As much as I feel I want to rail against the hideousity (new word) of the Trump Presidency (like I can’t even believe that I just wrote that, it’s a bad joke from the 90s that has become oh so real), I’m going to refrain for today and just post lots of pictures of the food I’ve been cooking at The Brunswick Inn, here in Brunswick where I am the new exec chef.
Here are some pics from our most recent Pop Up – Butter+Salt: Salon, celebrating the creativity fostered at Gertrude Stein & Alice B Toklas’s Table
Our next Pop Up is going to reach out beyond the stars to the outer reaches of the imagination …..2017 the adventure continues .
I went to the animal fair, the birds and the beasts were there, the big baboon by the light of the moon was combing his auburn hair, the monkey he got drunk, and fell on the elephant’s trunk. The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees and that was the end of the monk, the monk the monk.
My Poppa Hy used to sing that song to me, I sing it to all the babies I meet. They love it, they think it is hilarious, especially if you bounce up and down while singing it. This was the song going through my head on the way to The Common Ground Fair, an annual event produced by MOFGA, aka Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
The Fair is like a Ren Faire + 4H + Shakedown Street + Folkfest. If you get none of those references its a big fair all about organic farming and gardening and a great place to buy things like hand carved wooden spoons, candles, gourds and yarn while learning about home burials, composting, and maple syrup production, listening to many folk singers, and eating a variety of organic food stuffs ranging from lamb sausage to pie cones to fried tofu to tacos.
It was the tacos that brought me to the fair. My friend Juliana owns the Tic Tac Taco stand, and I joined her team this year. Before I tell my taco tale, and complain about my sore shoulder and spasming finger, I have to, have to, have to exclaim my utter admiration for what an enormously detailed operation her taco stand is.
MOGFA has a lot of rules for food vendors, some make sense and some are just the kind of rules that exist so that people who love rules can enjoy creating them. Everything has to be organic, most of it has to either be grown or raised in Maine or selected from a list of MOFGA approved food products. All rice has to be brown and all bread products whole grain, which simultaneously lessens everyone’s enjoyment of the food while providing them with a modicum of self delusion.
Juliana has been doing this for 6 years, her tacos are delicious, she makes everything but the tortillas from scratch, she used to make the tortillas herself but she finally found a woman in Portland who makes organic corn tortillas. When I say she makes everything from scratch I don’t mean oh she opens up some cans of beans and adds stuff, I mean she soaks the beans, she creates her spices mixes, she makes her salsa, she makes her own cheese and her mother even raised the chickens. It really is a huge and amazing undertaking and she does it beautifully.
My taco adventure took me way out of my comfort zone, I was neither a leader nor did I offer much creative or culinary input. The fairgrounds are about 2 hours from my house, so I stayed the weekend in a camp Juliana’s family owns. I had the option of camping at the fairgrounds. I’m really happy I didn’t take that option, though I did prepare for it by buying a lot of ridiculous crap. Juliana made the arrangements and I just elected to trust. I was so far out of my control freak comfort zone. I bought a bunch more ridiculous shit, some food I didn’t even really like and got ready for my 3 day 3 night adventure.
Wednesday at about 3:00 am, Aunt Flo arrived and kept me up worrying for the rest of the night.. We are all supposed to be all out in the open about our periods now, but it is still a bit cringey for me to share this intimate detail of my life with cyberland, however its a part of the tale.
I don’t have a ladylike period, those pink boxes are not for me, its not delicate its horrendous and foul and it saps my energy like mad. In the spirit of the Common ground Fair I ran to Morning Glory Natural Foods and instead of just stocking up on wine and cheese like I usually do, I bought some homeopathic drops (Shepard’s Purse). They smell like rotten celery and were intended to “ease uterine floodeing“. They did not live up to the elaborate and antiquely worded promises from the website.
