- Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011 -- 6pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our House
- Dining Companions: Matty, Helen, Charles, and Clara
- Recipe Rating: A
The Book describes this recipe as perfect for "weekend hobbyists." The description scared me off a bit. Indeed, the recipe is a bit time consuming (the 3 and a half hour active time is no joke) but worth it! That golden brown pastry shell that you see above was filled with salmon and a delicious mixture of rice and mushrooms. It was a beautiful, delicious dish! But I am getting ahead of myself. I started preparing this dish by poaching salmon steaks in a mixture of water, white wine, and salt. I refrigerated the poached salmon and reserved the poaching liquid. I then made the dough. I proofed the yeast then added melted butter, warm milk, eggs, sour cream, flour, and salt. I kneaded the dough then let it rise until it doubled in size. I then cooked rice in the reserved fish poaching liquid. I cooked onions in vegetable oil and butter, then cooked finely chopped mushrooms in a similar manner. I mixed the mushrooms, onions, and rice along with dill, parsley, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I then divided the dough into two pieces and rolled out one of them. I sprinkled it with bread crumbs, then spread it with rice mixture and topped the rice with the salmon. I topped the salmon with chopped hard-boiled eggs, and topped the eggs with more of the rice mixture. I then rolled out the second piece of dough and draped it over the filling. I pressed the edges to seal, cut some steam vents, and decorated with some cut-outs. I brushed the whole thing with egg wash, and baked it until it was golden brown. I then served slices of the dish drizzled with melted butter.
This dish was fantastic! The bread exterior was flavorful and texturally perfect. The salmon was also nice. What made the dish for me though was the rice mixture, which simply tasted great. It was perfectly seasoned, and the ingredients came together in a wonderful way. The dill was pronounced without being too strong. The rice itself was flavorful from being cooked in the poaching liquid. It was a wonderful complement to the fish and hard-boiled eggs. This dish claimed to serve 6, but it would easily serve 8. We froze the leftovers, and when we ate the last slice I was terribly sad to see it go. This wasn't a quick and simple dish but the effort was worth it. Yum!
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Only 10 recipes left to go!
And suddenly, it is the middle of November. The semester is winding down (Only three and a half weeks of classes left!), the winter weather is slowly settling in, and I am left wondering, as always, where the time went! The last couple weeks, in particular, have flown by. Two weeks ago our friend John was visiting. He's a mathematician in my special gentleman's field, and he came here to give a couple talks. He stayed with us for most of a week and it was great fun. I like having mathematical visitors stay with us, but occasionally people come who are bad guests: high-maintenance, or unpleasant. John, on the other hand, is the best kind of guest: fun, easy-going, appreciative, self-sufficient, and willing to go with the flow. The three of us had a fun week: scary movies, hard work-outs, a basketball game, a dinner from The Book, etc...
This past week my special gentleman and I headed down to Virginia. We were each invited to give talks at the University of Virginia (in two different seminars) so we opted to go the same week and travel together. Our friends Mike and Tim live there, so we stayed with them, gave our talks, and worked with people in the department. I also had the opportunity to do a little cooking! Mike has participated in this project since the very beginning. The first recipe from The Book that I cooked with Mike was back in February 2006. We made Tomato Sauce. It wasn't very good, but we had a fun time making it. It was only the 39th recipe I made. Since then, the Project Index tells me that Mike has cooked and/or eaten 113 recipes from The Book with me! He has been a great supporter of this project all along, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to cook and eat one of the last ten recipes from the project with him. As it turned out, the recipe wasn't so good. But that seemed only fitting. Mike is the only one of my friends who often says things like, "Let's cook something from The Book! Pick something that sounds gross!" It's true, he likes the culinary adventure of trying the questionable recipes. Some of them have turned out wonderfully and some of them have not (Fig Pudding comes to mind). We always have fun though! In this case, it was especially wonderful to be able to make the last seafood recipe while in a town where a variety of seafood is abundantly available (unlike here in East Lansing!). One trip to the Whole Foods a few miles from Mike's house and I found everything I needed! So my trip to Virginia was not only research productive but also productive for my project. Multi-tasking!
Now my special gentleman and I are back at home. No visitors this week. My special gentleman and I are each making short (separate) trips to Canada in the next week or so to give talks, but other than that we are in town until Thanksgiving! I'm not sure I am quite ready for the craziness of the holiday season yet, but I am starting to feel more prepared. One of my absolute favorite times of the year is the few days between when finals end and when we head to Wisconsin/Ohio for the holidays. I love going to see our families, of course, but in those few days we spend at home before we leave I work by the fireplace, bake cookies, write Christmas cards, drink hot chocolate. It is an absolutely lovely way to start the winter break. I look forward to that time every year. It's hard to believe it is only about a month away!