Sauce Piquant

June 30, 2007

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Here’s a quick dipping sauce you can serve with anything from Crab Cakes and boiled shrimp to fried catfish and hamburgers. It’s also great with French fries and hash browns. If you like things hot, add a few drops of hot pepper sauce. Make some now, and you’ll have extra for the Fourth. SAM

PS If you use capers packed in salt, which are fabulous, rinse them thoroughly and soak them in three or four changes of water. Of course, if you love salt, rinse less and keep them salty.

1 cup tomato ketchup
Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons capers

Combine the ketchup, lemon juice, oil, horseradish, sugar, and capers, mixing thoroughly.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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Baby Artichokes with Curried Mayonnaise

June 26, 2007

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Baby artichokes are a labor of love, and the one you serve them to will love you for it. Speed is the key. Air turns cut artichokes brown within seconds, so you must rub all surfaces constantly with a cut lemon and drop them as quickly as possible into lemon water. Sautéed to a tender brown, though, baby artichokes are a delight any way you eat them. You can put them in salads or mix them with pasta. Spread on flatbread with sweated onions and roasted red peppers, they make an unforgettable pissaladière. Or, do what I’m doing tonight for Harry: Pile them sweetly around a bowl of Curried Mayonnaise. SAM

2 lemons, one juiced, one halved
3 cups cold water
8 whole baby artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon marsala wine
Curried Mayonnaise (recipe follows)

Trim away any woody parts of the artichoke stems. Pull off and discard the heavy, outer leaves until a cone of yellow remains. Cut off the green tips. Immediately rub all surfaces with the cut lemon. Halve or quarter the artichokes, again rubbing cut surfaces with lemon. If the choke is prickly, cut it out. As quickly as possible, drop the cut pieces into the bowl of lemon water. In a chef’s pan over medium-high, heat the oil to nearly smoking. Sauté the artichokes lifting constantly with tongs, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the marsala and stir vigorously to release the browned fond on the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the artichokes steam for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with Curried Mayonnaise.
Makes 2 servings.

Curried Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons sweet curry powder
1 teaspoon small capers

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, and capers.
Makes 1 1/4 cups.


Salmon Pâté

June 22, 2007

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I suppose there are people who would call this a glorified tuna fish salad, and that would be fine with me. Salmon pâté has so many things going for it. You can stir it together in no time at all. It does double-duty as an appetizer and an entrée. It’s chock full of omega-3 oils, which means it’s practically your duty to eat it. Who could ask for anything more? SAM

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can Alaska salmon, drained
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 medium center rib celery with leaves, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons capers, drained
2 teaspoons dried or 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
Lettuce, avocado, and/or tomato for serving

In a medium bowl, flake the salmon with a fork and stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, onion, celery, capers, dill, parsley, lemon juice, and pepper. Serve on lettuce with avocado and/or tomato slices, or in sandwiches.
Makes 4 servings.