I find this happens a lot with homeopathic drops, tisanes, teas and such. Perhaps my spirit and body are just not open enough to embrace the power of suggestion but they seem like a lot of over priced chicanery. The $24 I laid down would have been better spent elsewhere, perhaps on a pair of cozy socks, at least then I would’ve felt coddled. This all put me in the perfect mood for a hippy fest. I didn’t feel like being natural or loving. I needed to lie down a lot, take prescription drugs, eat crunchy salty things and watch telly and I was about to spent 3 days on my feet, 8 hours of each day with only a port a potty at my disposal.
I was terrified my non organic bleached cotton supplies with plastic wrappers would be deemed verboten by fair authorities and taken away from me, and while I had no doubt I could find a 100% organic cotton reusable menstrual item with which I could “free bleed” at the fair, I just couldn’t face the possibility. I jammed my essentials into a silver quilted fanny pack that matched my (plastic) water bottle and Mr. Coffee brand warm drink cup. Do I know how to fit in or what?
Day one started out just like any sort of terrorist cell operation would. A woman I had never met would pick me up on her way back from Portland and deposit me in a cabin in the woods where I would be met by yet another woman I had never met with whom I would drive to the fair on Friday morning.
Jesse Mae and her son Liam arrived at 4pm on Thursday to pick me up and deposit me at Juliana’s camp.
(For Non-Mainers: A camp is a rustic house usually near a lake or the river whereas a cabin is even more rustic, perhaps in the woods and perhaps without amenities like indoor plumbing and a cottage is a more elaborate house more likely near the coast.)
We had a bit of a visit and she kindly drove me to go get water once I realized that the water there was not potable and she realized that I panicked easily.
And then I waited, alone in the woods near a lake, in the dark, waiting for all the bears, axe murders and cannibalistic pigmen to descend upon me. I was also waiting for Jill, I didn’t have her number, I wasn’t sure what time she would show up so I settled in, booted up a movie on my kindle and made dinner. It was very, very quiet.
I made one of my favorite alone dinners, pasta with garlic and greens and a fried egg, I tried to relax but since I am not generally a very relaxed person I anxiously awaited the sound of Jill’s car, or the car belonging to the people who were coming to murder me, whichever got there first.
That’s when Jill called saying she would see me in the morning, she was out with friends, I assured her I would be fine, I’d lock the door, then she told me that the door didn’t lock.
I drank two glasses of wine. Ignoring ALL THE SOUNDS outside that were probably acorns but possibly pigmen I went to bed. There I proceeded to toss and turn and cramp and bleed and panic and weave in and out of a fitful sleep laced with overtones of the Harry Potter audio book that I thought would lull me gently in to the arms or Morpheus (which it did not). At 3am the rain started, now I had some thing else to worry about.
I got out of bed an 5:15, showered-ish made coffee, ate a granola bar and waited for Jill. Once she arrived the 3 day taco adventure would truly begin. I was basically in a fugue state, half asleep, my faulty uterus was leaching all my energy and the last thing I wanted to be was the whiny JAP amoungst the happy hippies. I just wanted to go home, and sleep but I couldn’t I wasn’t that kind of person, I made a commitment so I soldiered on.
Friday — it rained, a lot, I found that I had the time to visit the port a potty about 15 times throughout the day to take care of my lady business. What joy! Despite the rain there were still quite a few attendees and while rolling tacos I started compiling a list of all the allergies and food sensitivities that the fairgoers shared with the ladies at the front.
Topping the list was everybody’s favorite the Gluten Allergy whether real or imagined, diagnosed or not the big bad gluten was a big bad issue. Tic Tac Tacos were 100% gluten free, it said so on all of the menus and signs. But the anti-gluteneers could not be too careful and made sure to ask, sometimes twice just to make sure not a molecule of gluten passed their lips. I know its a real thing, I understand that so many people have issues with it, I just don’t understand why it all has to be so aggressive.
