Sunday, March 20, 2005

Stainless steel....for the kitchen's soul

OK..after months and months of deliberation I finally did it....I bought my first stainless cookware.I had put to work all the information I had researched on the net about finding the perfect stainless cookware....but they all come at such prices! I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond and it is an Emeril cookware. Since I couldn't afford the whole set I had to content myself by buying one of those single pieces($53). And since I had no experience hatsoever with stainless steel,I decided to give this a test run.
So after I brought this home I cooked an omelet in this...It turned out great although I found that the heat resistant spatula( or so I thought)started to melt while I flipped the omelet.So the next day I got more adventurous and cooked some salmon and oh boy what a great idea.Just sear the salmon and pop it right in the oven.But getting yourself burnt after removing the pan from the oven...Bad idea.. and there is a blister on my left forearm as a proof of this point...
Is this a great investment?I don't know yet. But I missed the ease of nonstick cooking when I used the steel and it was mighty heavy for me to lift( I weigh all of 110 pounds).So, I guess after few months of using this I will decide if I am going to buy my dream stainless steel set...and if I do, you will know.
May be I should share my first recipe I tried on my stainless steel cookware.Since it was an Emeril cookware, it made sense to use an Emeril recipe.

Zucchini wrapped salmon with butternut squash and pinot noir butter sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced yellow onions
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 small butternut squash (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeds and fibers removed, and diced ( I used the already diced squash as a time saver)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 large zucchini, ends trimmed ( use long zucchini to ensure that the salmon is wrapped fully)
8 (3-ounce) medallions salmon, trimmed to measure, each about 1 1/2 to 2 inches square
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pinot Noir Butter Sauce:
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
1/2 cup pinot noir, or other dry red wine
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Chopped chives, garnish

In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the squash and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, and chicken stock, and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, adjust seasoning, to taste, and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a mandolin or other slicing machine, cut the zucchini lengthwise into long ribbons, about 1/8-inch thick. On a work surface, overlap 2 long zucchini ribbons to form a cross. In the center of the cross, place 1 salmon medallion and season lightly with salt and pepper. Brush a small amount of egg wash on each zucchini strip and fold alternately over the fish to form a tight package. Lightly salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Use toothpicks to better hold the packages and remove prior to serving.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish packages, folded side down, and sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter, turn the fish and place in the oven until cooked through and tops are golden, 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
To serve, spoon the squash hash in the center of 4 plates. Top each portion with 2 fish packages and nap with the Pinot Noir Butter Sauce. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately.

To make the Pinot Noir sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine the shallots, wine and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced in volume by half, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has been completely incorporated. Continue until all the butter is incorporated and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, removing the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking.
Strain into a clean container and use immediately.
Yield: 1 cup
Posted by Hello