Gravlax with Fennel Remoulade

I have now been in Norway for nine days. It’s part of my whole new year new me thing. I decided to do new country, new job just so I could excuse myself from setting proper new year resolutions. With this new life comes: new language, new flat, new furniture, new friends, new gym, new bakeries and cafes. It’s cool, I’m not overwhelmed. My body isn’t reacting negatively with breakouts on my face and eczema flare-ups and stomach bloating. It’s cool. I’m fine.
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Grapefruit & Fennel Tart

Allow me to recount the story of the salted lemon tart. It was in the first few weeks of culinary school, when confidence was at a low and there was constant anxiety over little things like turning on the stove.  We were making a tarte au citron in pastry class — a short crust pastry encasing lemon curd topped with Italian meringue — a fresh and delicate classic. I had been stirring the curd for almost 20 minutes and it just didn’t look right. Time was running out so I just went with what I had and poured it in my tart shell.  As I prepared the Italian meringue on top I caught some curd on my finger and licked it – I gagged. I had mistaken salt for sugar in the curd. I had about a cup of salt in that pie. I had completely butchered that French classic.
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Citrus Fennel Risotto

We’ve all had dreadful risottos.  You know the kind that comes congealed on your plate like a stiff pudding, with every mouthful an overcooked mush. Most of the time these taste of nothing but generic cheese.  You want a glossy, loose pool of risotto.  When you ladle it to the center of the plate you want it to gently spread into a thin layer.   You want it to still have a bite, and you want it to be light and you also want it to be creamy.  It’s a plate of pure delight when done right.  And it doesn’t need some protein protagonist to sit on top of it, let it be by itself.
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