Sunday, August 05, 2012

two good things

...both seasonal, well... this one's seasonal:::
Long-Cooked Zucchini

A fairly large zucchini cut into chunks thick enough so that they all fit into a cast iron pan into which quite a bit of olive oil and butter, or lard, or coconut oil, has been melted and heated over a small flame, a low heat, the chunks strewn with salt, the cover put on, and the pan left to caramelize one side of the squash, at which time they are carefully flipped, the cover put on so that it vents a little steam, and left again for perhaps half an hour. These get unctuous, and almost meaty, and sweet, and delightful. A bit of plain, full-fat yogurt with each bite brings them to perfection. 

Total cooking time? Could be an hour. Maybe 2. And it's an indication of how much I love this technique that I made them today on a steaming muggy day and did not begrudge the extra heat in the kitchen.

Of course, at the same time I was making this:::
David Leite's Milk Mayonnaise (or Portuguese Green Olive Dip)
I heard about this eggless mayonnaise on the Splendid Table radio show this past Saturday and was fascinated by the simple emulsion of milk and oil. I love this kind of old-world food technique, comparatively unknown in the larger world, because it works! It takes three minutes. And all kinds of flavors can be made of it. I just made the green olive one, but I'm thinking that roasted red pepper would be wonderful, perhaps with bits of cheese, so you have a kind of a pimento cheese dip. Oh well, give this a try as soon as you can. Do use one of these hand held blenders if you have one, although I hear it can be done in a regular, narrow-bottomed blender. It will not work in a food processor. And check out David Leite's fascinating blog post about it, and his suggestions for different flavors. cilantro-ginger, curry, anchovy, sun-dried tomato, for instance.

This would be wonderful with the zucchini or a steamed fish. Oh boy.
1/3 cup whole milk, more if needed
6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 small garlic clove
Leaves and tender stems of 6 fresh cilantro sprigs (I used cilantro berries spn)
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used a bit of olive oil and the rest grapeseed
2/3 cup pitted green olives such as Manzanilla, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, roughly chopped
1. Add the 1/3 cup milk, anchovies, garlic, two thirds of the cilantro, and the pepper to a blender and pulse to combine. With the motor running, pour the oil in what the Portuguese call a fio, or fine thread. Keep whirring until the oil is incorporated and the mixture thickens, 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes, depending on your equipment.
2. Scrape the dip into a serving bowl and stir in the olives. Mince the remaining cilantro, sprinkle on top, and serve. If the dip thickens, stir in a tablespoon or two of milk. (I think it looks wonderful in a pint canning jar
Recipe © 2009 David Leite. All rights reserved.