Archive for Fish

Smoked-Herring Caesar Salad

Why not add smoked herring, the bacon of the sea?

3 tablespoons smoked herring, finely chopped
A scant 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated (and more for finishing)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk, or 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

CROUTONS (Or, just use prepared croutons):
2 cups brioche, cut into 1-inch cubes, approximately 3 thick slices
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt

2 heads romaine lettuce, roughly cut, well rinsed and dried.

1. If making croutons, preheat oven to 350. In a medium-size bowl, toss brioche with melted butter, thyme and salt and pepper. Arrange bread pieces on a baking sheet and place in oven until they begin to turn golden, approximately 10 minutes, then remove and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine smoked herring with just enough red-wine vinegar to cover it barely; heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat immediately, scrape into a small bowl and allow to cool.
3. In a food processor, combine the herring and vinegar, the garlic, cheese, mustard, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture as the processor works, emulsifying the dressing. (You may not need all the oil.) When the dressing has achieved the consistency of a loose mayonnaise, remove it from the food processor, and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce and the croutons with enough dressing to cover the romaine as a sauce would pasta. Place in serving bowl and grate so much Parmesan over the top that the salad looks like a heavily snowcapped mountain. Serves 4 to 6. Adapted from Hugue Dufour, M. Wells, Queens.

Smoked Herring Salad


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Chicken With Plums

I recently saw the film “Chicken With Plums.” While the Persian dish that inspired the title was barely shown or discussed in the movie, I was inspired to learn more about it.  I searched and found this recipe.

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 6 servings

1.5 pounds chicken thighs, skinned
1 medium onion (about 5 ounces), chopped fine
1 pound of carrots, peeled and sliced in rounds or matchsticks
3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
1 large orange, juiced or 1/4 cup orange juice
12 (or more) pitted prunes
2 cups chicken broth or water
4 (or more) tablespoons clarified butter or oil
1/2 cup (or more) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon saffron, crushed and steeped in 2 tablespoons hot water

Rinse the chicken or rub with a cut lemon. Pat dry and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper all around.
Dip the chicken in flour.
Heat the oil or clarified butter in a large skillet and brown the chicken all over, which will take about 25 minutes.
Transfer the chicken pieces into a large pot. Add the chicken broth or water to the skillet and scrape the browned bits from the skillet to release and incorporate into the broth. Add the broth with the browned bits to the pot with the chicken.
Add more clarified butter to the skillet and drop the onion in the skillet and fry till translucent. Add the carrots and the brown sugar and stir to coat the carrots. Fry for about 10 or 15 minutes to soften the carrots and let them caramelize a bit.
Add the carrots and onions to the pot.
Strain the saffron and add to the pot with the chicken and carrots and onions. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. At this point, you can collect the broth from the pot by straining it and let it sit in the freezer for a couple of hours to collect the fat that congeals on the surface. Place the broth back in the pot with the chicken and vegetables.
Add the orange juice and the prunes to the pot. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
Serve the chicken with Basmati rice.


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Smoked Trout and Grapefruit Salad

The original recipe calls for salad greens that include 1 bunch of watercress, trimmed, 2 heads of endive, thinly sliced crosswise, and 1 head of Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces. But for me, that’s just too much. I’d make this with 1 – 2 heads of lettuce, depending upon the size & variety.

For the salad:
1 large pink or red grapefruit
1/2 pound smoked trout, skin discarded and fish flaked
1 – 2 heads of lettuce
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:
1/4 teaspoon zest & 2 tablespoons juice from grapefruit
1/2 cup sour cream
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Grate 1/4 teaspoon zest from the grapefruit and set the zest aside. Trim the ends from the grapefruit, then cut away the peel and white pith. Working over a bowl, cut along both sides of each membrane with a paring knife to remove the segments. Discard any seeds. Cut the grapefruit segments into pieces. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl.

Make the dressing: Whisk the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice, the 1/4 teaspoon grapefruit zest, scallions, 2 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl.

Place the vegetables: watercress, endive, lettuce, celery and onion in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Top with the reserved grapefruit segments and the smoked trout.

Food Network: Smoked Trout and Grapefruit Salad

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Pasta Con Sarde

This is an old, simple Sicilian dish. A friend described it to me, but I lost my notes; the version I found on All Recipes seems to be a pretty close match to her family’s.

* 1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
* 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 (4 ounce) cans sardines packed in olive oil, drained
* 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
* 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti, and cook until al dente, or 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, cover and keep warm.
2. Place another 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet, and heat over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook just until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sardines, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the bread crumbs and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. If necessary to give the mixture a crumbly texture, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Stir in the parsley and pepper, and remove from the heat. If desired, serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

All Recipes

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Joan’s Secret Deli-Style Tuna Fish Salad

If you don’t have schmaltz, just use a little extra mayo.

 1 can (6 oz) top quality solid packed white albacore tuna in water-no substitute for albacore
1 Tbs top quality mayonnaise (not salad dresssing) to start
1 Tbs. plain renedered pure schmaltz (approx) to start
a few tsp of finely shredded carrot
a few tsp of finelly shredded mild white onion
pinch salt, pinch pepper

Drain tuna and place in mixing bowl. Break up and mash tuna with fork to remove clumps and make a spreadable consistency. Mix in carrot and onion. Mix in the mayo. Then add and mix in enough schmaltz until tuna achieves a rich taste,

The important part:
Tuna should neither be flavored with either too much mayo or schmaltz. That is another part of the secret I think. You shouldn’t be aware of any blatant schmaltz taste in the tuna. Salt carefully as the tuna should not have a salty taste either.


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Poached Salmon

I found a bunch of recipes for poached salmon and tinkered with them until I had a version that was simple enough to make in a few minutes yet still tasty.

1 lemon, sliced thinly
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1 large salmon steak or 2 fillets
A few whole, black peppercorns

Place the lemons, onions and peppercorns in a shallow pan. Add a few inches of water and bring to a boil.

Wash the salmon, the gently add to the pan and cover.

Turn down the flame and let simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, lifting carefully from the water to avoid breaking. Cool & serve. Good with a bit of fresh dill.

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