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Friday, June 25, 2010

Russian Salad

This is so old fashioned that I am almost embarrassed to post it. It dates from the sixties and was a big part of the hors d'oeuvres tray in big hotels at that time . It consists of mainly root vegetables that are diced and cooked in salt water one by one . They are then plunged into ice cold water to retain their color and allowed to cool. They are then put into a sieve to drain and finally mixed with mayonnaise and a touch of garlic to form a very tasty salad. As you can see here I rolled some slices of ham and filled them with the salad and they were delicious with some tossed greens. You can find many recipes for this on the Internet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

French Onion Soup And Lyonnaise Salad.

This is a link to a New York Times Article on Salad Lyonnaise
This is a great salad. I just threw this one together but it was still outstanding. We would have this in the small restaurants in Lyon when I went there ( every week ). Here is a link to the recipe. The recipe calls for poached egg but the real salad is done with a very soft 2 minute boiled egg and the dressing is just Dijon mustard, oil and vinegar with salt, pepper and a touch of garlic.
He also neglected to add garlic croutons to the salad. However he did use the correct frisee lettuce.
This is a great salad for dinner.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bratwurst, Warm Baked Potato And Bacon Salad With Greens

They say that the simplest things are the best plus blueberries are in season.

Irish Stew

This is the real McCoy. The true Irish Stew as made in the Gresham Hotel every wednesday for the shopping people who would come from rural Ireland to do their fancy shopping in the big city. I bet they make it there to this day. It was made in a huge 'rondeau' and the whole thing was sold before lunch was over. This is really where I learned how to make Irish Stew and since then have made it all over the world.
For this I used:
1 lamb chop and one shoulder chop
3 russet potatoes
1/4 head of green cabbage
I leek
1/2 and onion
1 parsnip
I stalk of celery
Water, thyme,bay leaf, salt and pepper.
Blanche the chops and wash them off. Put them at the bottom of an appropriately sized sauce pan. Chop the onion, celery and leek in to smallish dice so they won't disappear once cooked. Cut the cabbage into larger pieces. Peel and halve the potaoes.
Put the small chopped vegetables on top of the lamb with the thyme and bay leaf. Add a little seasoning. Put the cabbage on top of that and just cover with water. Add the halved potatoes. Bring to boil and allow to simmer until cooked. When the potatoes are cooked on top the lamb is usually cooked on the bottom.
Remove half of the potatoes and roughly mash them, add some of the juice to these potatoes and make a kind of rough mashed potatoes . Return this mash to the stew, cover and let sit for a good 45 minutes on a very low and eventually no heat. This will allow the flavors to combine and the stew to thicken.
When ready serve in bowls with some of the whole poatoes and some chopped parsley.
The owner of Clerys in Dublin was a Corkman I believe. He would come into the restaurant once a week and he always had Irish Stew. I think he came in on Thursday. I worked in Clery's restaurant on the top floor at this time. The Irish Stew always had to be the same for Mr. Clery and his wife so the same person made it every week. This man's name was Eamonn and he was the principal sous chef. He never smiled and he was one of the few Dubliners that I have known who was completey devoid of any wit whatsoever. That is until; from time to time he would come out with a very dry statement or joke that was  always out of character for him. He would then laugh at his own joke and we would all marvel at the fact that he had teeth in his mouth. Otherwise we never saw them, it was only when he smiled that he showed his teeth. We were kids at the time but we used to gather round when we felt that one of his witticisms was due and wait to see the pearly whites.
He made a great Irish Stew though.