Lactose allergies maintained a close second with vegans and vegetarians. The rest of the list was more specific:
onions but not garlic
garlic but not onions
seeds but not nuts
nuts but not seeds
pine nuts ( who doesn’t make their tacos with pine nuts?)
limes but not lemons
wheat (separate from gluten)
I’ve worked in hospitality long enough that none of this was a surprise, but doesn’t it make me wonder if I am ignoring some important food sensitivities that I may have. Maybe I’m allergic to oats or black berries or pineapple or cumin. Am I so out of touch with the subtleties of my body that I don’t realize that I am allergic to possibly everything? I can’t over do it with the lactose but what adult human can?
It all seems so exhausting to me.
Friday night Christian arrived at the cabin, we had a rustic dinner of kielbasa and beans and I fell asleep while he was telling me a story. I’d like to report that I slept through the night and woke up refreshed but, alas, that did not happen. I could not stay asleep and ended up on the very slim, hard couch staring at the ceiling until the alarm went off at 5:30. Showered-ish again, made coffee woke up Christian and we got in the car and drove up to Unity- google maps bringing us up the loooong way so we were late and I was anxious. I hate being late.
It was a beautiful day and there was record attendance 30,000 people at the fair that day. Most of them had tacos.
The fair was not all work, well it was about 98% work, since that’s what I was there to do. On Saturday I got out of the taco tent for a few minutes to walk the fair with Christian and see the animals. I went to visit the fancy chickens, sheep, goats, horse, alpacas and pigs. Cows by the way are freaking ENOURMOUS up front, really, really huge, this one cow’s hip was at least six feet high. A little baby cow licked my fingers, it made me feel bad about loving hamburgers, but then I got over it. The day ended about 6:30 and we drove back through the darkening countryside, which only scared me a little bit.
On the way back to the cabin we stopped at the supermarket to get something for dinner and elected to stuff ourselves turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes and wine, thus insuring a full nights sleep. It was close, I only woke up twice.
On Sunday we did it all over again, google maps gave us an entirely different route option which got us there a half an hour early rather than an hour late (WTF). We had enough time to get a breakfast sandwich at the Ridge Top diner. Eat there if you ever find yourself in Unity. Every single thing that came out of the kitchen looked amazing. Our breakfast sandwiches were on enourmous griddled soft chewy rolls with holes that they called bagels, the eggs were fresh and tasted like they came from someone’s backyard chickens rather than Sysco and there were generous amounts of terrific smoky crunchy bacon.
That morning I also met a Llama and her mama. It was the very best thing ever, my favorite part of the fair. I love llamas, when I was a little girl a llama ate my hat right off my head at the Central Park Zoo. Zoos were different back then, the monkeys used to be in one big cage and people would toss them lit cigarettes to smoke. Yes, back in the 70’s even the monkeys smoked. I may have fed my hat to the llama, my grandmother knitted it and I hated the big puff on the top. For twenty more years she lamented the loss of the hat, I still feel a little bit bad about it. Anyway I love llamas, I love their long eyelashes and their long necks and I want to brush their hair, this llama leaned into me while I pet her, just like a dog or a horse I was smitten.
And all of the sudden it was over, we left a bit early Christian had to work in the morning and I was starting to get loopy. We took a turn around the fairgrounds before we left, looking for something buy. There was a lot that I wanted but nothing I needed so I ate a lamb sausage. Then we got in our little car and drove back through the beautiful country side happy to get closer to the coast, to the sea and the river and our home.
My temporary office job of nearly two years has finally concluded, I’ll say naught about it but that it was very much like being stuck in the doldrums if the doldrums were in fact an actual place, not to say that every day was hideous, there were some very lovely people and a terrific dog within the monotony of endless ennui but it wasn’t nurturing my soul, my spirit, my anything, each day I came home after 8 hours of accomplishing almost nothing but a (rather meager) paycheck, and that my friends ain’t no way to live.
