Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sardinian Bottarga

Bottarga: sundried, salted roe of gray mullet or sometimes tuna. I've been seeing it alot on menus and in magazines these days. Have you every tried it? I had it a couple weeks ago at our neighborhood italian restaurant on top of my spaghetti with white clam sauce. It was in caviar form vs this block of sundried roe. I am going on the hunt for this item. The following recipe reminds me of Tarako Spaghetti (salted cod roe) that my brother's fiance introduced me to. Spicy Tarako is my favorite packet. If you haven't tried this amazingly satisfying japanese dish that you can just buy out of a packet and whip up, you must. So if I find Bottarga, this is the recipe I want to try from "Italian Easy ( Recipes from the London River Cafe)".

16 oz Spaghetti
8 oz Bottarga
3 Lemons
2 Dried Chiles
7 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons. Crumble chiles
Grate 3/4 of the bottarga into a bowl. Add lemon juice and stir to combine to a cream. Slowly add the olive oil to form a thick sauce.
Cook the spaghetti. Reserve a little fo the drained water. Stir the hot water into the bottarga cream to loosen. Then season with chiles and black pepper. Add the spaghetti to the sauce and toss to coat thoroughly.
Serve with the remaining bottarga grated over and a piece of lemon.
*Note: River Cafe's Italian Country Cookbook also added parsley, garlic and s+p of course.

Palak Paneer

Jer, Here is your palak paneer (spinach with curd cheese) recipe from "50 great curries of india".
Serves 2
3/4 pint milk
1/2 cup live yogurt (don't know what "live" means)
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
9oz fresh spinach
2 green chiles
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons oil
a pinch of fenugreek seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tomatoes, pureed

Bring milk to boiling point, add live yogurt with a pinch of salt and citrus juice. Boil for 7-10 min. The milk will separate. Remove from heat and cool.
Strain milk solids, allowing the whey to remain in the bowl. Keep the milk solids in contact with the whey until cooking time. When ready to use, press down the solids to squeeze the moisture out, or use a cheesecloth. You will get about 4 oz of paneer or curd cheese.
Cook spinach with chiles, ginger and a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of water. When cool, puree.
Heat oil and fry fenugreek seeds for 30 secs. Add onion and fry until lightly browned. Add garlic and cumin and then tomatoes. Fry for 5 min.
When liquid from tomatoes has evaporated, add the paneer and stir gently. Add the pureed spinach and cook for a couple of min. It is ready to serve.