Tablespoon is running a big food awards thing called The Munchies right now, but Boston was a little under-represented, so I had to cook a dish inspired by one of my favorite restaurants here, Sweet Cheeks. This is what I make when I come home with leftovers from Sweet Cheeks, the brisket biscuit sandwich
I whipped up this noodle salad last night and it was really easy and delicious, so I thought I would share it with you guys. I had a ton of arugula that I had bought for another dish but never ended up using, so I wanted to use it in some sort of salad with an Asian type of noodle. Salami is one of my favorite things to pair with arugula, and I also had this really cool espresso rind cheese that was actually great in this dish.
If I was running a diner a couple decades ago, I would probably call these "salmon croquettes". If I was running a fancy modern american place I might call them "salmon-potato dice" cause they have the fun square shape. I think salmon gnocchi is a good name for them though. This recipe is inspired by the old school salmon and pea pasta, and also by the upcoming spring when fresh peas will soon be available.
I was on Mass Appeal again yesterday and I made some fun recipes you can put together with leftover food from St. Patrick's Day. In the second video, I tried to make a caramel live on TV which was a dumb idea from the start and it totally didn't come together! I think I recovered pretty well though, and these videos are still a lot of fun.
Last week's Portlandia episode was all about how celery has fallen behind a lot of other new "buzz" veggies like brussel sprouts, kale, and cauliflower, and how Steve Buscemi, the celery rep, was trying to get celery back on the map. I always love Portlandia, but when they make fun of food culture it makes me laugh even more. I decided to take this celery issue into my own hands and try and make a trendy blogger type dish with celery. My trendy blogger style dish failed, and a cocktail I made was just ok, but this celery loaded pasta was amazing. It's not gonna go viral anytime soon or dig celery out of its hole, but it's a great and unique dish which opened my eyes to caramelized celery.
Like what happens often to me, I thought I had an original idea with this recipe, but then I looked online and it had been widely done. I think I did mine a bit different though, making these as more of a cheese stick or dipper, instead of a full blown calzone. These make for a really tasty and super easy app, just buy some pizza dough, roll it out thin, add the cheese and salami, and press it in the waffle maker for a few minutes. The pizza dough gives you a totally different texture and flavor than what you expect from something waffle shaped.
With St Patricks Day coming up, I wanted to make a twist on a shepherds pie and I knew that Jones Dairy Farm Sausage would be perfect as the base of the recipe. For the potatoes on top, I was thinking of doing a play on colcannon by mixing brussel sprouts in, but at the last minute I decided it would be better to instead lay the sprouts on top of the potatoes and let them crisp up in the oven. It was a great choice and the blackened brussel sprouts really made this dish.
Seafood and sausage is always a tasty pairing. After playing around with squid cooking times and noticing that it can be tender after 3 minutes or 40 minutes, but nowhere in between, I really wanted to make a hearty tomato sauce with chopped up squid that was cooked slow and low. I decided to mix in sausage, but otherwise make it like a normal tomato sauce. I loved how this came out. The squid had a perfect texture that was super tender with just a slight rubbery bite that gave the whole dish a nice chew. The flavor combo of tomato sausage and squid with a little banana pepper thrown in is really something special and some chopped up hazelnut and meyer lemon zest on top brought everything together in a nice way.
Mandi got me this really cool handheld smoker for my birthday this year. She passed my secret test where I casually mention I want something nowhere near my birthday while we are watching Top Chef after drinking a few beers and then I expect to get it for my next birthday. I guess she is a keeper! Anyways, despite wanting this thing, I had my reservations about it. I didn't think it could possibly get smoke flavor into any ingredient with just a quick 15 minutes of "smoke marinade". I still wanted to try though! After my first attempt, I am still on the fence, but hopeful. This soup had a nice background smoke flavor to it. I ran the smoking gun 4 times while making this soup which seems like a lot to me to get just a "background smoke flavor", but I think after I get the hang of how to best use it, I can get better results with less smoking action.