So here I am with glorious August spread out before me, a banquet of tomatoes, corn,berries, lobsters, flowers, beans, peppers….and kissed with blue skies, thunder storms, sea breezes, fog and sand.
Ideas of what to do with the rest of my life are churning, churning, churning. Suffice to say, writing regularly is back on my proverbial table, but as for today, I’m headed back towards the sun.
Tomorrow there is a lasagna to make for a gig, beans and potatoes to prep and meat to marinate for Friday morning at my beloved MCHPP soup Kitchen.
Recipes to come, pictures to come, stories to come – I’ve 6 months to make up for and a lifetime to look ahead to, stick around I think it’s gonna be good.
Last week, I participated my first Pop-Up- an idea I’ve been tossing up around and over and under since I first heard pop-ups. I finally did it, and I’ll do it again. I didn’t do it alone, I had supportive partners, some great staff .
It was success, we totally pulled it off.
I don’t know that I’ve fully processed everything that went in to it, all the energy, the planning.
We banged out a 7 course meal for 2 seatings of 25. We got the early seating out and happy before the late seating arrived, (which was what everyone was worried about-except me, I had a plan and it worked). The room was pretty, the music was on point– it flowed, it jammed, it worked.
I think the food was really good, maybe I’d have liked a bit more soigne, and we could’ve refined the bouillabaisse stock a bit more but all in all I was happy with everything. AND I wish we got pictures of the Amuse- which was a gorgeous crispy fried orb of bechamel with Gryuere and toasted dulse which sat on a mussel shell with a dollop of pureed parsley.
We also did not get a picture of the Oxtail marmalade- nestled in little jars with buttered pan de miel, pickled mustard seeds and cornichons
Le crudite- radishes butter and salt
It felt good and it felt comfortable to be driving something forward again.
You’d think I’d need some time away from the kitchen, well, so did I, Friday night I threw together some kind of pasta with Brussels sprouts, we ate standing in the kitchen.
Renewed by pampering, as soon as I got back from getting my nails done on Saturday, I felt the urge. I was inspired by my day of reading.
I needed to cook, I needed to cook things I hadn’t cooked before. I had picked up 2 cookbooks at the library earlier in the day, one on Modern Israeli cooking ( not Solo’s book, they don’t have that yet, I don’t have it yet either but it is on my Amazon wish list) and Rice Noodle Fish about eating in Japan.
The Israeli book, ok not much of a stretch, it’s the kind of stuff I cook all the time, but I found a recipe for Chicken Shwarma that surprised me, made sense and best of all, I happened to have all the ingredients in the house. So this was Saturday night’s dinner.
Beet Salad with Pomegranate
2 Ingredient Flat Bread
Oven Frites with NYC Street Vendor White Sauce
After breezing through the Isreali book, I began reading Rice Noodle Fish in earnest, I read it through from cover to cover in one day, imagining the smells and tastes and textures, the dedication required to do one thing until you are the master of that one single thing. Could I , I wondered, do that? Spend my life doing one thing until I did it better than anyone else? Probably not, I don’t have a helluva a lot of discipline, I’m not linear, I’m not very Japanese, I’m probably the opposite of everything Japan is, so much so that I am completely intimidated by Japanese cooking.
I’ll play around, I’ll make a souped up (ha!) ramen with homemade stock and I’ll totally ramenize my noodles ala Chang. I’ll tempura when I get the urge. But I’ll never be able to make real sushi– because it’s the rice man, it’s all about the rice, and I don’t have the patience. I crave real sushi, warm rice sushi, the cold rice sushi so indigenous and so mediocre it brings me to the edge of melancholy. I’ll eat it but not with much enthusiasm, same way I’ll eat one of those baby greens salad, those depressed and always slightly wilted mesclun mix greens that carry the scent of industry. I’ll eat it even though I know it’s a mimeograph of what it’s meant to be.
