Thursday, May 14, 2015

Steakhouse Salad with Red Chili Dressing and Peanuts adapted from Claire Saffitz in Bon Appetit Magazine

Claire Saffitz
The bones of this great recipe are from a Bon Appetit writer named Claire Saffitz.  Ms Saffitz has an intriguing background.  She is a graduate of both Harvard and McGill Universities.  At both places she studied History but by the time she got to McGill, she focused on European food history and gastronomy.  She also took time between McGill and Harvard (the McGill of The South as any good Montrealer knows) to study at Ecole Gregoire Ferandi in Paris where she obtained a Certificate in Classic French Cuisine.  And she certainly knows her way around the kitchen as this recipe proves.  Here you have a man’s meal that anyone can feel pious about eating because it’s as much about Spring vegetables as it is about the steak.   It’s beautiful to look at and I can’t help but think that it would make a spectacular outdoor lunch the first chance you get.  But before you proceed, I have a confession to make: this isn’t the original recipe.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Florence Fabricant's Fettucine with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

Florence Fabricant
Is the asparagus better than ever this year?  Or is it just more welcome than ever?  How did it manage to poke its heads through ground that remained frozen far later this year than last?  And, once thawed, how did those same shoots survive when they were immediately covered with six inches of snow?  Perhaps it’s not just more welcome, it’s to be applauded for getting here at all.  I cannot use enough asparagus now. And when I saw Florence Fabricant’s recipe, it went to the top the what-to-cook-now list.   Ms. Fabricant is the longtime food critic for the New York Times.  She’s also the author of no less than eleven cookbooks.  Her beat at the Times includes gathering information on everything from Restaurant Openings to Chefs on the move to the latest in food trends and products. ( I am proud to say that Monte’s Ham was one of those when we first came to market. ) In addition to all her writing, she is an inspired cook and her recipes produce wonderful results.  This one is an excellent example of that.  In addition to supplying us with ample reason to eat more asparagus, Ms. Fabricant adds the sumptuous flavor of smoked salmon to a shallot cream sauce.  Then the sauce is poured over fresh green fettuccine noodles and sprinkled with dill. And all this happens in just over 30 minutes.  But first, a little about that smoked salmon.