Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fermentation Dinner

Late July Fermentation dinner was truly a beautiful site. The food was amazing, the drinks complemented the food and the conversation complemented the entire evening. The ask; everyone bring something you have fermented or pickled from this years crops. Bring a light dinner dish to share and a libation. I prepared Gravlax (cured salmon), with fermented red onions and yogurt dill sauce. I also made peanut “non-noodles” from zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and red onion.

by Penny Rich

3 pounds salmon fillet
1 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup sake
1 large bunch fresh dill

Wash and dry salmon, remove any small bones. Combine sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Wash and shake excess water from dill. Place two pieces of plastic wrap on the counter. Spread out half of the dill and cover that with 2 tablespoons of sake. Spread half the sugar, salt, pepper mixture onto the dill. Place the salmon on top of the mixture. Cover with the remaining sugar, salt, peeper mixture, 2 tablespoons of sake and top with dill. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap. Use more wrap to get a tighter seal. Place the wrapped salmon on a baking tray and cover with another tray. I use 3 bricks to weigh the salmon down, but you can use anything heavy from your pantry i.e. cans. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove weights and drain water from the tray. Flip the salmon over, cover with the second tray and bricks. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. (48 hours – total curing time). Unwrap and wash off dill and remaining mixture. Slice thinly.

Fermented Red Onions
by Penny Rich

Fermenting foods or preserving foods, is centuries old. These foods are a powerful aid to digestion and in some cases protect us from disease. I started fermenting a couple of years ago after meeting April McGreger who sells her fermented vegetables at the Carrboro Farmers Market . Along with her advise, I read Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation and Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions.

3-4 red onions, peeled and sliced thinly on a mandolin
1-2 tablespoons sea salt (no iodine)
1 cup of water, boiled and cooled
1 quart glass jar
1 lid

Layer onion in a wooden or glass mixing bowl placing a little salt in between each layer. Mix with hand to make sure the onions are all covered with salt. Start adding the onions to the jar tapping down hard. You should see some water releasing from the onions. Repeat until all the onions are in the jar making sure to tap them down to make a very tight fit. There should be liquid on top of the onions at this point. Add more water as needed to cover the onions. The top of the onions should be at least one inch from the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days before transferring to cold storage. Will last on the shelf for 2-3 months.

Peanut “Non-Noodles”
by Penny Rich
Makes 6-8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, julienned with peeler
4 zucchini, julienned with peeler
4 yellow squash, julienned with peeler
1/3 cup smoother peanut butter
3 tablespoon hot water
3 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons red curry paste salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pan on high heat with olive oil. Add onions and garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook just until wilted 5-6 minutes. While the noodles are cooking place the remaining ingredients peanut butter through red curry paste in a blender and whiz until combined. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. While the noodles are still hot, toss with sauce. Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate until cool about 1-2 hours. Serve cold or reheat gently in the micro.
 *I bought my julienne peeler at Kitchen Works, University Mall, Chapel Hill