Thursday, September 8, 2011

Salmon Tartare

My fascination with all things small began several years ago when I purchased Hors d'Oeuvre at Home With The Culinary Institute of America. A beautiful book of essential techniques and recipes for creating great small bites. This is my go to book when I feed my friends.  I have also found some beautiful recipes for appetizers in "Bon Appetit Magazine". In May of this year they had a simple recipe for salmon tartare.  I have eaten tuna tartare but not salmon. What really caught my eye for this dish is that they suggest you serve it with thick-cut potato chips.

Salmon Tartare
Prep: 40 minutes  Total: 40 minutes
4 servings
Use the freshest wild or farmed salmon for this dish. Chilling it in the freezer for 20 minutes makes it easier to dice.


  • 1 - 8oz. boneless salmon fillet, skinless
  • 1/4 cup finely diced, seeded cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/2 tsp. grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced, seeded jalapeno
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 3/4 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. (scant) lime zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Thick-cut potato or tortilla chips
  1. Place salmon on a plate; freeze until well chilled, about 20 minutes
  2. Thinly slice salmon lengthwise into 1/8" wide sheets. Cut each sheet into 1/8"-long strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/8" cubes. Place salmon in a medium bowl. Add cucumber and the next 9 ingredients and toss to combine. Season tartare to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer tartare to a bowl and serve with chips.
This tartare is really addictive and the chips are ridiculously good. This is chips and dip all grown up. The next time I make this I'm not sharing.

Life if good - enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pan-Cooked Summer Squash With Tomatoes and Basil

Although summer is almost over the tomatoes the squashes and the basil  have yet to be told. They may be a bit smaller perhaps a bit uglier but they are still available and oh so tasty.  On August 16, 2011 Martha Rose Shulman published a recipe for The New York Times. Martha is known as a writer of cookbooks about eating well and she does not miss the mark with this lovely and healthy summer dish.

Pan-Cooked Summer Squash With Tomatoes and Basil
Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium or small zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced or diced (depending on what shape squash you use)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a box grater, or peeled, seeded and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped or slivered fresh basil (to taste)
  1.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet. Add the zucchini. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan, until the zucchini is lightly seared and beginning to soften, three to five minutes. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then the garlic. Cook stirring, just until fragrant - less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have begun to cook down, about five minutes. Return the zucchini to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is tender and translucent and the tomatoes have cooked down to a fragrant sauce. Stir in the basil, and taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and serve hot, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.
We ate this as a side dish with chicken. Ms. Shulman suggests it would go well with fish or cooked grains. 

Life is good - enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Naked Tomato Sauce

Today's post will be different from any that I have done in the past. It won't have a recipe, it won't have a picture and it won't scream "look at what I just cooked"!  Today is a link to one of the most lovely cooking blogs that I have had the honor to follow.   This blog is called smitten kitchen.  It is written by New Yorker Deb Perelman.  Not only is she a delightful writer, who doesn't take her self to seriously, but a fantastic food photographer, wife and fine cook. She describes "[t]he smitten kitchen in its latest physical incarnation as a 80 42 square foot (whimper) circa-1935 sort of half-galley kitchen with a 24 foot footprint, a single counter, tiny stove, checkered floor and a skylight on top a noisy window at the end to the avenue below. When you check out her food you have to be amazed and awed that she can produce what she does in 42 square feet while most of us have monstrous kitchens and can't cook a thing.

Several days ago I received my weekly email from smitten kitchen announcing Deb's latest creation. The blog for the day was for naked tomato sauce.  In her continuous effort to make the best "gravy" for spaghetti she adapts a recipe from a New York City restaurant called Scarpetta. In this post she describes Scarpetta as a restaurant "...that boasts duck and foie gras ravioli, olive oil braised octopus and innumerable four star reviews, it should say something that the spaghetti with tomato and basil is the most famed dish on the menu."

Having never been to Scarpetta I can't say if Deb really nailed their spaghetti with tomato and basil. What I can say is that she has given all of us one of the most delightful, sexy, creamy, and sweet ways to eat spaghetti that I have ever had in my life.

Make this, make this, make this....  It requires no special equipment and a small list of ingredients. When she says the butter is optional I believe she lies.  Here is the link:  You can thank me later.

Life is good - enjoy!