Showing posts with label parsley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parsley. Show all posts

Monday, December 21, 2009

Smoked Salmon with Shallot mayonnaise and Meyer lemon slices

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As they say “time flies when you’re having fun”!   It’s been a year since I started Prijatno!  and it has been a most enjoyable and enriching experience.   Since I’m the ‘live to eat’ type and not vice versa ‘eat to livers’ - too skinny - I’ll never be one of them  I take my adventurous palate and relish the chance to try new ingredients and challenges out of the ordinary.  I’ve made my own homemade puff pastry and Chinese dumpling dough.  I have enjoyed sharing my family, my culture and traditions with you as well as phenomenal dinners, programs and places.

Personal issues with computers aside techno geeks – I’ll never be one of them,  I love the blogging process.  It starts with creativity and cooking in the kitchen and moves on to recipe development (if it’s mine), writing and editing,  photographing, organizing it, and finally the most fun of all is pushing the ‘Publish’ button and waiting to receive your comments!  I am thrilled that I have found a suitable avenue for sharing my culinary experiments and adventures with you because I believe good food and recipes are for sharing, after all!

Thanks for the positive feedback from fellow bloggers, readers and followers.   Comments are very important to me so don’t be shy!  If you’ve never written a comment to a blog post, try it - it’s easy!  Just click on “click to leave a comment” at the end of this post and follow the directions.  If you don’t have a “profile”, a Google account takes just a couple of minutes to set up.    

In my last post I talked about our Meyer lemon crop.  We have been enjoying the lemons in desserts, salads, drinking water and in this delicious sandwich with smoked salmon.

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Smoked Salmon with Shallot mayonnaise and Meyer lemon slices

Makes 4 sandwiches

Shallot Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

2 - 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or parsley

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    

4 - 8 thin slices of firm bread (I used homemade oat bread).   That’s 4 slices for ‘open-faced’ sandwiches, and 8 slices if you like your sandwich ‘closed’.

1 Meyer lemon, sliced as thin as you can

4 oz smoked salmon slices

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

To make the Shallot mayonnaise: combine mayonnaise, shallots, cilantro or parsley, and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside or refrigerate if using later.

For open-faced sandwiches: Toast 4 slices of bread. Spread with Shallot mayonnaise. Top with thin slices of Meyer lemon, smoked salmon, a small dollop of Shallot mayonnaise and some chopped chives.

For closed sandwiches: Toast the remaining 4 slices of bread and top the sandwiches with them. Slice in half and enjoy!

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Prijatno!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Italian Green Sauce – Salsa Verde

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Have you ever seen such a beautiful bouquet of flat-leaf parsley?   This organically grown herb grows in one of the vegetable beds at Sylvan Rodriguez Elementary School in Houston.  In the shadow of the Williams Tower (formerly Transco Tower see it in the top right hand corner?)  this notable school hosts the Recipe for Success program that I praised in my previous post.  I picked a lovely bunch and admired my fresh arrangement at home for several days – pinching leaves and enjoying the crisp green taste in my mouth it’s a great breath freshener!

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Remember when curly parsley was merely a colorful decoration on your dinner plate, left untouched, then dumped in the rubbish bin?   Fresh parsley has since taken top billing in our kitchens in the likes of tabbouleh, chimichurri and pesto.  It’s a subtle flavoring in many other dishes including dressings, stocks and sauces.  Loaded with Vitamin C (it has three times the amount in oranges), Vitamins A and K, iron and folate, parsley also has therapeutic value as a diuretic.  When used to make tea, it can reduce high blood pressure.  It can also help to settle an upset stomach and is rich in antioxidants.  Because it is so readily available, don’t even think about buying the dried, dead leaves in a jar to cook with – it just won’t cut it and I’ll come and admonish you!

I looked for a recipe that used a generous amount of fresh parsley.  Green Sauce, or Salsa Verde comes from Mario Batali’s Molto Mario cookbook.  Batali serves this sauce with a variety of meats (calf tongue, veal, brisket, beef cheeks, sausage, capon and turkey) in broth.   With all of those meats in a bowl, Mario found a way to add a seafood component as well, so…salt-packed anchovies come on the scene via a flavorful and complex sauce.  After test-tasting the mixture, I added a clove of garlic – and WOW – it’s the bomb!   Not only is it delicious, it’s also very versatile - you can use it as a dipping sauce or in an appetizer (see my crostini below).  We enjoyed the sauce with roasted chicken breasts the other night and on broiled fish and sweet potatoes last night. 

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Italian Green Sauce – Salsa Verde     Adapted from Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano cookbook.

I bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, rinsed, leaves only

4 salt-packed anchovies (canned), rinsed and picked over for visible bones (anchovy bones are very soft, small and edible so you don’t have to remove them all)

1 small bunch mint, rinsed, leaves only

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

1 hard-boiled egg, cooled

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 cornichons or ½ large kosher dill

2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place parsley, anchovies, mint, capers, egg, garlic, cornichons, vinegar, olive oil and black pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve at room temperature.

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And just because I’m my father’s daughter and I have the stomach and taste buds that can handle intense flavors, I made crostini with toasted sesame bread and green sauce.  I topped them each with a tiny, briny, oily and pungent anchovy filet - not for the squeamish…but give it a try!

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 Prijatno!