Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sunday, June 14th - Maple Glazed Salmon, Onion Tartlettes and Gazpacho

We went to golf today despite the D's boss coming over for dinner. I reckoned if he wasn't stress, I wasn't going to be. Of course we got home around 3h30 or so and D started to stress. I was in charge of the soup and I knew it wouldn't take long but that didn't matter. I could have said that we didn't need to golf but I didn't. :-P Anyhoo, we had some clean up to do before dinner as well. Ourselves and the place needed a bit of a tidy.

Sevilla Style Gazpacho with the fixings

I call it Sevilla Gazpacho because I had it this way when I was visiting there. My croutons didn't turn out as garlicy but not many people are as fond of garlic as I am. :-D

4 small or 3 medium tomatoes (fresh) diced and set aside in a small bowl.
1 small onion finely diced, set aside in a small bowl
1 quarter red bell pepper diced and set aside in bowl
1/2 c diced cucumber set aside.
cilatro, optional
1 c croutons, make more of this because everyone loves croutons :D

Cube some nice bread. I used some leftover foccacia that I had made.
Slice 4 cloves of garlic
Melt 2-3 pats of butter and 1T of olive oil in a pan on low-medium heat.
Add the garlic. You're not trying to brown, just infuse the flavour and take the edge off.
Add the bread cubes and toss and let toast for a few minutes. Take the pan off the heat and just leave aside until you need them.

Roughly chop the following
2 cup tomato diced, fresh or high quality tinned
1 red bell pepper (the part you didn't use for the garnish)
1 large cucumber
5 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
Salt and Pepper
Spanish Paprika
1-2 T olive oil
sprig of thyme and oregano (optional)

In a blender, puree. You can use a food processor but I never did in Spain and the blender does make it easier to pour as well. Drizzle the top of the soup with good olive oil.

Put in the serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Serve with the garnishes on the table for everyone to top as you like.

Savory Onion Tartlettes

6 small-medium yellow onions sliced (3-4 cups)
bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bayleaf
3 gloves garlic
salt and pepper
butter and olive oil

6-10 oil cured olives pitted and chopped
6 filets of anchovies
3-4 small tomatoes chopped
We did both.

Puff pastry, we used store bought. Let thaw on the counter several hours ahead.

In a large pan, melt a few pats of butter and add the oil. Low - medium heat. Saute the onions with the salt and herbs until they're soft and start to carmelise. Stir occasionally. Add a teaspoon of sugar if you're worried. It will take awhile, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Roll out the dough to have to two legal sized pieces of paper 1/8 (2mm) thin. Place on parchment paper. Spread out the onion out equally on both. One one we added anchovies and olives. One the other we added only the tomatoes. If the anchovies you have are dry cured, drizzle them with olive oil.

Place the two pans in the oven with at least 2 rack levels between them to allow for heat circulation. At around mid way, switch the bottom to the top and make sure to turn each pan so the side that was at the back is now on the front for even cooking. Bake for about 30 min or until golden brown. They are YYUUUUUMMMMMM!

Maple Ginger Salmon

We've made this a few times. We had two large whole Copper River wild Salmon. If you can get this, you should try it. The texture is amazing and the flavour so deep and rich. We have the cedar plank as the original recipe recommends but it was a bit disappointing. Although we soaked it for a very long time, it still burned. So we reverted to our own variation where we put the cleaned scallions directly on the grill and place the whole salmon fillet right on top of the onions.

(Chef Eric,, D took an intermediate cooking class with him)
1 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsps fresh ginger, minced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsps soy sauce
2 lb. center cut salmon filet, with skin
Salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch of scallions

In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, ginger, lemon, garlic, and soy sauce. Simmer and reduce to about 1 cup (about 30 minutes). Let cool. Brush the salmon filet a little while before grilling and again just before and while grilling. Reserve about half of it for drizzling.

Heat the BBQ. Arrange the scallions directly on the grill with tongs (don't burn yourself). Laid the scallions directly on the Grill. Placed the Salmon directly on the scallions on the grill and contined normally.

Season the fish with sea salt and black pepper. Using a large brush baste the salmon. Roast for approximately 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through. During the cooking process, baste every ten minutes, and baste again just before serving.

We served at table on a nice little cutting board. The scallions were all carmelly and absorbed alot of the nice fat from the fish. Very good. I'm always surprised when people don't just mow down the scallions. It's a very catalan bbq veg. There's always one that leaves alone. They're so so so yummmmm!

Grilled Veg

Cube some eggplant, zuccini, and small new potatoes. You'll want to par cook the potatoes. Toss in olive oil and put on the BBQ 10 minutes before the fish in a BBQ vegetable basket. It looks sort of like a wok with dime sized holes all over it.

We had Artazuri Rose to start. We then served a Pares Balta B 2008 and Chacra Pinot Noir our guests brought which was amaaaaazzzing. We had a bit of a Delta Pinot Noir which is one of my favourites. It so so full of raspberries you'd think it was a framboise.

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