A brief statement of purpose

There are already about a billion food blogs, so what might be a justification of yet another one, and who am I to do it?

What I aim to do in this blog is more than simply provide recipes. While recipes of my own will, in fact, be posted, some of the blog will consist of a variety of comments about restaurants and their practices, food preparation tips, personal annoyances (such as loud restaurants and the epidemic of misspellings on menus), and whatever else pops into my head relating to what we put in our mouths (and swallow, I hasten to add). The whole thing is meant to be somewhat provocative. I hope, if nothing else, it won't be boring. I, of course, solicit reader participation.

As for who I am and why I think I might have something to contribute to public discussions on this essential and pleasurable activity - eating - you'll have to click here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Smoked salmon and wild rice

  What you want here is hot-smoked salmon, not cold-smoked. The former comes in the form of recognizable salmon fillets, sometimes with flavorings such as peppercorns or “Cajun” spices. The latter is thinly sliced, such as would go on a bagel with a schmear (that’s New Yorkese for cream cheese). This is rather important because cold-smoked salmon is just too delicate for this preparation.
  A second note about ingredients involves the wild rice. Some wild rice is grown in California. I’ve tried it and found it inferior to Minnesota wild rice. There are subcategories of the latter such as Chippewa/Ojibwe hand-harvested rice, commercially grown paddy rice, and others. Hand-harvested is the best and most expensive, but commercially grown will suffice in this recipe.
Hot smoked salmon, skinned, about 10 oz for two servings, 
Olive oil
Bacon, thick-cut lean applewood or hickory smoked, six slices, chopped
Chicken broth, 2-3 cups
Carrot, 1, quarter-inch slices
Potato, 1 medium sized red, half-inch pieces
Garlic, 1 clove, minced
Onion, 1, chopped
Tomato paste, 2 Tbs
Bay leaf, 1
Dried thyme, 1/2 - 1 tsp
Wild rice, 1/2 - 3/4 cup
Scallions for garnish
Cook the bacon in a skillet. Remove the pieces and reserve, leaving the fat behind. Put the chicken broth in the skillet and add the following seven ingredients. Bring to a boil and add the wild rice. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. It will typically take 45 minutes to an hour for the rice to be done. The individual grains should have begun to split, and the will be tender but still have some bite. When this occurs, turn off the heat but keep the lid on while you prepare the salmon.
The preparation of the salmon is very simple. It’s already cooked, you know, so all you want to do is heat it. In, preferably, a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil on medium high and quickly sear the salmon on both sides.
Turn the wild rice mixture onto serving plates and place a salmon piece atop each, with a scattering of scallions.

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