Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Valentines Day

Is not necessarily about being lovey-dovey. It's an excuse to cook something fabulous and prove to your mate that they are DAMN LUCKY to have you around. Especially if you cook well.

So here's what I made for my sweetie:

Pan-roasted shallot crusted salmon with pea-ricotta pesto and roasted tomatoes
served with..
Shiitake mushroom and leek ragout
followed by..
Kaley's secret mascarpone chocolate tart. ;-)

Pan-roasted salmon

2 4 oz. filets salmon, skin on (we used fresh Coho)
1 shallot, minced
½ lemon

Roasted tomatoes, from Italian deli/antipasto counter
Pea pesto

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Rub minced shallot into the skinless side. Heat enough olive oil to lightly coat a deep sauté pan (not non-stick) over very high heat, until almost smoking. Add salmon filets, shallot side down.

Do not move the salmon. Cook until a crust has formed, about 3-5 minutes, then turn down heat to medium. Squeeze in the lemon and cover until cooked, about 5 minutes more.

Serve salmon with a large dollop of the pea pesto (at room temperature) on top, and a few roasted tomatoes on either side. Serve with shittake and leek ragout. (recipe follows).

Pea Pesto

225g/8oz frozen peas (thawed)
1 large handful fresh basil
4 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp walnuts (I used ¼ cup)
2 tbsp ricotta (I used 40g)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Dash of lemon
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency. Taste and season if necessary.

Shiitake mushroom and leek "ragout"
in quotes because its not intended to be chopped as fine as a ragout traditionally is.

1 large leek, cleaned and halved, sliced into ¼ inch strips
½ lb shiitake mushrooms, quartered (halved if small)
½ lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
¼ cup (or to taste) chicken stock

Toss the chopped leeks and shiitake mushrooms with the lemon juice and lots of olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy saucepan over high heat and add leeks and mushrooms. Cover and cook until slightly softened, then add chicken stock to help steam. Cover again and cook until softened but still bright and crisp. Serve alongside salmon.

They'll be obsessed with you after this. You may want to run.

All recipes are of my own invention!

1 comment:

Janet said...

OMG, this sounds so good. I will have to try this!