Salmon Pan Bagnat

The inspiration: Leftover salmon, gorgeous mixed greens, and wanting to make a quick and easy meal

Leftovers- you have to love them or hate them. Every Shabbat, I prepare baked salmon for my family and there is always some leftover on Sunday. But I was tired of making my usual salmon-with couscous, salmon-with-rice, or salmon-with-pasta using the leftovers. I wanted something with bold flavor, something that would use my leftovers and I wouldn’t have to do more than make a knife (or my hands) dirty.

The innovation: Substituting salmon for tuna, gherkins for cornichons

Pan Bagnat is the classical tuna and vegetable sandwich of southern France. Traditionally, it has hard-boiled eggs, mixed greens or romaine lettuce, roasted squash or peppers (maybe both), cornichons or Nicoise olives and canned tuna. However, like much of Provencal cuisine, the one hand and fast rule is to use whatever is the freshest, the best tasting – and what you have on hand. Works for me! I had salmon to use up, as well as some delicious vegetables and greens. Cornichons add a slightly sour/tart taste that works in perfect contrast to the Dijon in the vinaigrette, but since I was using mixed greens that were slightly bitter and the Dijon together, I was sure the gherkins would add a welcome sweet/tartness to the pan bagnat. You can always omit the gherkins, but I wouldn’t recommend substituting pickle spears or sour pickles. If anything, if you don’t like pickles, add Nicoise or Kalamata olives or capers for a similar taste profile.

My interpretation: Salmon Pan Bagnat

pan bagnat

Ingredients: 

For the vinaigrette:

2 heaping tsp genuine Dijon mustard 

1 and 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar 

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together, set aside in fridge to chill 

For the pan bagnat:

1/2 of a French baguette

1 baked or grilled salmon fillet, about 6 oz, already cooked and cooled

large handful of mixed greens

1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into slices

1 Roma (plum) tomato, cut into slices

2 gherkin pickles cut in half lengthwise 

Olive oil to brush on baguette

Sea Salt 

Black Pepper

To prepare:

1) Brush the insides of the baguette with a light layer of olive oil and sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt and black pepper on top

2) Mix the vinaigrette with the mixed greens til coated very lightly and add to the baguette. You may have extra dressing – that is fine, save it.

3) One layer at a time, add in the cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles.

4) Flake the cooled salmon into large pieces and add to the baguette. 

5) If desired, add the remaining vinaigrette. At this point, it is traditional to wrap the sandwich tightly in foil and refrigerate for an hour.  However, if you are hungry- bon apetite!  

 

 

 

The Best Chanukah Present: Oreillettes

Chanukah came and went so fast this year! This past Sunday, I hosted my family for a dinner party at my home, and I got a chance to use a recipe that was given to me. I treasure this recipe – it is from a very lovely lady named Simone, and it is her own personal recipe.  Just like any good, heirloom recipe, the measurements were not exact, so I had to tinker a little to get it to where it needed to be.

Oreillettes means ‘little pillows’ in French (I have also seen it translated as ‘ little pig ears’, but little pillows sounds so much nicer, I think!). I originally saw a recipe for this dessert in Richard Olney’s ‘Provence the Beautiful’ cookbook and really wanted to make it. Since I had an unpleasant experience making a dessert from there previously, I went to someone I knew who was expert in French cuisine for their recipe.

The dough is silky smooth, and a dream to roll and cut. When placed into hot oil, they puff up almost immediately. Dusted with sugar, this Provencal treat is considered by many as the ‘sweet lover’s potato chip’.  I can see why – they are so light and airy, you could eat handfuls at one time, just like potato chips!

This recipe as is makes several dozen – halve the recipe if you are only making for yourself or a few people!

