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David Ross

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    Spokane Valley, WA

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  1. Based on personal experience, I'm not sure if this is funny, or tragic, or both!- "Our special today is Olive Oil Poached Halibut on a Bed of Tagliatelle with an Orange-Arugula Salad." "That sounds good, I'll have the special." "I'm so sorry sir, but we're out of the special." "But if it's special, and you just opened, why did you offer me the special?"
  2. I'm planning a menu on Superbowl Sunday that defies tradition. This salt cod gratin is perfect with chips, as in homemade potato chips, and slices of baguette. Who says I can't serve French bistro dishes for an American football game!
  3. I haven't made salt cod for about two years, and now I understand after that long absence why I love it so much. I mainly didnt make it because the local seafood shop that sold it closed, and I couldn't find it in the markets during the Holidays last year. This year, Holidays 2019, it was in all the markets. This little 1lb. box was only 12.99, which is a reasonable price for salt cod. One year I bought a whole dried cod, a scary splayed-open fish. It was almost 2 feet long and I would have had salt cod for 10 years. It's a recipe based on the Brandade de Nimes-Pureed Salt Cod recipe from the Saveur Cooks Authentic French cookbook. Nimes was the southern French town that was the conduit for cod that was brought from Scandanavia. Friends at a dinner club I belong to asked me about it last Saturday at our "Soup and Grilled Cheese" night. Some are passionate home cooks, others like to eat, some just like the company and never cook at home. But to a tee they all said it sounded delicious and they would at least try my salt cod dish. We'll see what they think if I bring it sometime, maybe to a French Bistro theme dinner. The recipe is really easy but does take two days. Mainly because I soak the salt cod in water overnight. I add mashed potato to the gratin, but you can leave it out. This dish is also a delicious side for roast cod or salmon, and I like it on toast for breakfast. Brandade de Nimes-Salt Cod Gratin- Ingredients- 1 lb. dried salt cod 2 bay leaves 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup milk 1 cup mashed potatoes we use instant mashed potatoes blended with boiling water 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme substitute fresh rosemary 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives toasted baguette slices Instructions- Day One, Soak the Salt Cod- Place the salt cod into a large container and add cold water to cover. Cover and refrigerate the salt cod overnight. Change the water 2-3 times during soaking. Day Two, Prepare and Bake the Salt Cod Gratin- Heat the oven to 400. Rinse the salt cod and place it into a saucepot. Add cold water and the bay leaves and cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the salt cod for 6-7 minutes. Drain the salt cod and remove the bay leaves. Return the salt cod to the saucepot over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp. of the olive oil and saute the cod, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the olive oil and the milk and cook the mixture for 5-6 minutes. Pour the salt cod mixture into a food processor and spoon in the mashed potato and puree. Add the salt, pepper, thyme and chives and pulse again to combine. Spoon the salt cod gratin into the gratin dish. Use our technique for cutting small indentations on the top of the gratin. Place the gratin dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven up to broil and broil the top of the gratin until it's golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Serve the Salt Cod Gratin hot from the gratin dish with toasted baguette slices. I use Galeco Bacalao from Newfoundland- This is the salt cod rehydrated after one day in cold water-
  4. One of my favorite dishes when I was a teenager is when my Father would take the family to a restaurant at a hotel on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. They had Steak Diane that the captain would make at the table and flame it in front of us. I loved that dish.
  5. Brandy Dijon sauce sounds delicious
  6. For my next dish I'll be doing a favorite I haven't made in a couple of years, (mainly because my local seafood market closed and it's been hard to find another local source). Brandade de Nimes, Bacalao, or as I call it for friends and family, Salt Cod au Gratin. This holiday season it was in all the supermarkets, which is a good sign to me and says folks in this area ask for it. I but the Galeceo brand from Canada that comes in a little wooden box. Right now it's soaking in cold water in the fridge. I'll change the water over the course of the next day and start the preparation tommorrow.
  7. Now I really have to do eggs poached in red wine. This morning on CreateTv, (a hybrid PBS show we get that is mainly cooking, painting and crafting shows), Sarah Moulton was doing a French menu inspired by her work and friendship with Julia Child. She did a dish of eggs in red wine. But the serving had me. Red wine sauce in bowl, two slices of crusty bread, the eggs, then some grilled asparagus. Then she poured herself a glass of red wine. I think my Superbowl menu, albeit a USA sport, should be filled with French Bistro dishes.
  8. @Margaret Pilgrim thank you so much for the posts, especially the poached egg in red wine sauce. One of my favorite bistro dishes, but I had all forgotten about it until your post. Now it's on my list.
  9. Thanks. It really is an easy recipe. Turning the potatoes out of the skillet onto a plates is a bit of a challenge, but just do it quickly and it's fine.
