blog, salt always means kosher salt unless sea salt is specified , pepper always means freshly ground black pepper (we cheat with coarse pre-ground, if a large quantity is called for, as in barbecue sauces) , ketchup always means Heinz, mayonnaise always means home-made or Hellman’s, and it is assumed that your knives are sharp, you have a grill handy, and that you always taste your food and adjust seasonings, etc., before serving.
And now, about that poached salmon. This is a dish that you can cook even after the second martini. (I would suggest slicing the zucchini before that second martini.) It is also simple, easy to clean up afterward, quite filling, though low in calories, and delicious. ‘Delicious,’ of course, is all that really matters. And, I might have added above, that it is the driving force of this blog. We want to share with food that has comforted, entranced or bedazzled us, our friends and family.
So here is a simple dish, calling for ingredients that can be found in any supermarket and for a technique that a cub scout could master. (Though most cub scouts prefer things that call for more knife work.)
POACHED SALMON IN SOUR CREAM-HERB SAUCE
(adapted from Jacques Pépin, More Fast Food My Way)
As Jacques says: “A simple poached salmon, slightly underdone, is one of the easiest dishes to prepare and certainly one of the most delectable.”
Timing: 10 Minutes (added time necessary to bring oven to 350 F)
Ingredients: Serves 4
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise on a mandolin into 16 thin planks
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
½ teaspoon ground black pepper (we used more)
4 salmon steaks (5-6 oz. each – about 1 inch thick)
Preheat oven to 350 F
Make sour cream – mayonnaise sauce: Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
Arrange zucchini planks in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little salt.
Bake for 3 minutes – the slices should have softened by this time. Remove from oven and keep warm (cover with foil).
When you are ready to serve dinner, bring 4 cups of well-salted water to boil in a large saucepan or skillet (the pan must be able to hold the salmon in a single layer).
Add the salmon steaks and cook for around 4 minutes (uncovered). The water should be at a gentle boil. Check salmon to see if it’s done the way you like (we like it slightly underdone), then remove the fish and set aside in a warm place (or cover with foil).
Warm the zucchini in a microwave for 45 seconds and then arrange 4 slices of zucchini in some sort of pattern or grid on each of 4 plates.
Place a salmon steak on the zucchini and top with a little sauce. Serve with extra sauce in a bowl.
Perfect Morning in the ‘Hood