Monday, March 16, 2009

alice made me do it.

While Alice Waters, of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California was roasting a freshly laid hen's egg over an open wood fire on a recent edition of 60 Minutes, I was staring into a pantry chock full of limitations.

Unfortunately, I had no fresh picked organic vegetables from a friendly farmer down the road. The only fresh vegetables I had to work with tonight were celery hearts and green onions. I was off work today, so I goofed off with my daughters and didn't go to the grocery store. I've got Alan petrified to shop for us in fear he won't use the right coupons, buy my favorite canned beans, etc.....I've got myself to thank for that.

So, I grab for an old childhood standby. No, not goop on toast, aka chipped beef on white bread smothered in white gravy (that's the delicacy my siblings will think of first), but salmon croquettes. Our mom mixed up a mean batch of salmon croquettes. I'm fairly certain she fed a family of 7 on one can with lots and lots of crushed saltines and eggs added in. She could also stretch a pound of ground meat like you wouldn't believe. But, that's another story for another night. I can assure you not one of us starved.

My dinner was delicious. Now, if I could just get my kids to try these tasty little morsels.

Here's the salmon recipe using the ingredients I had on hand:
1 can salmon
1 egg
handful of feta cheese crumbles flavored with lemon and oregano
chopped celery hearts
chopped green onion
panko bread crumbs
lemon juice
salt and pepper

I mixed together all of the above and pan fried them in minimal amount of canola oil in a non stick skillet.
I served them with haricot verts from the freezer that I topped with a tad of butter and salt and pepper.
Not what Alice would've served, but I made the best of what I had on hand.

Here is a nice spring pasta recipe from Alice Waters

Fettucine, Wild Mushrooms & Prosciutto - serves 2

1/4 lb. sugar snap peas
4 slices prosciutto
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
several sprigs fresh parsley
1/3 to 1/2 lb. Lepiota rhacodes mushrooms ( chanterelles or shitakes also work well in this dish)
2 to 3 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 c. chicken stock
Fettucine for 2

Clean mushrooms and cut into thin slices.
Wash and string the sugar peas and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the prosciutto slices into small strips. Peel and chop the garlic. Peel and dice the onion. Finely chop the parsley.

Saute the mushrooms in hot olive oil. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper.
After a few minutes, lower the heat and add the garlic and the peas. Cook another minute or
two and add the the prosciutto and chicken stock. Cook the pasta and add to the mushrooms. Toss all together, taste for seasoning, and serve garnished with parsley and more black pepper.


  1. Hey- that's what we had for dinner on Sunday night after coming home from a weekend at the Airstream except we had the salmon with mashed potatoes and le sueur peas - just like old times! Lillian announced it was her favorite meal (and I know that it is also Dad's favorite). And to think, I thought we were going to have to have breakfast for dinner.....again!

  2. hi dori, sometimes the old stand bys hit the spot. affordable too. i always thought of le sueur as fancy peas. thanks for commenting

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