Along the Grapevine


47 Comments

Fish Pate with Toasted Almonds

DSC01618

The only local fish I have been able to acquire has been walleye, sometimes called pickerel, which is why all my fish recipes so far have been on this one particular species. It is a freshwater fish, very versatile, with a mild flavour. That is why whenever a kind fisherman offers me some of his catch, I gladly accept it and try and create a new recipe to do it justice. Since I have been making pates and potted meats lately, I decided to try a fish pate – something I could use for quick meals and for serving guests on short notice. It is also a perfect party recipe to bring to the fiftieth Fiesta Friday event. DSC01615

Most fish pates call for smoked fish. I have yet to take up smoking, although a smoker is on my wish list. For the time being, I did add a few drops of liquid smoke, but the recipe does not require it – just an afterthought for those of us who like the flavour. I did find a recipe which resembled what I had in mind to start with, except with toasted almond slivers added which seemed a good idea in terms both of flavour and augmenting the quantity of the final product. Here is the recipe I referred to for fresh trout and almond pate. DSC01616

And here is my own recipe I used combining my own idea and the toasted almonds.

Fish Pate with Toasted Almonds

Ingredients

1 lb walleye

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup sour cream

1 Tbsp each of fresh dill and parsley

salt and pepper to taste

a few drops of liquid smoke to taste (optional)

Method

Poach the fish in a little water in a 350 degree oven until the fish is cooked right through. While this is cooking, brown the almond slices in a skillet with 2 Tbsp of the butter. Set aside. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the oven, pour off any liquid (and keep for some other use), cool and remove any skin and bones. Put the fish in a food processor along with the remaining Tbsp of butter, the toasted almonds in butter and all the other ingredients. Process until it everything is evenly blended. Pour into a serving dish and/or in jars to be frozen for later use. Serve at room temperature on crusty bread, crackers or with salad.

DSC01646

Related articles:  https://alongthegrapevine.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/pickerel-in-grape-leaves-with-mushroom-zaatar-sauce/


6 Comments

A Backyard Forager’s Pasta Dish

Pasta is a great dish when you want to be creative, or even when you don’t have much in the pantry. With a few pickings from our garden, lawn and fields, I decided to make a vegan, gluten-free pasta dish using Jerusalem artichokes, wild strawberry leaves and chives. I was pleased with the effect of the artichokes and lemon juice in creating a creamy white sauce with no dairy products. As for the greens, you could use any of your edible wilds or not so wilds, but I wanted to try the wild strawberry. I learned that all parts of wild or cultivated strawberries are edible, and since our wild plants are plentiful and don’t give much fruit, why not use the greens instead. For more information about identifying, using and finding resources, check out this site.

If you do decide to use strawberry leaves, there are a couple of points worth mentioning. First, as always, be sure you have identified the greens properly. They are pretty easy to spot, but be sure you know what you are picking. The other point is that, while these leaves are most often used in making tea, they should be eaten only when dried, or very fresh. Once the wilting process has begun, they enter a stage of non-edibility until they are perfectly dried. So that is something to bear in mind if using them.

DSC00548

 

Most articles I read said that they are edible, but not really tasty. I beg to differ. They are mild, with a pleasant citrusy after taste. Not remarkable, but certainly nutritious, especially rich in vitamin C. If not sure, sample a leaf or two. This is always a good idea anyway to make sure you don’t have any problem if it is new to you, and you can decide if you want to add them to your dinner.

DSC00536

Jerusalem Artichoke Sauce

1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, boiled and peeled

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor. Heat the sauce gently, without boiling. Add some chopped chives and strawberry leaves, and then mix in half a pound of cooked, hot pasta (I used quinoa spaghetti). The flavour of the artichokes worked very well as a cheese substitute, but feel free to add cheese, or anything else, to suit your own taste.