I have a confession to make. I did not do a particularly good job preparing for this fifth edition of Is My Blog Burning? In fact, I hemmed and hawed for the last couple of weeks and finally decided to wait until this afternoon to choose my fish (though I had at least an idea of how I would prepare it). And the disaster, in the form of stupid miscalculation, struck. I toddled off to the market at 4:30 p.m., not realizing that said market closed around one, this being a Sunday. Oops. In my defense, I was visiting a market street, which usually has longer hours than the open air markets that only show up in each neighborhood twice a week. Still, I used to live in the neighborhood and should have remembered that the stalls close early on Sundays.
And so I returned back to our flat, fishless and despondent. However, salvation was there and I did not have to resort to a can of tunafish. (Mmm, sandwiches anyone?) I found a packet of smoked salmon that was only just inside its use-by date. Perfect. And so I decided to recreate a dish that I first ate some ten years ago on Christmas day, somewhere outside of Paris: a delightful mixture of smoked salmon, crème fraiche and pasta. I call it Lox and Pasta because it was a Jewish family that introduced me to it. (Don't ask why I spent Christmas day with a Jewish family in a country home in the middle of nowhere: it is a very depressing tale from my Depressingly Poor Days.)
This is another one of those recipes that is so simple it barely qualifies for the name. However, it is very tasty. And Kosher.
Lox and Pasta
200 grams smoked salmon, cut in thin strips about 2cm/just under an inch long
200 grams (?) pasta (does anyone ever measure? Enough for two...)
1 Tbs chopped chives (fresh dill could be substituted nicely, but I didn't have any)
1 medium pot of crème fraiche (about 1.25 cups)
zest and juice from one half a medium lemon
freshly ground pepper
50 grams (or more) of butter
Put the smoked salmon in a bowl, add the chives or dill, the zest and the lemon juice and mix. Add the crème fraiche and stir. Cover and refrigerate for a little while to allow the salmon flavour to seep into the crème fraiche. Set a pot of water to boil and add the pasta. Cook until just barely done and drain. Add the butter and a little salt (not much) if the butter is unsalted. Stir the salmon sauce into the pasta, grind some pepper over each serving and serve. (A tip: put the pasta in a very large bowl before adding the sauce. It will make the mixing much easier; otherwise you end up with 90% of the salmon on 25% of the pasta...)
It's a very simple, light pasta dish, perfect for a summer evening. Enjoy!
P.S. This edition of the Is My Blog Burning? is hosted by Wena. Please visit her site to find the other participants!