Good Night And Good Luck

So we returned home from a day trip to Delaware county later than forseen, and with nothing at all planned for dinner. A quick stop at the place in town that carries wild Alaskan salmon later, and we were fully in business, thanks largely to the presence of some high-end leftovers in the fridge. And I like a high end. We lost power on Thursday, but it was only for four hours, so nothing was lost. I was beginning to sorely regret the purchase of our chest freezer, and vowed to stock it with jugs of water to add thermal mass if the power was restored fast enough to save all the beautiful meat, stock, and the heads of my enemies that we have stashed in there.

The fridge yielded potato salad–a week old, and needing dispatching–and the lentil soup-turned-salad that I haven’t actually written about yet, so this post is ruined. Green lentils, some kind of stock, homemade prosciutto, duck sausage, carrots, aromatics, etc., all simmered, blah blah blah you know how to make lentil soup.

So anyway, it was in the fridge, having undergone a subsequent transformation into a salad of sorts by way of the addition of copious vinegar, olive oil, fresh garlic, and chives to the mix. I took the potato salad (German-style, with vinegar and pickles, just like in a recent post that I can’t be bothered to find and link to) and mashed in an egg yolk along with more chives, then formed it into little cakes, dredged them in panko, and got them all bronzed in a greezy skillet. The lentils I just heated up to a good bubble, covered, and took off the heat. I like to re-boil my meat-containing leftovers every few days when applicable.

The salmon got a dusting with salt, pepper, and some herbs, and a quick stay in the selfsame skillet on higher heat for a good crisping of the skin and a stabilizing and opacifying hit on the fleshy side. The center of the fillet remained translucent and meltingly tender, offering a lovely contrast to the crisp exterior. And I had cut a salad of young lettuces.

To really set this off and make it special, I took a quivering spoonful of the demi-glace I made last weekend and melted it in the salmon pan, adding a splash of white wine and a pat of butter to emulsify them. Such a sauce. Chive flowers, tarragon, and lime thyme formed the garnish. And thus was leftover picnic food retooled into something shy of haute, but not too shabby on short notice. And to drink, a bottle of bucket-chilled 2009 Les Agaves rosé. I’m not going to bother with tasting notes; as with the others I’ll cover in upcoming posts, it’s classic Provençal herbs and minerals under reticent yet insistent fruit (leaning less toward strawberries than other offerings). At around $10, it’s a must-drink. Please ignore the fuchsia rosés from other parts of the world that taste like Fresca or watermelon Jolly Ranchers. This is the shit.

3 comments to Good Night And Good Luck

  • Franklin

    "The heads of your enemies make the tastiest stock." – attr. P. Barrett

  • peter

    They're also a dish best served cold. Like in a terrine, with beans and a nice Chianti.

  • Heather

    But I love watermelon Jolly Ranchers.

    I just found a $10 cab that I am loving (2007 Liberté from Paso Robles) right now, even though only goths drink red wine in the summer.

    I don't know how to sign in on my new fancy WordPress blog ID since it's on my own domain instead of wordpress.com, so maybe this comment will be weird and nebulous. Er. Than usual.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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