A local chef and mixologist share simple, straightforward summer recipes. Part 3 of 4.
The third in a series of four summer recipes, featuring fresh, seasonal food and drink. For past editions, see Provisions: Mussels, Beer and Bourbon and Provisions: Squid Salad and Bees Knees Collins.
We’re all aiming to be that well-rounded, Renaissance man. But in our quest for perfection, there are priorities that get dropped along the way: Latin, marble sculpting, and—sad to say—cooking.
So rookies, we’re bringing some recipes for you. When the girl says it’s your turn to make dinner (nice change, finally), arm yourself with this simple, delicious, seasonal meal. She’ll be impressed, and then you can leave dessert up to her…
It all begins easily: you swing by the local market and grab a couple groceries (there are only eight ingredients to make both recipes), pick up a fifth of your favorite vodka (we like Hangar One), then carve out 45 minutes to prep this meal.
The results are impressive, healthy, and memorable. There’s a perfect balance between the bright freshness of the dill and the savory richness of the smoked trout. The crème fraîche settles the tartness of the homemade “horseradish” (fear not, it’s simple), and then the cucumber comes to finish the flavor with a crisp, refreshing jolt.
Chef Timmy Malloy, of Local’s Corner, works in an apartment-sized kitchen, so he knows how to make do with less. His limitations inspired this dish, which uses nothing more than a peeler, grater, and a knife. You can do it.
For a side libation, mixologist Vince Toscano of Rye brings a refreshing upgrade from the vodka soda (it’s time). His Early Morning is like a spiked mint and ginger tea. It’s light enough for the lady, but bold enough to satisfy the fine-tuned palate.
Cucumbers with Smoked Trout, Turnip, Herbs, Crème Fraîche
1 Side of Smoked Red Rainbow Trout (sub: hot smoked salmon)
5 Cucumbers (try a variety of Armenian, Lemon, and Persian)
1 Purple Top Turnip (small)
1 Lemon (for juicing)
1 tablespoon Fresh Dill
1 tablespoon Crème Fraîche*
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
*Timmy Tip: Making your own Crème Fraîche is simple. Just mix 3 cups heavy cream with 1 cup buttermilk, then let it sit (covered) at room temp for 2-3 days.
Peel the turnip and grate it in a microplane. In a container, sprinkle the grated turnip with salt, stir and let sit at room temp for 30-45 minutes.
Cut the cucumbers into chunks and slices (no wrong answers here). Toss them in a bowl with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt to taste.
To plate: Spread Crème Fraîche on plate, then top by placing a layer of cucumbers, then picking apart the trout in chunks, place among the cucumber. Repeat until desired serving size. Then, place salted turnip and dill on top, adding a few cracks of fresh ground black pepper to finish.
The Early Morning
2 ounces Hanger One Vodka (sub: your favorite vodka)
.5 ounces Lemon Juice
.5 ounce Lime Juice
.75 ounce Ginger Syrup*
5 Mint Leaves
*For ginger syrup, add grated ginger to equal parts sugar and hot water, then cool.
Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, then strain over crushed ice. Add mint sprig for garnish.
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