Friday, August 23, 2013

A Month of Intense Cooking II

Yesterday's post listed the better main courses I have made in the last month. As I said there, July and August are for fruit and ice cream, so virtually not cakes and tarts until last night.

Here are some of the best appetizers and side dishes of the past month:
  • “squished” boiled and roasted potatoes - baby Yukon golds boiled in salted water until almost done, then slightly smashed with your hand or a mallet, put on a roasting pan with a little olive oil and pepper and roasted at 400 for 45 minutes
  • heirloom tomato salad - copious quantities of tomatoes cut up, salted and left to drain for 45 minutes, then mixed with dried oregano, red wine vinegar and oil, topped with chunks of torn mozzarella (preferably di bufalo) and basil
  • melon gazpacho - chunks of ripe musk (or other orange) melon blended with coconut milk, lime juice, chile powder, cinnamon, agave syrup, diced cucumber and mint
  • 2-hour polenta (made with coarse stone ground corn meal) with pecorino and butter added at the end - the slow cooking breaks down the meal for a wonderful taste and texture
  • “rillettes” of fresh and smoked salmon, served on toasted baguette slices
  • tarragon French style (no mayo) potato salad - first wine, then a mustard tarragon vinaigrette poured over the still-hot boiled potatoes (baby Yukon Golds cut into halves or quarters)
  • Bobby Jay’s no-cream corn soup with pistachio oil and crushed roasted pumpkin seeds
I make a salad nearly every night, usually a simple vinaigrette with tarragon, chives, dill, thyme or a combination, parmesan cheese, scallions and cherry or grape tomatoes if they're particularly good. My favorite salad of the past month:
  • Mustard greens with anchovy mustard vinaigrette, scallions, tarragon, parmesan and cherry tomatoes. The bitter greens (you can substitute dandelion or other bitter greens) need a bold vinaigrette with strong flavors as counterpoint: don't skimp on the anchovies or mustard, which are what make this work.
Recipes on request.

Bobby Jay

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