Food Club Special Easter 2016 Edition
It seems only like yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and New Year, and now here is Easter – a little earlier this year, but still time to organise a few gastronomic delights for your family and friends. All you really need to do is take care of your loved ones at this special celebration time over the Easter holidays. Friday should be ‘fish day’ by tradition, so we have taken one of our favourite salmon recipes that is easy to cook and an impressive dish to serve.
Chocolate bunnies, simnel cake, Easter eggs and treasure hunts for the children (we love hiding eggs in the garden, subject to weather!) – talk about decadence! Enjoy Easter and let us know if there are any topics you would like to see in our forthcoming newsletters, be it recipes, tips, new restaurants, books or products – we want you to enjoy our newsletters from ‘Live to Eat’. In the meantime, we take a look at a different gastro-event – ‘the Oscars’.
Dinner for the Stars
If anyone ever deserved an Oscar – it’s Mum! With the 88th Oscar awards just presented, what decadence of food delights were served? We take a look at what was the dining experience of the Hollywood Glitterati. Maybe some of the dishes are not what we would do for Easter (with Wolfgang Puck at the helm, we couldn’t compete), but fun anyway and a glimpse into ‘how the other half live’
With everything from pre-Oscars parties to the Governor’s Ball and the elaborate post-awards events thrown by the likes of Vanity Fair, what do the box office beaus and belles consume? With 22 years consecutive catering for the Governor’s Ball, Wolfgang takes comfort food and elevates it to another level. Over 50 different dishes were presented to the discerning guests including the All-American Mac ‘n Cheese (a favourite of John Travolta) and Smoked Salmon Pizza (tick in the box for Charlize Theron).
The evening was started off with cocktail bites such as Smoked Salmon Mousse on Cucumber Rounds, Devilled Eggs, Mini Sliders, White Grape Gazpacho Shots and Chinese Chicken Salad on petite wonton crisps. Sound easy? Not the way Wolfgang does it!
A huge seafood and sushi bar sparkled on ice and included 1500 oysters, lobster, Ahi Pokes (tuna), Stone Crab Claws and more – it weighed over 200kg/440lb and took 350 chefs to prepare! Main courses were definitely a spin on comfort – Chicken Pot Pies (special request from Clint Eastwood) and delicious sticky beef short ribs were enjoyed by all. Risottos and truffles were also in abundance. The finale of the evening was a fountain flowing with 5 gallons/22 litres of hot fudge – surely all these stick-thin, glamorous ladies did not dip their faces into that extravaganza! Perhaps they were more genteel and opted for the lemon meringue lollipops or the chocolate brownies?
Let’s get back to reality – Easter is upon us so try our recipe for Poached Salmon with Herbs and Capers (using our own special Verjuice) – quick and easy if you get the ready prepared salmon fillets. Fish was served on Fridays for thousands of years, but of course with the availability now of good quality sustainable fish, we can serve it any day of the week. Roast meats are probably on your menu for Easter Sunday, turkey with all the trimmings often makes an appearance again, but head for fish as a healthy change and something easy to cook for a group of people.
Easy Poached Salmon with Herbs and Capers
We love this recipe – it’s fresh and clean tasting, with a hint of lemon and beautiful fresh herbs with piquant capers. Serve with buttered and tossed new potatoes, green beans or salad.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
For the fish
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2tsp salt
- 200ml/7fl.oz Verjuice
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- Few parsley stalks (from the bunch used for the salsa Verde)
- 1kg/2¼lb piece salmon fillet, skin on (or you can use individual fillets)
- few lemon slices
For the Salsa Verde
- 4 garlic cloves
- 5 anchovy fillets, rinsed if packed in salt
- Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
- Large bunch tarragon, leaves and stems
- 4tbsp capers, rinsed
- 6tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- For the poaching liquid, place the peppercorns, salt, vinegar, fennel, bay leaves and parsley stalks in a saucepan with 2½ litres/4½ pints of water, and bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for 10 mins so all the flavours infuse into the liquid.
- Take a large tin that the salmon will happily sit in. Strain the liquid into the empty tin, bring to the boil on the hob, then add the fish, skin-side down, making sure it is covered in liquid. Scatter around the lemon slices, and simmer gently for 1-2 minutes until the fish changes to the pale pink colour of poached salmon.
- Cover the fish with a large piece of foil, turn off the heat and leave to cool completely. The fish will continue to cook as the liquid cools.
- To make the salsa verde, put all the ingredients into the bowl of a blender or food processor, then blitz. Try to leave the sauce with some small chunks in for texture. Season to taste.
- Carefully remove the salmon to a serving platter and peel away the skin if you prefer. Serve with the Salsa Verde, new potatoes and your choice of vegetables.