Monday, August 4, 2008

Friend Stacey Sends You a Savory

As I fully suspected, the first new voice belongs to Stacey. You may remember Stacey from such posts as CSA Pickup #2, where she and her assistant Avi swooped in and made off with all of the Second Dinner home's produce. Stacey is a veteran producer, mover and shaker, odd puppet maker, and root vegetable enthusiast. She loves to get her hands dirty and to collect more people around her kitchen table than it can hold. Here she is:

Hello Second Dinner! Katya has invited me to guest post, and so I think I shall. Camera was on the fritz last night, so no photos to go with this one, but I thought I would start out by blogging a regular Sunday night dinner in my house.

Firstly: Pesto potato salad.
New potatoes from my CSA - yummy and tiny and sweet
Basil (bunch, also from the CSA, leaves removed from stalks)
Green onion (2)
Garlic (2 cloves, also from farm)
Walnuts (about 10)
Olive oil (half a cup)
Balsalmic Vinegar (1/4 cup)
Black pepper (lots)
Salt (to taste)

Make the potatoes all about the same size, which is to say, cut up the big ones, halve the medium ones, leave the little ones whole. Helps with even cooking time. Boil em, oh, say, 20 minutes. In the meantime, put all the other stuff in the food processor and grind up into a lovely nice paste. Moosh paste on potatoes after they have cooled, and eat with fishes below. I know maybe some purists would say that it isn't a pesto because there is no cheese, but I was thinking of the Italian prohibition against cheese with fish.

And next: Roasted Brook Trout.
Rode the old bicycle to Fairway, crazy on a Sunday afternoon, and picked up two good-sized whole brook trout (1/2 pund each or so), cleaned and scaled, for about nine bucks. Tied the bag to my handlebars and pedaled home. This is really simple - roll the fishes around in some salt, pepper and olive oil. Put them on a roasting rack of some kind (mine was a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan) and put them in a really hot oven (450 or so) for 20 minutes. You will hear them drip and sizzle, and when they come out you will be rewarded with delicious brown crispy fish skin, which is better than potato chips. Serve with potatoes above and salad below. They have some small bones, but it is worth it to look at their little fishy faces while you eat them.

And Lastly:
Stacey Signature Salad.
Everybody loves my salad dressing, even though it is not the same all of the time. The basics are as follows:

A tablespoon of olive oil for each two people eating salad
A teaspoon of acid for each tablespoon of oil - this could be lemon juice, balsalmic or sherry vinegar, white or rice wine vinegar, or even lime or orange juice if you're feeling fiesty
A teaspoon of something else - my favorite is Maille dijon mustard. You could also have tomato paste (this is particularly good with balsalmic vinegar), mashed up garlic (for a nice spicy dressing), a little bit of feta cheese (nice for a greek salad) or any old thing you think might be tasty. This generally emulsifies the vinaigrette and makes it thick and creamy.
Lots of pepper, and a pinch of salt (except if you are using mustard or something else that is salty already, in which case you can omit the salt)
Blend the whole thing together with a spoon or whisk and toss with well-washed and completely dried salad of any kind. Arugula is nice with mustard. With the fishes we had a mustard-lemon dressing on Romaine lettuce.

So that's it, the first post, now to see if I can figure out how to get the photo of Avi with a fish skeleton off of his cell phone and on to the blog...


Avi Hillel Glickstein and Stacey Cooper McMath said...

When a picture of "Assistant Avi" (ahem,hem) is unavailable, follow these simple steps:

1) For a picture of Avi go here:

2) For a picture of fish bones (albeit not trout), go here:

3) Use your imagination

That is all. Very tasty post, dear. And very tasty dinner.

Catherine said...

stacey is cute and i do love her salad dressing.

Bethani Trilby said...

You are all adorable, and I love reading your culinary adventures.