A couple of thoughts for the week: there are just some foods one is not going to like. Perhaps taste is truly individual, perhaps its part of our culture and upbringing, maybe its imbedded in our very cells. I’ve eaten and enjoyed incredibly funky cheese, durian candy, pigs ears, and fish heads (and a few tails). I’ve come to love mayonnaise and cilantro; two foods that made me practically gag until I was about 18 and went to work in a restaurant where I had to make potato salad and guacamole daily. However, there are a few things I can’t tolerate: nearly everything that includes liver as an ingredient, mustard spread on a sandwich or hot dog, and buckwheat. Apparently I’m missing out on several culinary wonders by not eating pate, chicken liver bruschetta, hot dogs with “the works,” cooked kashi and buckwheat blini. I’ve really tried to like these things. Every few years I taste one, and find that it still tastes awful. With all the other foods to eat on the planet, I think I can get by without. 🙂 Sorry buckwheat blini Doristas.
So, for this week’s recipe for Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon, you see in the photo above the canapes I made for Easter dinner this past year. These are an easy starter: your favorite cracker (these are multi-grain gluten free crackers) spread with a bit of cream cheese, topped with a strip of smoked salmon shaped into a swirl. Sprinkle with seasonings like capers, fresh chopped dill, minced red bell peppers, and/or minced red onion as a garnish.
In addition, if you read last week’s Cornish hen mishap, you may have noted that I was cooking a Dorie “catch-up” recipe from July 2011: coconut-lemongrass-braised pork. D declared this the best stew ever. Which brings me to my second thought for the week: I’m a very skeptical cook. New recipes often evoke a feeling of “How can that work?” or “There’s no way that I or D will like that.” Coconut and traditional yellow curry flavors don’t always go over well with D, though we both like Thai red and green curries. So, when I looked over the recipe and saw tumeric and traditional curry powder, I thought, “ho hum.” What saves this recipe from the ordinary is the addition of coriander, cardamon, and lemongrass stalks, as well as one of my favorite potato substitutes, celery root. The flavor was complex enough to hold our interest for several meals. I’m learning to be less recipe skeptical.
- I used pork shoulder for this dish, so instead of cooking it for 20-30 minutes, I cooked it for about 1.5 hours in a low 300 degree oven. Shoulder is tough and needs a long slow cooking to tenderize.
- Given the longer cooking time, I reduced the amount of water to 3/4 of a cup. The pork released a lot of water and I didn’t want the dish to be too thin.
- Shoulder is also a bit more fatty, and the longer cooking time also meant that the coconut milk “broke,” separating the coconut fat from the coconut juices. So, I let the dish sit overnight in the fridge and removed the hardened fat from the top of the dish before reheating.
- Note that there are carrots and celery root only (no potatoes). Carrots and celery root are not completely low carb, but they are lower than potatoes, and ok in moderation.
- I used a Vietnamese madras curry mixture that is always on hand in my kitchen.
- No noodles: we thought it tasted great as is.