Salmon and pasta (again)
Last winter, I offered a simple recipe for a tasty dish that involved flaking alder-smoked salmon (or other cooked salmon of your choice) over short pasta dressed with a simple roux-based, cheese-accented Mornay sauce.
This dish has become a favorite around here, partlyl because we have a local source of high-quality smoked salmon but mainly because it's quick and easy.
The other night, pressed for time, I fashioned an even quicker and simpler variation, substituting store-bought crème fraiche for the classic French sauce to come up with a main dish so speedy that you can literally get it from the pantry to the table in the time it takes your pasta to cook.INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)
4 ounces farfalle ("bow tie") pasta or other pasta of your choice
1. Fill a large pot with water for the pasta, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of salt (enough to make the water distinctly salty), and bring it to the boil.
2. While the water is heating, flake the salmon with a fork; measure out the spices (and grind them with a mortar and pestle if you're using whole spices), and stir them into the crème fraiche. (NOTE: I chose those particular spices to give the dish an exotic hint of the Indian subcontinent and perhaps to heighten its affinity for off-dry Riesling; but this recipe invites experimentation: Try substituting any herbs and spices you like ... or go with salt and pepper alone to showcase the salmon flavors unadorned.)
3. Boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions, usually about 12 minutes for farfalle. Drain, put in warm bowls, and toss with the spiced crème fraiche. Serve with bread and a salad, and you're done!
Alder-smoked salmon usually comes in thick steaks or fillets and is fully cooked by hot smoking, in contrast with the cold-smoked, thin-sliced lox that you normally find on bagels. It's OK to substitute lox, or gravlax, or any smoked or cured salmon (or for that matter, herring) of your choice, but I like alder-smoked salmon best. I get mine locally from Shuckman's Fish Co. & Smokery, which also sells direct to consumers in the U.S. Call (888) 990-8990 toll-free in the U.S. or (502) 775-6478; Website:
MATCHING WINE: With the original version of this dish last winter, I served a crisp, fruity Spanish Albariño. This time I paired it with the two barely off-dry German Riesling Kabinetts featured in yesterday's 30 Second Wine Advisor, and they worked very well indeed. Of course, as always with salmon in just about all its forms, I wouldn't turn down a Pinot Noir.
Discuss this recipe in our online forum:
Smithsonian site celebrates American food
I've just learned about a new Website associated with the Smithsonian Institution's "Key Ingredients: America by Food," a traveling exhibition that will go to 150 museums and cultural organizations, mostly in small, rural American towns during the next five years. It's currently visiting places in Utah and Illinois.
"What does 'American Food' really mean? It defies definition except to say that it is what people in America harvest, prepare and eat," said the Smithsonian's news release.
The Smithsonian says the Website,
It's an interesting concept, obviously still a work in progress - the "Eating Across America" and "American Cookbook Project" sections, which depend on public input for their content, are still quite sparse. But with public participation and support, it has the potential to become an impressive archive.
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This is The 30 Second Wine Advisor's weekly FoodLetter. To subscribe or unsubscribe, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at email@example.com, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003
Copyright 2003 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
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