Sunday, April 29, 2007

The OPC Recipe Club: Smoked Salmon and Pasta

Smoked salmon is always a little hard to work with, since it's so light and flaky (not to mention expensive), but it's also so good. Here's how I like to fix it:

Get a half pint of cream, light or heavy doesn't really matter, and pour it into a saucepan. Put a shot of lemon juice in there as well, and some dill, enough to make it look dilly. Heat up the cream a little, then put about a cup of frozen peas in there, more if you like peas, less if you don't, although they do add some nice color to the proceedings, and they keep you from having to make another vegetable.

Let me add parenthetically here, although I am loath to put an entire paragraph in parentheses, that in most recipes, for most ingredients, the amounts don't matter. For some things, like if you're making rice and have to add enough water for the proper amount to be absorbed, yes, be careful with how much you add, but for the most part, add however much you want of whatever ingredient it is. If you like red bell pepper, put in a whole bunch of it. It doesn't matter. For this recipe, you can put in six peas, or you can put in 160 peas. It's all up to you. You don't even have to make the recipe at all. It's no skin off my nose.

Heat the cream-pea mixture on kind of a medium low; you don't want it to boil, but you want to make sure the peas get cooked through. While it's warming, chop up some smoked salmon, the kind that comes in a plastic shrink-wrapped pack on a sheet of cardboard. Chop it up into as small as you can get the pieces. It's better that way. Then throw all of it in the pot with the cream and the peas and the dill, and let it warm up for a couple of minutes. The salmon doesn't need to cook at all.

Meanwhile, you should have been cooking some spaghetti. Put some spaghetti on every plate, ladle some salmon cream sauce on top of it, set out some parmesan cheese, make some garlic bread, and hey, you got yourself a dinner.

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