Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays with Dorie - Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar

Friday, August 12, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar

I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means that I'm alive.
Brene Brown


There's a certain amount of excitement and dread experienced in the French Fridays with Dorie camp in connection with this week's recipe - Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar (well two jars, actually). The feeling for me was akin to the thrill of jumping off a bridge knowing full well that the only thing that determines whether you experience the exhilaration of an upwards tug or plunge down to a massive splat on the ground is that elastic cord attached to your body. Okay, perhaps that bungy jumping analogy is more drama than is called for but to be honest, I've never cured anything before, let alone raw fish, so I was really looking forward to the challenge!

 My first time - I'm no longer a 'savory-food-in-a-jar' virgin!


The process itself was fairly easy. The raw salmon needed to be cured with salt and sugar overnight and then preserved with spices under a thick blanket of olive oil. I used nearly a whole 1 litre bottle of oil, which was a touch scary. I crossed my fingers and hoped the salmon would be cured enough so that nothing untoward would happen when we ate it. Before anyone took a bite of the salmon two days later, a little, innocent one in my home endearingly posed this question,  "We're not going to die, are we?". No, well since I'm writing this post the following day... apparently we had not. 



Okay, now that I've taken the plunge (LOL), I must say that I quite enjoyed the whole process of  doing this. My only changes to the salmon jar was to substitute the thyme with basil and oregano and left the other spices as per Dorie's recipe. I also added garlic to both jars because I like the taste and also thought it could work twofold by killing off any remaining bugs in the fish that might have survived the curing process. Well, you can never be too careful :-). My carrots were 'pimped' into pretty flower shapes but I assure you there was no wastage. I threw the negative cut-outs of the carrots into the jar as well. 


For the potatoes jar, I decided to change the flavors by adding some fresh curry leaves and cumin in addition to the coriander and black peppercorns. I then threw in some red radishes and physalis from my garden as I wanted to fill the spaces in between the potatoes. I mean, why waste using all that olive oil on just a few potatoes, right? 

Spices for the potatoes

The exotic, Indian flavors of the potatoes went very well with the Italian flavors of the salmon. I'm quite pleased that after their initial wariness, everyone at home dug into this appetizer with more enthusiasm than I'd expected. You just never know from one week to the next whether the FFWD recipes will be a hit or miss in the house, and luckily this time, I didn't land splat on my face.


It looks like I have more pictures than I have words for this post, so just enjoy these images from this point on. Oh, by the way, we do not give out Dorie's Around My French Table recipes in our posts but you can view a published version of this one online here.

 Salmon and carrots with basil and oregano

 Potatoes, radishes and physalis with cumin and curry leaves 

 All ready to eat!

Finally, I have a special treat for you, since it's Friday. I already mentioned in my last post about my love for TED talks and today I want to share with you a presentation by Brene Brown that I've seen over 20 times and it still strikes a cord deep inside me, even now. It's probably because I used to be like her, measuring stick and all, but at some point in my life (I'll tell you all about it sometime later), I realized, it's okay. I am enough. 



Happy weekend!

34 comments:

Cher said...

You are my hero. Just sayin'
Beautiful pictures...

Torviewtoronto said...

these two jars look so flavourful

Foodness Gracious said...

This looks like a fun idea!! I went through a pickling jar phase recently and I loved to use beet juice which turns the product a crazy deep purple/pink, In my case it was eggs which my daughter thought looked wonderful, after all she lives in a pink world!
Have a great weekend!

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Cher. I felt triumphant just making it through this week's recipe and having the thumbs up from the familia!

Foodiva said...

Akheela, they were both colorful and flavorful, a real bonus. ;-)

Foodiva said...

Foodness Gracious, I thought about putting some beets in there too, funnily enough. But I didn't want to scare the kids even more by presenting pink-tinted food out of a jar! Oh, just so you know, I have three pink-aversed males I need to feed as well ;-).

Ann said...

Once again an absolutely STUNNING post! I love the presentation and the carrots... Beautiful!

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

Love cured fish and meats- especially salmon. Diggin your amazing presentation

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Fabulous plating - so professional. I wasn't bowled over by this one but I was pleased I managed it even whilst on vacation!

oneexpatslife said...

What a lovely presentation, your photos are just beautiful. Having never cured anything before I too had a bit of angst about serving uncooked fish, but we too seem to have survived the experience :-)

Adriana said...

I think you sold me the recipe with all your gorgeous pictures! This recipe intimidated me, so a dear friend took over with a guest post. Now I want to try it, down to the pretty cut carrots.

Three-Cookies said...

Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar is not the most appealing name, until I saw the photos. I love cured salmon and other stuff, they have great texture and develop a good flavour.

"We're not going to die, are we?" I think we all might be, one day, but not because of food in jars:)

Lizzy said...

Just stunning photos, Maya! I love all your tweeks :)

Ei said...

Your pictures are stunning. Maybe if THESE pics had been in the book, I'd have wanted to eat this. lol

yummychunklet said...

Fantastic photos! And I like your Indian spice twist on the recipe.

Elin said...

I am sold! your version looks great and I will try adding radish to it and the potato in jar with your combination of herbs and spices. Love every photos here...great clicks !

wok with ray said...

All I can say is "Wow!" Okay, that's not all I can say. :) Such beauties in those jars and the colors are so vibrant.

Have a wonderful weekend!

~ ray ~

Michael Toa said...

Maya, this dish is simply stunning! And beautiful plate presentation as usual. Have a wonderful weekend.

acookingmizer said...

im planning on making this again to give to friends, and cutting the carrots into shapes is a great idea! and so eye catching!

PFx said...

Home made cured salmon is one of those festive that I share with my friends once a year. They're just so versatile and interactive.
I like the part about 'courage', it's good to know about the root. Hmmm.

Foodiva said...

Hiya Doristas, thanks for all your beautiful comments. Really appreciate it, and your weekly visits too ;-).

Foodiva said...

Adrian, welcome to Foodiva's Kitchen! The only thing I've 'cured' before is the sniffles, so curing fish is a first for me, an interesting exercise ;-).

Foodiva said...

Three Cookies, haha, you're right, we're all going to die in the end anyway. Luckily, it wasn't after eating my cured salmon... That would've been a brilliant answer for my son!

Foodiva said...

Ray, thank you for going beyond 'Wow'...LOL. You've made my weekend!

Foodiva said...

Michael, I won't rest until you say I'm as good as Nigella. LOL. Thanks, and you ave a wondrous weekend too!

Foodiva said...

Pierre, lucky friends you have to be eating all your gourmet homemade food! Also glad that you liked the talk...something worth thinking about, hmm?

Kathy said...

Maya, Gorgeous photos! Your dish came out absolutely beautiful and I don't eat raw fish...Great job! Have a wonderful weekend!

Nana said...

Thank you for the lovely birthday wishes, it has been
an exciting week. Tricia and I were so happy about
the comment from Dorie, we couldn't believe it.
Your pictures look fantastic and so delicious. I'm
bookmarking that pie/cupcake now.

Foodiva said...

Kathy, many thanks. I love to eat raw fish (as in sashimi) but even I was a bit scared to eat this one I cured myself! :-)

Foodiva said...

Nana, you received special attention from Dorie - how absolutely wonderful and exciting! Big, warm birthday hugs from me again and thanks for also checking out my following tribute post to Mikey Perillo.

Elaine said...

Your photos are just so beautiful, Maya! And I love the shape of your carrots. So creative!

Foodiva said...

Elaine, those carrots were good, but the whole dish was surprisingly good! I say surprised because of my fear and uncertainty in my ability to cure raw fish...how hilarious ;-).

penny aka jeroxie said...

oh wow.. I love this idea! LOVE and must do for xmas presents!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Sorry I'm here very late. I didn't get to see this post earlier...what a beautiful salmon and potatos in a jar! I never imagined food in a jar can be this pretty!

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