Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas dinner

Not the best dinner I've ever made, but as my late Swiss Papa might have said, "C'est mangeable." ("It's edible.") Behold—seared salmon on some seriously faux-Fredo:

As Murphy's Law would have it, my downstairs grocery didn't have any heavy cream. So I bought some cream cheese, Grana Padano, and extra milk and decided to make do with that. What I should have done, in retrospect, was to make a Mornay (Béchamel + cheese = Mornay). I was thinking, at the time, that the traditional Alfredo sauce doesn't have any flour in it, which is why I dismissed the Mornay idea. But when you cook with cream cheese—and I remembered this too late—you have to use really low heat, otherwise the cheese will seize up and create lumps. So that's what you see above: I used the Grana Padano to try to emulsify the sauce, but some of that curdy lumpiness still came through. Well, damn. A Mornay would have been a lot smoother. The result still tasted pretty good; the faux-Fredo sauce had a bit of a sour tang from the cooked cream cheese, but I had added dried onions, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and basil, and that made it okay. Live and learn.

Here's the bread, liberated from its pan:

The salmon is seared on the outside and somewhat rare on the inside.

For the bread inspectors among us: a look at the crumb.

The bread was definitely a fail as a focaccia, but it worked just fine as my regular no-knead bread, and it's got a bit of a fried-bread exterior plus some extra butteriness on the top thanks to an alliterative brushing of bovine byproduct.

The galette/pie is yet to be made, but that's coming up! The dough is done; it just needs to be rolled out. Add the filling, and we're golden.


John Mac said...

You are in a league of your own, that's for sure. Seeing your creations is like viewing the work of an artist. I'm serious.

Kevin Kim said...

A very undeserved compliment, but thanks.