Cooking in Canada Shorty was a street wise cook; his class room had been cookbooks, eating almost everywhere, fancy restaurant – Shorty learned that he didn’t wantta cook French – hole in the wall kitchen, boat people kitchens, church lady church supper kitchen. Tasting, playing, trying to understand the flavours, textures, balances.
Cooking in Canada Shorty offered wine dinners and listened to the vintner, studied tasting, tasting wine, splitting in out, finding matching flavours. Here’s something that Shorty learned by listening: the flavour profile of fish would be entirely changed by wrapping it in prosciutto. The matching would shift from white to red, maybe a big oaked white or a small red.
Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon
with wilted winter greens and garlic mashers
Four pieces of salmon, skin removed: either cut from above the centre line of the fish to make four squares of about equal thickness, or cut this the thick, meaty back and thin belly. If the salmon has the thin belly, fold the belly onto itself so that the fish is of about equal thickness. Slice the prosciutto normally, or perhaps a bit thinner, having enough prosciutto to wrap the salmon in, making a mystery bundle, hiding the salmon in prosciutto. As a variation, mince oven dried/sun dried tomatoes and mash with roasted garlic and plaster the fish before wrapping in the prosciutto. Season with pepper, but not salt. Over a medium high heat, sauté the bundle, about 2 minutes on each side – top bottom and two sides – to crisp the prosciutto all around and cook the fish. It should be just pink in the centre. If you have a skewer, pierce the fish before cooking and get an idea of he resistance; a skewer should easily pierce a properly cooked fish.
For the potatoes and greens: I usually add one large garlic clove per potato – for four servings three large russet or Yukon gold potatoes should be enough. Its January and even if you purchased new crop local garlic and put it down for the winter – which is what Shorty does - you should split the garlic in half and remove the developing core. The core is the bitter aspect of the garlic, the stomaching aching part of the garlic. Boil the potatoes and garlic together, strain, mash with lotsa butter and a little milk. What’s green out there: oddly there make be some local kale or put away for winter savoy cabbage, either would make a really good vegetable side. Or look for spinach, prefer bunch over bagged, Swiss chard, Brussel sprouts a green with some tooth to it. Sauté in olive oil, first adding some minced garlic for ten to twenty seconds, the chopped washed greens, tossing, a pinch of salt and pepper, a splash of wine, cooking to doneness. To cook the meal, start with the potatoes, when the potatoes are done, heat the pans for the vegetable and salmon, warm the serving plates; mash the potatoes and start first the veg and then the salmon. Finish seasoning the mashers and veg, plate and finish with the salmon.