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Frisee with Crisped Salmon Skin and Warm Sherry Vinaigrette
In case you shy away from the pork-fat dressing of the classic frisee, you can always turn to this lighter, but equally delicious version, which substitutes crackling salmon skin for the lardons. Broiled salmon skin is a sushi bar staple, and the ginger in this dish echoes that connection. And further interest is provided by a very sympathetic dose of sherry vinegar. A multi-culti triumph! Serves 6.
Ten 1-inch-thick slices of French or Italian bread (3 inches in diameter)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Salmon skin (from a 2-pound salmon fillet) (We advise you make this dish only if you have plans for the rest of the salmon fillet!)
Half cup plus half tablespoon hazelnut oil
5 shallots, sliced thin crosswise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
12 cups frisee (curly endive), torn into pieces, washed thoroughly, and spun dry
1. Make the croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush both sides of bread slices with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut into 1-inch cubes and bake croutons in oven on a baking sheet, shaking pan occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Remove salmon skin from fillet and reserve fillet for another use. Lightly brush half tablespoon hazelnut oil on both sides of salmon skin and place on preheated grill until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. (Alternatively, you can crisp it under a broiler.) Pat salmon skin dry withpaper towels, cut into three-quarter-inch dice, and set aside.
3. Combine shallots, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, ginger, garlic, half cup of hazelnut oil, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and cook the dressing over moderate heat until shallots are wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes
4. In a large bowl toss the frisee, salmon skin, and croutons with warm sherry vinegar dressing. Divide among 6 plates and serve immediately.
Classic Manhattan Clam Chowder
New Englanders find the very idea of tomatoes in clam chowder to be abhorrent; of course, by referring to the aberration as "Manhattan clam chowder" they're overlooking the fact that their own Rhode Islanders also add tomatoes to clam chowder. And let's not forget about the hundreds of ethnic cuisines around the world that combine tomatoes with shellfish in soups and stews. Unlike the New England purists, we just don't find an intrinsic problem with clams and tomatoes. We do find, however, that most Manhattan clam chowder served in restaurants is positively awful: thin, unclammy, often tasting like vegetable soup out of a can with a few canned clams thrown in. Try the following recipe, and you'll see how good this soup can be. Serves 6.
48 cherrystone clams
A little bottled clam juice (if necessary)
Quarter pound bacon, cut into quarter-inch dice
1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarter-inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut into quarter-inch dice
1 carrot, cut into quarter-inch dice
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1. Wash the clams well under cold running water in colander. Place clams in a large pot, and add enough water to cover clams by 2 inches. Cover the pan and place over high heat.
2. When the water comes to a boil, give the pan a good shake. Turn the heat to low, and cook clams another 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat, and take out all the clams that have opened, using a slotted spoon. If any clams remain closed, put back on the heat, with the lid on the pan, and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove remaining clams, reserve, discard any clams that have not opened
3. Pour the clam juice through a fine strainer and set aside. You will need 6 cups of broth. If you have more than enough clam broth, reduce it to 6 cups. If you have too little clam brother, add some bottled clam juice or water to make 6 cups total.
4. Put the bacon into a large, heavy saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the bacon begins to brown. . Pour off excess fat, leaving behind the bacon and about 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
5. Add the onion, celery, and carrot to the pan and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, and cook mixture for 10 minutes more. Add tomatoes and reserved clam juice to the pan. Bring chowder to a boil over high heat.
6. While chowder is coming to a boil, remove clams from their shells and chop coarsely. Add to chowder and reduce heat to low. Add thyme leaves. Cook over low heat for another 5 minutes; check to make sure potatoes are soft and chowder is well seasoned. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve in warm bowls.
Dean & Deluca's Tuna Sandwich with Carrots, Red Onion, and Parsley
We sympathize with the purists when it comes to tuna salad sandwiches: the combo of canned tuna, just a little mayo, and just good white bread is an eternal verity. But we have developed this fancier variation that is also delicious. It preserves the tuna flavor, it's not too rich, it's loaded with crunchy vegetables, and it flies out of the store every day. Makes 6 sandwiches.
4 six-ounce cans drained chunk white tuna in water
6 tablespoons finely chopped carrots
Half cut plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 tablespoons finely chopped celery
3 scallions, finely chopped
One and a half cups of your favorite mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce and tomato as accompaniments
1. Put the tuna in a large bowl. Mash. Add the carrots, onion, parsley, celery, and scallions.
2. Place the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add the crushed garlic clove and the lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the tuna. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on rolls with lettuce and tomato.