Equally intimidated by and enamoured of everything I read about Japanese food, I wanted to make Sukiyaki , but I lacked like 15 of the 20 ingredients.
I had all the ingredients though for a beef stew, and decided on Bo Kho, which is Vietnamese not Japanese, but it is sort of kind of close to Japanese- well ish. After reading pages and pages about aging and fermenting I wanted funk, and seasonality. I refined my recipe with Kim, who did my nails and eyebrows this weekend, she made me look a little less Sasquatch. Her son cooks in a Thai restaurant, she’s saving up to open a place in Windham. I wish it was a place in Brunswick.
I ended up making this whole Asian flavored dinner that had absolutely nothing Japanese in it.
Kung Pao Celery Salad
Assorted dumpling that I had in the freezer (kimchi momos & TJ’s cilantro chicken wontons) with black vinegar sauce & watercress
It it was not perfect fatty tuna belly melting on warm vinegary rice nor was it chewy noodles in rich pork broth it wasn’t even karage fried chicken with curry sauce but it was all very delicious and balanced and nuanced and everything good though not in anyway was it Japanese.
1 tbs garam masala
1 tbs curry powder
1 tbs powdered chicken soup ( I used this stuff I picked up as a joke called Cock Seasoning- you could use a ramen soup packet, or use Adobo seasoning instead, or a mashed up bouillon cube, or just some salt)
2 tbs olive oil +
1 grated garlic clove
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs ( you could use bone in with skin, I did- just makes more work)
1 Large white onion
Mix together everything but the onion and slather on the chicken
Marinate over night or at least 4 hours
Preheat oven to 200
Cook thighs for 45 minutes
Meanwhile- Saute onion slowly in a bit of olive oil, until brown and sticky- set aside
Remove chicken from oven and cut into strips, about 4 -5 per thigh-THE CHICKEN THIGHS ARE NOT EDIBLE YET-DO NOT SNACK
Heat a bit of neutral oil in a large saute pan
Stir fry the sliced thighs until they get caramelized and a little crunchy on the ends (if you’ve ever made carnitas, its the same idea–cooking slow cooked meat over high heat till crispy but still succulent)
Mix in the cooked onions
Serve with flat breads, parsley leaves and tahini sauce, or go full on and add french fries and salads, and pickles and white sauce and hot sauce. Try these oven frites they will change you life. So will these 2 ingredient flat breads.
2 Ingredient Flat Breads
Mix together equal amounts Greek yoghurt & self rising flour
Let sit 1 hour
Roll in golf ball size balls
Roll out on floured surface
Heat cast iron pan till blisteringly hot- spray with olive oil
Place a flatbread in the pan, when it bubbles flip it (about 2 minutes) – cook another 30 seconds
Repeat until done
(I used 1 pot of yoghurt then used the same plastic container to measure the flour- that made 6 flat breads)
NYC Street Vendor White Sauce
Whisk together the following:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tbs Harissa paste
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
Add a little water if it’s too thick- it should drizzle like salad dressing. This is terrific on almost everything you eat.
Kung Pao Celery Salad
This is my new favorite thing, it has supplanted smashed cucumbers as my go to- it is spicy and cooling and crunchy and salty and sour– it is everything and a terrific foil to anything with juicy, meaty fattiness, but also would be quite awesome with strips of cooled poached chicken breast or shrimp.
4 peeled celery stalks- sliced about 1/4″ thick on a diagonal
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns (toasted & smashed)
1 tbs black vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs neutral oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch dried chili pepper or 1/2 tsp chili oil or 1 fried chili pepper in oil chopped + some oil
1/3 cup or so roasted salted peanuts (not dry roasted, unless you like them, 1 don’t)
chopped scallions & torn celery leaves
Season celery with salt & sichuan peppercorns
Whisk together vinegar, garlic & oils
Pour over celery
Sprinkle chilies, peanuts, celery leaves & scallion on top
My Maine Bo Kho
1 pound beef stew meat- marinated 4 hours -I used local beef and it was so tender and flavorful, even though it was cut in quite small pieces and there was very little fat- this would be ridic with short ribs – adjust the initial cooking time to 2.5 -3 hours for short ribs.
