So, if you live in North America or read about the nonsense here, you know, besides a potential government default, and besides the extreme right wing stupidity of Michelle Bachman, and besides the people who lined up to get married in New York State, well, the big news is weather. Yep, weather. Hotter than hell. They say it was 124 degrees farenheit in Minnesota of all places, and I can attest to the fact it was awful in upstate New York. By the time you are reading this, it will either have dipped down (to the high 80s from above 100 with a humidex of, well, higher) or dipped down and come back up again. In which case, if you are like me, you are horrified by the heat. Again. Absolutely awful.
So: food that is room temperature (inside a house with some capacity to stay cooler than outside) seemed the best idea. And so, I have been cooking just a bit and serving room temperature food to guests. Here are two of the main courses:
Poached Salmon with Thises and Thats is not the actual name of the recipe I found from epicurious when I inserted the phrase "cold salmon" into the search engine. Rather, it was "Cold Poached Salmon with Red Pepper Parsley Salsa" which appears in detail here. As usual, I did not follow the recipe exactly; they're hints, right? Anyway, the main idea is you poach some potatoes, remove them, and then poach salmon in the same liquid, and serve it with chopped red pepper (sweet bells) and parsley. Mmmm. I tweaked the recipe mainly by using red new potatoes from the Geneva Farmer's Market rather than yukons. (By the way, have I mentioned how absolutely swell the market has been this year?) And the best part was the salmon was wild coho which had just come in. Mmmmmmmm. I chose the recipe because it sounded good (especially the salsa) but the potatoes seemed a bit odd to me. Room termperature poached potatoes? Turns out they are great -- who knew? The combination of dill, white wine, garlic, onion, water, etc in the poaching liquid made for tasty little devils.
As side notes on this, see here for some information on varieties of salmon. And do spring for the wild -- there are down sides to fish farming (and probably upsides too) and wild (given the impact on the fisheries of verfishing), but . . . .
Swordfish Escabeche comes from Douglas Rodriguez's Nuevo Latino cookbook, which has been hanging around our house for years. I learned how to make tostones from it and several kinds of escabeche. Not to mention a layered potato terrine like thingie. But I did not make tostones, I made swordfish escabeche. (I began the meal with ceviche, which is another story entirely, and you can learn how here in an old post of mine.) The main thing I recommend here is splurge. Yes -- get the wild swordfish, despite the fact that I have never seen it for less than $20 per pound (and often closer to $30). It is light and delightful. And here's what you do. Basically, you grill the swordfish lightly or saute it lightly after marinating it iin a combination of olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, garlic and onion, and salt and pepper. Then, you make a vinegar sauce, sautee some bell peppers, onion, and garlic, and pile the veggies on top of the swordfish, pour the vinegar mix over it, and let sit at room temperature for between 6 and 8 hours -- voila escabeche. Yep, a version of pickled fish. Sounds weird, but tastes delightful.Here are some details (trusting you can cope with marinating the fish as noted above and sauteeing it. For the sauce:
Take 1 cup red wine vinegar andreduce by half. Rodriguez calls for then adding 3 cups fish stock; I had none so I added 3 cups water and 1 1/2 veggie bouillion cubes. And add 3 tablespoons tomato paste. Reduce for about 15-20 minutes.
For the veggies: julienne 3 sweet bell peppers of various colors, 1 red onion and add 3 minced garlic cloves. Sautee for maybe 4-5 minutes. Add some capers (I love capers so I ignored his 1/4 cup in favor of some more) and 1/2 cup of olives (he says particular varieties I could not locate, so I used kalamatas I sliced. I just had no patienec for pitting olives in that heat.)
All in all, this never fails. This time it wass perfect. And this despite the fact that as usual, I made the accompanying aoili by mixing mayonnaise with capers. Cheating, I know, but hey.
Clueless what escabeche is in general? Yes, you can make all sorts of escabeche? Try clicking here (though I do not think of this as mediterranean but as -- since I got it from where I did -- as nuevo latino) or here.