Monday, February 18, 2008

CSA weeks ten, eleven and eight? - salmon tartar

I've talked about salmon tartar before (way back in week two) so I won't go into too much detail here. If you've been reading along for a while you may have noticed a decreasing level of precision in my cooking. With all of the practice I've been getting I think I'm developing more of a feel for working with vegetables and I'm becoming more comfortable with improvising. I only made the tartar tonight because I started thinking about dinner a bit too late to start brining the chicken; I didn't have a game plan in mind or all the ingredients on hand that I wanted. The original thought was a dill and cucumber sauce for poached salmon but my sour cream had gone all pink. Instead I just started throwing things together. Cucumber from this week's share and dill leftover from a few weeks ago were naturals with salmon of course, and a bit of spring onion wasn't too risky. The interesting ingredient, if there is one, is the shiitake mushrooms from last week. In retrospect they give the same earthy base to the flavor that usually comes from the toast points. I also tossed in some capers (preserved in salt, not vinegar. The vinegared ones would be a bit too strong I thought.), a few shots of hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a pinch of dried dill to supplement the faded fresh herb.

Looking back at the recipe from week two what I did, this week wasn't too different, but I was winging it then too (although after having done my usual research). I'm still quite pleased with the combination of flavors and textures and proud of my decision to use the mushrooms; You can't take that away from me.

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