Surf Smelt, Cesar Salad, Pappardelle Pasta w/ Wild Boar Sugo
Surf Smelt are a small surf fish with mild flavor. They can be eaten whole. We like them rolled in seasoned flour (a mix of 50/50 wheat flour and rice flour is best, then add salt and pepper) and then shallow fried in a pan with olive oil that’s nice and hot (not smoking!). We thought they would be great with the Remoulade sauce and served with lemon wedges and topped with chopped parsley.
The Boar Sugo is a classic southern Italian dish traditionally served with wide pasta. Just cook the pasta, heat and serve drizzled with a nice extra virgin olive oil and some parsley.
White bean and shrimp salad can be eaten on its own, or served with toast. My favorite use for it is a classic in Belgium where they like to stuff tomatoes. You could use the large beefsteak tomatoes, cut off the top and hollow them out, then stuff with the shrimp salad and serve room temp, or you could bake them in the oven and serve them hot…
Cesar salad has an interesting history. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an Italian dish at all but rather comes from Tijuana, Mexico. Either way, it’s delicious this time of year made with good romaine lettuce and topped with some croutons and parmesan cheese.
Russian Kale is the most tender and tasty of the kales in my opinion. It is delicate enough to eat as a salad, but I prefer it sauteed with garlic or maybe braised with the red pearl onions.
Red Pearl Onions are great for sweet and sour. Peel, and cook them covered in a pot with some tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, thyme (you can add ketchup instead of tomato paste which works great). Cook them covered until they are soft, then remove the lid and reduce until they start to glaze.
Tomatillos need to be taken out of the “shell” and washed thoroughly in water. I like to make green salsa from them raw (or you can cook them first). I toss raw tomatillos, some onion, salt, pepper, and avocado in the blender and make a creamy green avocado salsa that is great on chips or on grilled meat. Spice it up with cilantro or cumin, some lime juice, any chiles you want like serrano or jalapeno or dried chile powder…
Spanish Tortilla – here is a fun recipe that is ubiquitous in every household and bar of Spain. Take potatoes and onions and slice them. Fry them covered by olive oil at low heat until they start to brown and soften. Take them out and strain them from the oil (save the oil! It can be re-used to cook vegetables, egss etc). Then beat some eggs in a bowl and add the hot onions and potatoes in about a 50/50 proportion. Once you have them mixed together, put them back in the pan and cook into an omelette flipping it once to cook both sides. Then let it cool and serve at room temperature. Its great on its own, on bread, with cold cuts, or with cheese and olives. It will last several days on the counter at room temp.