It's been ages since I last did one of these, so here are the "outtakes" from the past few weeks. The fact that they were outtakes shouldn't dissuade you from making them, they just didn't make the cut for various reasons, often because they involved leftovers.
Tonight marked the end of the epic sauerkraut and sausage making experiment, undertaken by Claire from Colloquial Cooking, Stephane from Zen Can Cook and I, so I'll be posting my homemade sauerkraut recipe (more like a technique) and a recipe for Choucroute Garnie later this week.
Roasted Beet Dalad with a Lemon Mint Dressing - This was a nice salad I made with some leftover roasted beets from the cupcakes. I paired it with a mini salad of arugula flowers and pea spouts, with a lemon, olive oil and mint dressing, and some fresh feta crumbled on top. The peppery arugula flowers aren't much to look at, but they add a terrific bite to the salad, and the whole thing just tastes like spring.
Sauteed Pork Belly and Ramps - This was another leftover dish with braised pork belly chopped up and sauteed with some fava beans, peas, shimeji mushrooms, ramps and some carrots rescued from the braising liquid. Super simple if you have some braised pork belly sitting in the fridge. Because it has so many vegetables (and so few carbs) you can almost get away with calling it healthy... I said almost:-)
Fried Smoked Pork Belly with Poached Egg – This on the other hand can’t be called healthy by any stretch of the imagination, unless you’re a lumberjack named Paul Bunyan. It really is the sort of energy packed meal that you can only justify eating before a long day of physical labor, but once you’ve had a bite, you’ll want it every morning. I made it with the last of the molasses smoked pork belly from a Williamsberg rooftop smoking session with Claire and Stephane. I just sliced it into thick slabs, and fried it till crisp on 2 sides, and served it with a poached egg.
Spring Bouquet Salad - While flowers and sprouts are great to use as a garnish, when you have several boxes of them and nothing to garnish, they make a great salad. This particular one has Nasturtium flowers, mustard flowers, arugula flowers, pea sprouts, and radish sprouts tossed with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Ramp and Red Bell Pepper Pasta with Fishcake - This might sound like an odd combination at first, but the fishcake serves as a perfectly suitable substitute for sausage in this Japanese-Italian hybrid pasta. The char roasted bell peppers were sauteed with ramps and fishcake and then tossed with linguine and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Simple pastas like this are among my favourites and it's often the unexpected combinations that come together from a few items in your fridge that work the best.
Tororo Soba - This is the kind of dish that people will either love or hate. Japanese people are really into foods with a slimy texture, like okra or raw eggs, and this bowl of cold soba noodles is covered in natto (fermented soy beans), grated mountain yam (the white stuff) and uni with a cold dashi broth. For Japanese people it's the perfect appetite building meal for a hot summer day, but between the slimy fermented soy beans and slick mountain yam puree, I could see how this might sound unappetizing to some.