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Oreillettes

9 C flour

1 1/4 C almond milk  (can also use regular milk)

3 stick margarine, melted (can also use butter)

5 eggs

2 pinches salt

Zest from 2 oranges 

3 tsp rum

confectioner’s or icing sugar for coating ( I used regular sugar because that is what I had)

36 oz of cottonseed or peanut oil for frying

 

In a large bowl, add the flour and make a well in the center. Add half of the melted margarine, and work the flour in slowly, bringing from the outside in, going around the bowl. When all incorporated, add the eggs and knead together. To the remainder of the melted margarine, add the salt, rum, almond milk, and zest, mix lightly. Transfer dough to mixer with hook attachment. On low speed add the rest of the melted margarine. Mix on low speed til dough is extremely soft and silky to the touch.  Leave dough rest in a covered bowl in warm place for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, take dough and cut in half, working with one piece at a time, keeping the other piece in a covered bowl.  At this point heat oil in heavy pot or pan.  Roll the dough as thinly as possibly, and cut into strips, then on a diagonal to make diamonds.

When oil is hot add 8-10 little pieces at a time. Test with a tiny piece of dough first- if it sinks and stays at the bottom it is not hot enough. If it sinks and pops up right away, it is ready for frying. Fry for about 2 mins, til you see holes form on the pieces. Remove with slotted spoon to paper-towel covered tray, dust generously with sugar and serve immediately.

 

KOL Foods: A Revolution in Kosher Meat Part 2 – Review and Giveaway!

Thank you, KOL Foods, for providing me with the meat used in this recipe. A special thank you to Hadassah Sabo Milner (Social Media Specialist of KOL foods) for her assistance and guidance. KOL poultry hashgacha is OU and CHK (Crown Heights) certified.  Before using any product that you are unfamiliar with regarding certification, please consult your personal Rabbinical authority. I have been given product by KOL Foods, and have not been compensated financially.

Special mention to Melinda Strauss of Kitchen-Tested for the edit on the first photo and for her assistance in fine-tuning the re-interpreted recipe!

The second part of this article is a review of the delicious bone/skinless chicken cutlets that I was given a chance to try. The cutlets were extremely clean, free of fragments of bone and cartilage, and with very little extra fat. Each cutlet was very large, and I was very pleased with this – a larger cutlet lends itself to a wider range of preparations.

I chose to do a Chicken Basquaise. Traditionally, as with many classical French recipes, the meat that is used is on the bone. I felt the cutlets were so large that I could treat them in a similar manner that I might treat bone-in, skinless cutlets.  I got the inspiration for my recipe from here: http://frenchfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/chickenbasqu.htm

My interpretation of Chicken Basquaise - I subsituted smoked turkey for ham, and Italian peppers for green bell peppers.

My interpretation of Chicken Basquaise – I subsituted  chopped smoked turkey drumstick for ham, and Italian peppers for green bell peppers. Thanks goes to Melinda Strauss of Kitchen Tested for the photo edit!

Here is my interpretation of Chicken Basquaise:

4 KOL Foods large chicken cutlets (skinless/boneless) about 1 1/2-2 lbs

Leaves from 4 stems of parsley, minced fine

1 C extra virgin olive oil

2 C flour

2 tbsp spiced paprika

1 tbsp Salt

2C chicken stock (I used broth leftover from my Shabbos chicken soup)

2 tbsp black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced fine

3 red bell peppers, small dice

3 Italian peppers, small dice

2 smoked turkey drumsticks, meat chopped into bite size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the cutlets in the olive oil, parsley and garlic for a minimum of 1 hr.

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Mix the flour with spiced paprika, salt and paprika. Heat a Dutch oven on the burner on high and when very hot add a bit of olive oil and your chicken pieces, searing on both sides for about 5-7 mins per side depending on thickness of cutlet. Lower flame to medium low and add smoked turkey pieces and chicken stock.

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Simmer for 15 mins, then add pepper pieces. Simmer entire mixture 15 mins, or until pepper pieces are soft but not mushy. Care must be taken not to overcook peppers.

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Meal is done when chicken is cooked entire way through, and peppers are slightly soft but not mushy. This dish is best served immediately. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven and are excellent the next day.

Now for the best part of the article: Food, Words & Photos first giveaway ever! Ready?!

 

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