2 yellow onions
2 star anise pods or 1 tsp powdered
2″ fresh ginger, peeled- smashed not chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup white wine or Shoaxing cooking wine or sherry
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 cup beef stock
4 medium size waxy potatoes cut in quarters
1 large delicata squash cut into 1″ thick rings
3 large carrots cut in 3″ pieces, washed peeled if necessary
Burn onions- Slice onions in half and hold over flame with tongs until the face of the onion is blackened- if you have an electric oven- place cut side up as close to broiler as you can until it blackens — it should get dark but not like on fire crazy decimated cinders- just the tip, just get the tip blackened and a bit burnt- also you don’t HAVE to do this part
Heat a small amount of oil in a dutch oven- I used chicken fat because I had some from the night before, you could use what ever you have, neutral oil, coconut oil anything really except bacon fat- too much flavor.
Brown meat on all sides, remove and set aside
Add star anise, cinnamon, ginger & garlic to the pan
Stir around in the fat until you can smell the spices
Raise heat a bit and add wine
Deglaze the pan, getting all the brown bits (fond) mixed into the liquid
Put meat back in pot , add onions, garlic
Add fish sauce, stock + reserved marinade
Raise heat- bring to boil
Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour
Add carrots, potatoes, & squash
Cook for another half hour or so until potatoes are tender
Serve with crusty baguette + fistful of fresh cilantro leaves & a few scallions
It has been a whirlwind of activity over here in Brunswick!
I am teaching four classes for the Library on Affordable Cooking, a Class on Modern Jewish Cooking at Now You’re Cooking in Bath, a class for the Beth Israel Congregation on Vegetarian Jewish Party Food, doing a fancy mocktail party for the folks at MCHPP and dun dun dun dah dah….. PLANNING MY FIRST POP-UP!!!!!! YES !
More details on that when they are fully sussed, but my friend Christine Burns-Rudalevige and I are planning some thing AMAAAAAAZING!
In the meantime…
Here are the recipes for the class I will be teaching tomorrow night on Modern Jewish Cooking– what is that you may ask?There are probably as many interpretations of that as there are the Torah. For me it’s food that strikes a cord of remembrance without being necessarily the traditional recipe, adding some thing unexpected, or mixing Ashkenazi with Sephardic flavors.
When I was young my grandparents would bring back oranges from Israel (also from Florida), and they would talk about how amazing the orange juice was there, and I imagine the after years of Eastern European fare that the explosive bright flavors of the Middle East were as much a part of the spiritual awe as the visit to the wailing wall was.
There are Eastern European flavors that have yet to make it to many of our tables as well, I often day dream about the dishes I would make for my grandparents if they were still here, ones that would open the doors to their food memories as children.
For my Poppa Hy who was Romanian I would make him pastrami spiced smoked lamb with a bit of spicy whisky spiked sour cherry chutney, a salad of slightly pickled kohlrabi ,radishes and parsley, and a halvah cake with roasted quince.
For my Nanny Mattie- the only one born in America (though of Russian decent) I would make for her the most perfect fried chicken, potato salad laced with caviar, an heirloom tomato salad and a raspberry tart, because she was very fancy.
For my Poppa Willy a communist from Warsaw, whose family were learned sophisticates I would make lightly fried slightly pickled trout with a horseradish cream, thick slices of schmaltz brushed garlic rubbed toasted pumpernickel bread, a salad of bitter greens and sweet onions and an apricot torte plus a glass of tea with plum jam and slivowitz.
