Bacon – Everyone’s best friend

  • Recipe(s): Braised white cabbage with bacon and thyme (page 361) & Pan-roasted Salmon with purple sprouting broccoli and anchovy-rosemary sauce (page 212)
  • Prep: Easy and Moderate
  • Taste: Very Good & Satisfactory

Long weekends are great for our challenge. No work to think of or get in the way. means we are able to make a bunch of recipes this weekend. Thank you, Queen Victoria, for having your birthday.

For our first evening we have made two dishes (above), which utilized ingredients we had in our fridge, so they would not go bad. We actually only had to pick up two ingredients to make these recipes, so after a long walk (2+ hours) we stopped at Whole Foods and picked up two nice fresh salmon fillets and some broccolini. The recipe actually calls for purple sprouting broccoli but we could not find any, so we had to make do.

The cabbage was very easy to prep. Really there is nothing that I can say that would be hard, it took a few minutes to slice it thinly, but that’s it. The salmon dish was a bit more difficult because you are supposed to pound the rosemary into a paste. We don’t own a mortar and pestle, so we were behind the eight ball to start. I improvised by chopping the rosemary very fine and chucked it into the Ninja blender (they are awesome) with the lemon juice, anchovies and olive oil. This did a satisfactory job of creating a nice sauce of drizzling consistency.

If this were a baseball game, the cabbage would have won 10-0. It was a very good dish! The cabbage absorbed the bacon flavour so well, so even if you didn’t have a bite with an actual piece of bacon in it, you still got the great taste. And let’s be honest, bacon makes everything better. Even the thyme worked well with the other ingredients, which combined, made it feel like a dish that would be served during a special event, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. We both agreed it would go well with ham or chicken..

The salmon lost out on this evening but it was still a satisfactory dish. The salmon itself was very nice. We picked fresh fillets from the store, which have a great taste compared to the previously frozen fillets. The anchovy, rosemary and lemon sauce was not the best. I was still a bit apprehensive of the taste after my first bite, which was disappointing because the salmon fillet was soooooo nice. The dish did start to grow on us as we progressed through the meal and by the end we felt it was satisfactory. The one part of the dish, aside from the salmon, that was nice was the lemon. As with most meals that have fish, combining salmon in there somewhere is always a nice touch. It helped to drown out a bit of the fishiness that the anchovy fillets added but, unfortunately, not quite enough. We both found that the smell of the anchovies was a bit much. We also felt that the salmon was not robust enough to stand up to the rosemary. In this combination the rosemary added too much flavour that did not work with the fish component.

The cabbage ranks very high on the flavour to effort scale and we would definitely make it again. The salmon would rank mid-way on the scale. It was not too hard to prep but the flavour was just not there for us. We probably would not make it again.

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