Corn Saute with Ginger, Lime and Cilantro

corn sauteThis is a great example of the whole being so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s difficult to put into words just how good this little saute is – the combination of sweet corn with the ginger and garlic – don’t skimp on these – and the heat of the serrano – you can go heavier on that if you wish – and the little bit of lime come together in an almost transcendent way. You can serve this with tortilla chips, combine it with a couple of spoonfuls of Mexican crema, or use it as a kind of salsa, on top of grilled rockfish or sword, which is how Adrienne served it last week. As delicious as the fish was, the saute was far and away the star of the show. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Adrienne will demo this at US Botanic Garden Friday August 15, 2014. Read More

Asian Salad with Salmon Cakes

salmon cakes


This favorite summer salad is so flavorful you’ll be going back to it again and again. I use the least expensive salmon I can find – as long as it is fresh and sweet. I’ve never tried this with canned salmon – I fear that would be too salty.  But good farm-raised salmon can be had for about $6/pound on sale and a pound makes a dozen cakes, enough for six servings. The salad itself combines mesclun or baby greens with fresh herbs for a summery, intensely flavored final result. Adrienne demoed this recipe for a class at Brookside June 17, 2014. Adapted from Cuisine at Home. Read More

Spicy Tuna Tartare

spicy tuna


Lighter than sushi, this hors d’oeuvre features the delicious contrast between silky raw tuna and crunchy rice crackers.  For color contrast, the brown rice crackers make a dramatic statement. You can find wasabi paste at the sushi counter of your local supermarket. Partially freezing your tuna will make it easier to get that very small dice.  This recipe makes about 24 rounds.  Adapted from those wonderful folks over at Fine Cooking, this recipe was one we demoed  at Brookside Gardens December 6, 2013.

8 oz. bright red tuna – you can use fresh or frozen
2 T thinly sliced scallions
1 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 T Asian sesame oil
2 t black or white sesame seeds, one teaspoon of each
24 rice crackers
Wasabi paste
whipped cream cheese
Flaky sea salt (optional)

Use a very sharp knife to cut the tuna into ¼-inch dice. Toss the tuna with the scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Smear rice crackers with cream cheese and top with a tiny dab of wasabi paste. Mound 1 packed tablespoon of the tuna tartare on each cracker. Press it down and sprinkle each lightly with sea salt (optional) and serve.

Seafood Quenelles

From “The Way to Cook,” by Julia Child. For about four cups, or four-dozen quenelles.

1# or 2 C skinned, boneless white fish, such as flounder, halibut, sea bass, or shellfish such as scallops or shrimp, separately or in combination
1 large egg
½ to 1 C heavy cream, as needed
1 t salt
½ t white pepper
½ t nutmeg
1 T cognac
1 C breadcrumbs from fresh white bread, as needed

Cut fish into chunks and drop into food processor, along with egg, seasoning, brandy and ½ C cream. Process until smooth. Consistency should be similar to mashed potatoes, but  mousse should hold its shape. Add cream 1 T at a time if mousse is too thick or breadcrumbs (or more seafood) ¼ C at a time if it is too thin. Mousse at this point can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. It will keep in the refrigerator approximately 10 days and in the freezer about 30 days.

To make the quenelles:

1 recipe of fish mousse, well chilled
3 T butter
½ C dry vermouth
1 C tomato sauce
¼ to 1/3 C heavy cream
chopped parsley for garnish

Fill a large pan with water and add ½ t salt; bring to a boil over high heat. While water is heating, remove fish mousse from the refrigerator. Fill a jar with ice-cold water and place in the water a metal soup spoon. When water is at a rolling boil, reduce heat to medium high, and begin forming quenelles. Remove the soup spoon from the water and dip it into the fish mousse, bringing up a rounded glob the shape of the spoon. Slip the quenelle into the water and repeat. If mousse begins to stick to the spoon, re-wet in the icy water and continue. The quenelles will float in the water as they cook; the water should be kept at a gentle boil. The quenelles are done when they roll over easily and hold their shape reliably. Remove quenelles when they are done and drain on paper towels. Cook in batches until all the fish mousse is used up. Cooked quenelles will keep in the refrigerator for 10 days and in the freezer for 30 days.

To serve:

In a large pan, melt the 3 T butter until bubbling and add the cooked quenelles, sautéing gently until you see they have begun to color; flip and repeat on the other side. Meantime, in another saucepan, heat the tomato sauce and vermouth until bubbling; add enough cream to give the sauce a pale, attractive color, season to taste. Place two-three quenelles on each plate (for an appetizer) or a half-dozen (for a main course); pour tomato sauce over and round them; sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.