16 December 2008
I am feeling less than festive this week with the temperatures dipping to minus 18 Celcius. Is that Jack Frost nipping at my nose!!!! Even daily walks are out of the question in my books. There is just no way to dress warmly enough. They are even asking parents to pick their kids up at school. Thank goodness for a warm car parked in a parking garage!!!!
My family is gloating (a little too much I might add) in the warmer Eastern provinces. Is that the Evil Witch of the West" rubbing her hands together. I'll get you "my pretties" and your little dog too....... Ha! It's coming your way!!!!!!!
Despite the temperatures I have picked up last minute gifts and ingredients needed for baking up a storn for the holidays. Despite the less than seasonal climates I am ready to "batten down the hatches" and get on with a little baking, cooking and Christmas cheer the More Than Burnt Toast way. What better way to spend a nippy afternoon but in the nice warm kitchen with the air smelling of freshly baked bread, cinnamon and licking copious amounts of spoons.
Seven Fishes Blog celebrates an Italian Christmas. Around the world Southern Italians celebrate Christmas Eve with a Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as La Vigilia ("the vigil").
It is an Italian tradition built around fish of all kinds and prepared in as many different ways as possible. The menu and the number of fish dishes varies from family to family and village to village, but it's usually seven. In any case, seven fish dishes is a feast! Two dishes that seem to show up in every one's traditional Feast of Seven Fishes are smelts and baccalà in some form or another. Baccalà is better known as salt cod .
Joe from Italyville and Maryann of Finding la Dolce Vita have created the food event Seven Fishes Feast to celebrate this age old Italian tradition. Now we can all join in!!!
This salmon dish comes from Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa herself. It is not a typical Italian dish but one that I make often. You have until December 18th to join in!!!
** Salmon Cakes with Tartar Sauce**
1/2 pound fresh salmon
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)
1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 -1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (Old Bay)
3 slices stale bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold.
Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Break the bread slices in pieces and process the bread in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You should have about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Place the bread crumbs on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.
Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) cakes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot.
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
2 T small-diced pickles or cornichons
1 T Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 T capers
1 tsp coarse-grained mustard
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper fitted with a steel blade and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed but not pureed.