  10. That looks delicious. I'd love the recipe so I can make it this weekend. Thanks.
  11. Yes you're right! If I shared Pommes de Terre Macaire with my dinner club, they'd be saying "huh." If I say, Crispy Skillet Potatoes, then explain the dish and how it's prepared, they say, "aah". I try to teach friends and family that French food isn't just haute cuisine, and they can make it at home with a few ingredients if they learn the easy techniques. Here's the recipe- Ingredients- 3 large russet baking potatoes 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme 2 sliced bacon, diced 4 tbsp. butter, melted 1 tbsp. canola oil Salt and black pepper 1/3 cup sour cream 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives Day One, Bake the Potatoes- Heat oven to 375°. Poke a small slit in the end of each potato. Bake the potatoes on the center rack of oven for 1 ½ hours. Take potatoes out of the oven and let cool to room temperature. Chill the potatoes in the fridge overnight, or at least 6 hours. Day Two, Fry the Potatoes and Serve- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and saute until crisp and golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Drain the bacon bits. Cut each potato in half and using a small spoon, scoop the flesh out in chunks. Freeze the potato skins and use later for stuffed baked potatoes. Heat oven to 425°. Heat a non-stick, ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and 3 tbsp. of the butter. Add the potatoes, thyme, bacon bits and season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the potato chunks to cover the skillet. Press down using a flat spatula, breaking the chunks of potato and pressing them down into the skillet to make a pressed potato cake. Sauté the potatoes for about 6-8 minutes, gently shaking the skillet. Drizzle the top of the potatoes with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter and place the skillet in the oven. Bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes. The top will be golden. Remove the skillet from the oven and cover with a plate. Invert the skillet to unmold the potatoes onto the plate, showing the golden brown crown and crispy potatoes. Garnish the top of the potatoes with sour cream and chives.
  12. This morning I was working on one of my favorite classic French Bistro dishes, Pommes de Terre Macaire and all of a sudden I thought, "didn't we do a discussion thread about that in eGullet." Yes, yes we did, all the way back in 2010. But unfortunately for some reason it didn't get much traction at the time. As I wax nostalgic, let's present our best French Bistro dishes and recipes that we've made at home. Up here in Eastern Washington we have plenty of snow on the ground and tommorrow's low will reach down to 5, so I think for us in these parts there are plenty of warm, comforting French Bistro dishes to cook right now. Pommes de Terre Macaire-
  13. This time rather than make my own chips I bought bagged Kettle Chips. I think it was a special Holiday deal at $1 a bag for Tim's Chips in the regular size. They're usually about $4. I'll take it rather than the time and energy to make chips home, (at least this time).
  14. Way, way back in 2001 I entered the MasterChef USA competition on PBS. This Dungeness Crab salad was the opening dish in my final 3-course menu. This photo doesn't do it justice because I didn't dice the cucumber smaller. It looks like big chunks of zuchinni. For the competition I served it with dried, sliced pear chips. I think it's much better with homemade potato chips. At any rate, the base layer is diced cucumber and tomato, then a layer of Dungeness crab tossed in homemade mayonnaise. I usually top it with a crab leg and another dollop of the mayonnaise. I change the mayonnaise flavors, this time it was lemon and thyme. Sometimes I'll use fresh tarragon or fresh marjoram. I love marjoram and wish it was used more in restaurant dishes these days. When people taste homemade mayonnaise for the first time they wonder what it is since their palate has always been trained toward bottled commercial mayonnaise. Ingredients- For the Crab Salad Mosaic- 1 1/2 cups Dungeness crab meat 1 cup seeded, diced tomato 1 cup seeded, diced cucumber 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil For the Lemon-Thyme Mayonnaise-makes 1 cup mayonnaise 1 large egg 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 3/4 cup grapeseed oil 1/2 tsp. chopped lemon zest 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme salt and white pepper to taste fresh thyme sprigs for garnish Instructions- Make the Lemon-Thyme Mayonnaise- Place the eggs, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste in a blender. Process just until ingredients are combined, about 20 seconds. With blender running at low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil in a slow steady stream. Continue to add enough oil until the mayonnaise thickens. This will take about 2-4 minutes. Refrigerate the mayonnaise at least one hour before using to allow it to cool and the oil to set. Make the Dungeness Crab Salad and Serve- Place the diced cucumber and tomato in a bowl and spoon in the 1 tbsp. of the oil, and toss to coat. Spoon some of the diced cucumber and tomato in the bottom of a ring mold and gently press down. Place the crab in a bowl and add a spoon of the mayonnaise and toss gently to coat. Spoon a layer of the dressed crab on top of the cucumber and tomato layer. Gently remove the mold. Add a crab leg on top of the salad and spoon over a dollop of the mayonnaise. Spoon some mayonnaise on the side of the plate, then garnish with fresh thyme and serve with chips.
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