And for Bella, my Bubbie, I would make a stew of wild mushrooms browned in butter and thyme enriched with mushroom stock with a thick dollop of sour cream and a flurry of dill fronds, I would make her slow slow roasted eggplant drizzled in tehina and pomegranate seeds, and a dense sour rye with handmade butter and raw scallions- and I would make her my impossibly rich flour-less chocolate cake.
If they were all together I would make them this meal, which would pay no particular allegiance to any but hint at all. (And since none of them really kept Kosher I would totally use butter all those places where you see coconut oil and sour cream in place of cashews and tofu)
RECIPES from Modern Jewish Cooking Class at Now You’re Cooking
1 cup all purpose or bread flour
.25 cup rye flour
2 Tbs Buckwheat flour
2 tbs poppy seeds
1 teaspoon yeast (dry active or instant)
.5 teaspoon kosher salt
.5 cup warm water (110° F for active – 120° for instant)
2 teaspoons olive oil
.25 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbs caraway seeds or nigella seeds
Place flours, yeast, poppy seeds, and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add water and oil and beat for 1 minute.
Place dough (it will be sticky) on a floured surface and cover with a towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.
After 10 min., preheat a cast iron skillet to med-high.
Divide dough into four and shape each piece into a ball.
Mix caraway seeds & sesame seeds and spread out on work surface
Press each ball into the seeds on one side
Roll each ball into a 6-inch circle.
Cook on HOT cast iron pan brushed with olive oil
Sprinkle with additional salt while hot if desired
Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette (Dairy Free)
.5 cup silken tofu
1 .5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish or grated fresh horseradish
.25 cup water
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped dill & chives
Place tofu, vinegar, horseradish, garlic, shallots and ½ herbs in food processor
Blend until pureed
While processor is running , add water, followed by oil
Season to taste with salt & pepper
Stir in remaining herbs
Smoked Trout, Beet & Apple Salad
2 filet smoked trout
6 small steamed beets, peeled & steamed
1 tart apple
1 sweet apple (like a honey crisp or ginger-gold)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
juice & zest of 1 lemon
dill fronds to garnish
Squeeze half a lemon over shallot and let sit
Skin trout and break in to bite size pieces , reserve skin for optional garnish
Dice beets into cubes
Peel apple and dice into cubes (same size as beets)
Toss apples & beets with 1 tablespoon of Horseradish dressing
Spoon a small amount of dressing in to the center of a plate
Arrange beet and apple cubes + shallots over top
Lay trout bits on top of that
Scatter crisped trout skin & dill fronds over top
* Trout “Grebenes”
Heat oven to 400
Lay trout skins flat on a lightly oiled sheet pan
Bake until crisp (@ 10 minutes)
Charmoula Cornish Hen Stuffed with Ptitim & Quince
4 Cornish Game Hens
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup (15g) coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup (15g) coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/3 cup mint
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon or so Orange Juice
6 to 8 tablespoons (90 to 125ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon harissa
Preheat oven to 450
Place Hens in a large zip lock bag and pour 3 /4s of the marinade over then- squish and squeeze until each hen in completely covered- marinate 8- 24 hours
Remove from marinade, pat dry
Season inside with salt & pepper
Stuff as much Cous Cous in as you can
Sew shut or truss
Arrange on a rack over a roasting pan, brush with olive oil
Roast 30 minutes, reduce to 350- roast an additional 10-15 minutes until thigh meat registers 170
Drizzle with reserved Charmoula
Spiced Ptitim with Quince & Hazelnuts
2 Cups Ptitim aka Isreali Cous Cous,
2 1/4 cups water
1 pinch saffron (optional) in 1 tbs hot water
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp cinnamon
4 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon dried rose petals (optional)
1.5 cup diced poach quince
1 preserved lemon, cored minced or 1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tbls olive oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
.25 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
Heat oil in bottom of a pan
Add cinnamon stick & cardamom pods
Heat until fragrant
Add water, saffron, a few pinches of salt & rose petal
Bring to a boil
Add couscous bring to a boil
Lower heat cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed