Culinary Anthropologist

Secret Kitchen menu, 16th July 2011

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Cucumber martinis
Gravlax on rye bread with broad beans & dill

Burratina & mozzarella with peaches, figs & rocket
with homemade foccacia

Squid ink risotto with grilled squid, alioli,
roasted red pepper & tomato salad and green salad

Summer pudding with cream

Coffee, teas and homemade liqueurs

About the dinner…

I first made gravlax – or gravad lax – when living in San Francisco, inspired by the numerous versions found in cafes, and have been looking for an occasion to make it again for ages.  It’s not hard – you basically throw some salt and sugar on a side of salmon (maybe some dill and spices too) and leave it for a few days.  Meanwhile, infuse some gin with cucumber to make the martinis to go with it…

We love squid so much in this house that we couldn’t resist using it in three ways today.  We braised half the squid with wine and tomatoes until it was tender to go inside the risotto, and grilled the other half over hot coals to go on top.  And of course it is squid ink which colours the rice black and gives it its sweet & savoury taste.

No other pudding could be served now, when raspberries, currants, gooseberries and other soft fruits are ready all at once.  Like the gravlax, it’s easy and just needs time.  Briefly stew a load of summer berries and currants with a little sugar to sweeten.  Line a pudding bowl with slices of white, stale bread.  Pour in the fruit, cover with more bread, weight with a plate and leave in the fridge for a day or two before turning out and drenching in cream.

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