For the last few days it has been hot here. Really, really hot, and humid. The weather is supposed to break tonight, but for the moment it’s safe to say that if crotch sweat were crude oil, George Bush would be invading my shorts. Last night, I made good hot-weather food: Vietnamese Summer rolls with tofu and a zingy peanut sauce, plus sautéed escarole with copious garlic and a little BBQ chicken broth. Tonight, though, a couple of things at one of the local stores inspired me so I ended up sweating over the proverbial hot stove. It was worth it.
First, I got some wild Alaskan salmon- always an excellent place to start. Then, they had real, fat, perfect bolete mushrooms from nearby woods. Local porcini. And also more local heirloom tomatoes (ours are flowering, but still at least a month off.) The garden did the rest.
So dinner ended up being the following: seared salmon with a fennel-seed crust, plus radicchio mashed with olives to make quenelles, mushrooms sautéed with garlic and deglazed with wine, tomato, peas, and zucchini. Really simple, but the purity and freshness of the ingredients helped elevate the dish. I will play more with the bitter greens and olives mix; it’s got a lot of potential. Also possessing potential is a 2005 Bourgogne “Cuvée les deux papis” by Alex Gambal that I swore I wouldn’t open and yet the salmon demanded it. Since I obviously do not possess the willpower to resist the 05s until they’re ready, I will at least decant them from now on to give them a chance to open up a little.