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Monday, April 02, 2007

Spent yesterday cooking some things I'd been meaning to get around to. We started with David Eyre’s Pancake, which we'd seen in last week's NYTimes magazine. Easy, and a nice treat: make a simple batter from two beaten eggs, equal parts milk and flour, into a pan with melted butter, into a hot oven. Poof!

I moved on to these bacon buns, which turned out okay-- the recipe calls for " instant yeast", and, like the no-knead bread I've been experimenting with the yeast is treated as a dry ingredient. I think I am using the wrong stuff, because the crumb I am getting isn't quite right, but neither Wegmans' nor the Store for Hippies seems to have anything called "instant yeast". I was pleased that I remembered Jeffrey Steingarten's trick of allowing a portion of the recipe to rise in a measuring cup-- this gives a accurate read on when the dough has doubled in volume.

I had a trout fillet, and a beautiful piece of salmon, so I smoked both, to good effect. The trick with smoking fish is in the prep: brine the fish for 20 minutes or so, then dry it on a rack for two hours. Mindful of the strong flavor I got with wet chips last time, I went with dry wood yesterday, and got a flavor that was appreciably milder. The trout was done first, and made a nice sandwich with the buns. Come to find out, however, that CLA is not particularly fond of smoked fish-- or of smoked foods generally. I can see that this toy is going to be like the ice cream maker, and that soon people will be begging me to stop, already.

I served the salmon with latkes dabbed with crème fraîche, and fresh peas, the first of the season.

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